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Geraldine Ogwe: One-Way Relationships



Have you ever felt trapped in a relationship, be it romantic or business relationship, where you do all the listening but you are never listened to? Your opinion never matters. In fact, you are a person of no vocal consequence! I have been in such a relationship.

In my previous job, I had a boss whose words were law. He never sought opinions. Board meetings were for dishing out instructions and not for deliberations. If you wanted to suggest ways of improving the business, he would ask you how many contracts you brought to the company. He failed to realize that sometimes, new contracts are less important than maintaining old business relationships. He was running a one-way relationship with us. He was the business owner. We managed his business the exact ways he instructed. When his all-insufficient wisdom failed him, he would be quick to pass the buck. We never took him serious. Whenever we went to secure contracts, we were more interested in discovering vacant positions in our client’s organization than in securing the contract for a boss that did things the same way but expected different results.

I had a girlfriend whom I cherished very much. She was like a sister to me. She was a year younger than me. Whenever she wanted to visit me, I was available. I always created time for her. Whenever I shopped, I would always think of something nice to give her. All my classmates, open and secret admirers, friends and family members knew her. I didn’t know much of her friends. It didn’t matter. The only time I needed her and wanted her, she was not there. She didn’t give any good excuse. She was running a one-way relationship with me.

My friend’s boo runs a one-way relationship with her. He wants her to be what he wants but he makes no extra efforts to be what she wants. If he disapproves of any of her girlfriends, he will tell her to stop being friends with the person. The reason may be as silly as “I called her thrice and she didn’t answer me well. If she is not interested in being my friend, then she can’t be your friend. I am sorry but that’s final. You must sack her or make us friends”.
See me see friendship by force o. My friend is the carefree type who does not necessarily flirt but who may not reject a free ride in a Porsche Cayenne on a sunny day in Abuja. Mr Guy does not believe that there is no bedroom business between a man and a woman who are not related. If my friend introduces a male to him as her friend, he concludes they must be sleeping together or must have had sex in the past.

This guy demands the truth but cannot handle the truth. He has girls that are his friends whom he claims he is not sleeping with. My friend cannot discuss that because his answer is always “I am the man and we are in Africa”. My friend prefers to take personal decisions about her life herself. She does not see the pleasure at constantly telling a boyfriend her activities all the time. How does her taking an evening stroll or going for a swim deplete the ozone layer, for Mr Guy to be aware of? She wonders. Mr Guy does not reciprocate this same favour but he must know what she is doing at every point in time and must approve of such activities before they are carried out. Initially, this type of behavior from Mr Guy showed love and care, but with time, it became annoying. It is even more annoying to her because their relationship is not altar-bound.

Like other relationships, one-way relationships consist of two people but one person only is doing the work. In one- way relationships, you constantly have to adjust your own expectations and behavior to meet your partner’s standards. It is an unfortunate problem that occurs more often than we realize.
The man who has been saying he loves you for years, but is never willing to commit.
The woman who avoids emotional intimacy by investing everything in her life and career and neglecting to invest in her relationship.
The friend who’s been calling, texting, and emailing you for months- but face to face acts like you don’t exist.
The lover who wants to keep taking physically, but giving nothing back emotionally.
The parent who expects you to listen, but never gives you the opportunity to express your emotions, fears and concerns.
The friend whose secrets you keep but who suddenly develops mouth diarrhea with yours.

A lot of persons are not aware that they are running a one-way relationship. If you are at the receiving end of a one-way relationship, it is always better to talk about it with your partner. If you are at the giving end, never ever assume that you know everything about the other person. Every time you listen to someone, you are confirming that they are worthy of being heard. They are worth your time and attention. It lets them know that you are interested in them and want to know more about them. No matter how long you have known someone, you will never know every inner thought, wish or desire.

I found a way to handle my former boss and we became friends. It was not easy to work with that narcissist but I succeeded. Before I left, he always listened to my opinions and suggestions. He didn’t change generally. He changed for me and made my job easier and more professional.

When I find myself in a one-way romantic relationship, I try to talk about it with my partner. If I see no change after a set time, I bury the relationship. I bury it in a good casket, not the type used to bury Salvador Cerinza in El Cuerpo del Deseo (Second Chance). No wonder he couldn’t rest in peace. I deserve better and better I will get.
How do you handle one-way relationships? How do you manage when you are with someone who is always hogging the conversation?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Arne9001


  1. Yea

    December 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Na to delete people like that. Life is stressful as it is, why add people that will give you more headache, abeg, I free you and move on, no time to even say no time.

  2. jhay

    December 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    So a guy chases u so hard, finally gets ur attention and then just suddenly stops talking to you. Thats my dilema right now. Im so confused and hurt right now. Dunno wat to do……………

    • oj

      December 5, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      move on with ur life. that’s what u should do.

    • Stells

      December 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      d first question il ask is-have u spoken to him about how u feel?

    • jhay

      December 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      What do i say? Where do i start? thing is im a generally shy person

    • olu

      December 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you!….but we know how ‘some’ ladies feel about rejection. How many ladies how such confidence?

    • Tosin

      December 5, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Pele. Madness. The human condition.

    • Abz

      December 7, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Babe i think the guy got tired after the chase maybe because you made urself so difficult to catch

  3. babe

    December 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    myn is a husband who only takes and neva gives wether its compliments ,emotions all he does is criticise and flirt

    • Stells

      December 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      av u talked to him about it? if u av, do u do all ds fins u want him to do? asin do u compliment him

  4. ms anon

    December 5, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I have a father who will call a girl my age and promise her the world. Then he will put down his phone and tell you he has no money for food in the house. He will come back late into the night sometimes 1am and ask why his food has gone so cold. He will send you to pay some money into the account of one of his numerous gf and then accuse you of inflating the t-fare by a ridiculous N100. Tell me about one way relationships.

    • Tosin

      December 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      You can make a comedy series about the man nah, then it won’t be a one-way thing anymore. He’s feeding you all the storylines to use for your comedy series. Thank him 🙂

  5. fatimah

    December 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    @jhay,thats my dilemma now,i can’t help how much it hurts,i am on my own jeje when a frnd hooks us up,i wast interested at all cse I just came out of a r/s and was hurt,this guy calls every time, pings everything…then I get interested seeing how classy,neat o lord,it was like I was blind wen I was being rude to him initially,gave so much attention and then we had sex,maybe that was the deal breaker,maybe he figured I had fallin totally, I always wanted to see him n he is busy all of a sudden,wen I go to his house,he all about trying to touch me,and unfortunately for him v bin on my period on those two other occassions,i don’t get what happened,am deeply hurt,i delt him off bbm,he calls 2 weeks later acting all mad n all,somehoe somehow he is back on bbm dat same day he called,i saw him the next day and it like d biggest mistake ever,we quiet n sayin few words all through the night until we his junior Wnted attention,and I flare up askin if it’s all about sex,was on period again dt night lol bt I dint let him know,instead I challenged him askin what we wre doin,my dear d nigga was mute,next mornin I bathed n left,and he sends a msg apologising for his attitude,its bin 2weeks later,we hardl ever talk,i really like him,but am a cancerian,we hardly ever wrong with our prediction,its hard and painful to let go,i feel cheated and hurt.but I wld be strong!thats the only gift I can give my self for christmas.

    • oj

      December 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Fatimah, i know u’ve already realized this, but the guy just used u. he has gotten what he really wanted to u. what is done is done.
      In ur next relationship, say “no” to sex. guys who are after girls because they want to sleep with them give up after sometime when the girl says “no”.

    • ohgosh

      December 6, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      I’m always fascinated by the phrase “used you”…
      Please what does it mean?
      You both had sex. Did you enjoy it? Then how did he use you?
      He could only have done that if you lay like a piece of log while he did his business.
      we use cars, spoons, gadgets but people…and sex…where two people are going at it….mutually giving?
      can’t wrap my head around it. You played a part in the deed.
      Oh well. FYI I am a woman so….

    • fiya

      December 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Also if u try good grammar with ur story….that might help tooo. Just saying

    • fatimah

      December 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      was obviously too engrossed in what i was typing to care madam/oga fiya

    • jhay

      December 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      @ Fatima Sadly some people are all about sex. when they cant get that then they dont want anything. its not about you, they are unfortunately wired that way.
      This guy, thanks to God i didnt have sex with him even tho he pressured. I just feel hurt cos he is like totally awesome. Nice personality, neat, good dresser, and all that stuff.
      Im just recently out of a breakup and i wasnt ready for nothing just yet. What hurt is that i came out of that shell just for him, invested my emotions and now hez just leaving me in the cold. u know what? i dont deserve this. im gonna pick up my fone and ask him right now and if he deliberately doing this then in the trash he goes! rubbish!

    • fatimah

      December 5, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      lol can i say we think alike,and i felt exactly the same way towards him,i fought myself every time i tried to call and vent my anger on him,thank GOD for pride….i never did,i jst let it slide away.i dont think you should call,but you know him better and know the right thing to do,somehow i always believe we ladies know the right thing to do,our instincts tells us the truth but we allow our heart rule!

    • Tosin

      December 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      they don’t know their own hearts sometimes.

    • Demi

      December 5, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Sorry darling but you deserve better than that guy. He’s basically all about sex and you don’t need that kinda man in your life. You deserve better dear
      Be happy, look radiant and dress well. Attend Xmas parties too! You will get over him and his B.S.

    • fatimah

      December 6, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      Thanks Demi… super duper ready for Christmas parties dis month!seasons greetings dear.

    • tunmi

      December 6, 2014 at 3:20 am

      Make up your own mind. This is the thing I don’t look Ike. If the guy wants just sex, kuku say it and let’s make sure we are on the same level. It’s a good exercise. But don’t deceive me, that speaks ill of your character. @fatimah, when you are tired of the ring-around-the-rosey carousel, no one will encourage or force you to get off.

  6. So confused, Please Help

    December 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Hey all, I really need your honest opinions about an issue that is seriously weighing me down regarding my relationship. I feel like the fact that u all dont know me personally will mean that I’ll get a more honest and objective advice on what to do. I am in a long distance relationship with my bf and we’ve been so so happy until a few months ago when I saw very sexual text msgs between him and another woman that were totally innapropriate. I spoke to him about it and he swore up n down that nothing sexual/physical has happened between them but they just talk nasty for the fun of it. I chose to trust him and move on from that but keep a keener eye on him. Fastforward two months n now I have discovered missing condoms (He denied denied denied claiming his friend asked him for some) , then I found another womans make-up stains on his sheets on a seperate occassion (he claimed this same friend brought a girl over and used his room), and most recently, numerous searches on his laptop looking for “escorts”, one night stands etc in the state he lives in as well as an account he has on a dating website. I discovered all of this on different occassions over the last two weeks. I am so shocked, disgusted and disappointed that I literally dont know whether to just count my losses and end the relationship. I love him and I know he loves me but can I doubt I can truly be happy being with someone who has serious commitment issues. What do u think I should do? Should I leave him? He has only admitted cheating once and has showed “remorse” by buying me gifts rather than accepting responsibility or saying “Im sorry, it wont happen again” etc. The girl he admitted to sleeping with, he told me he doesnt speak to her anymore at all n that he doesnt even have her number. And yet she sent him text msgs around 7am in the morning this week which I happened to see by accident. Again he lied n said he hasnt spoken to her in months whereas the text msg clearly shows otherwise. He accuses me of being paranoid etc. I honestly dont know what to do anymore.

    • oj

      December 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      I don’t know u but I think u deserve better than that. the guy doesn’t love u. even if he marries u, u think he wouldn’t cheat on u again? move on with ur life. it would be tough, u would cry a lot, but like a wound, it heals in time and the one who would treat u like a queen would find u.

    • MC

      December 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Count your losses and end the relationship. please, for your own sanity!!
      oh….and run!!!

    • fiya

      December 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Honey….the saying “once bitten, twice shy” should be for u dear. Forget him, like @oj said…..even if he do commit toda, thats not gonna stop him from doing what he’s doing.

    • Teris

      December 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      i apologise for not getting ur predicament. this is only as simple or as “complicated” as u wish to make it. asking a bunch of strangers to take responsibility for ur choice is rather crazy but i guess even in the 21st century, there are women must live up to the stereotype.

      how are we to judge his sincerity? how can we kno that u’re not the adonis set on earth to make him a better man?
      on the “positive” side, he’s at least some shade of responsible and uses rubbers – even tho it is more for his benefit than urs. and u’re a very forgiving person (very necessary for long-haul relationships).

      on the other hand, he’s a liar and a cheat. and you know you don’t trust him (u’re counting the rubbers).

      i think u shud ask urself what ur payoff is. is his pedigree worth a lot to u? does he make u feel so good? is the fear of being alone so great that taking the time to heal is just too much of a risk? is the trip of a precarious relationship that intoxicating?

      whatever it is, ask urself the question, answer urself THRUTHFULLY, and any decision u make will not cost more than a bracing look at who u are. and this whole “so confused” ish can be done with.

      PS: a lesson to learn from Hillary Clinton, u can choose to focus on some bigger picture and stay. or like Sandra Bullock, u can walk away and choose a healthier outlet for a loving and generous life. but DO NOT GIVE AWAY YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!!!!! especially not to the wild, wild web (www).

    • Asgrl

      December 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      What more do want to see or hear to know that this is not the man for you? Do you need Jesus himself to come down to confirm that this not the man for you?

      We women, we keep asking God to show us way. He’s been whispering, revealing and dropping the scales from your eyes but you choose to remainb blind. I guess you’re waiting for the body slam that finally kills you I.e. Pregnant side chick, STD or secret marriage.

      You will never be able to trust this he-goat. Please divest yourself of this relationship. You don’t owe him anything and he doesn’t owe you anything. Do it now before you wake up five years from now and find you’ve wasted your time with someone whose doesn’t deserve to lick the bottom of your boots even whendipped in shit!

    • Tosin

      December 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      How are you monitoring him if you’re long distance?
      What’s your own with long distance, c’mon break up, broke up, broken up already. Having a jealous relationship with someone you don’t even live near. Hiss.

    • So confused, Please Help

      December 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Hello Tosin, thank you for your response although it wasn’t very kind to say some of the things u said. To answer your question, I am currently on a work project in the state he resides in so I’ve seen him regularly now over the last month. Also prior to my project, we’ve always made good effort to see each other reasonably regularly throughout the duration of our relationship. I hope this clarifies the circumstances for you.

    • Tosin

      December 5, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Thanks for clarifying.
      But you asked for honesty… :-/
      Alright, don’t break up.
      C’mon. Delete the silly guy’s number.

    • Tosin

      December 5, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Thank you for clarifying.
      Delete the silly guy’s number.

    • tunmi

      December 6, 2014 at 3:22 am

      You don’t like yourself talk lesa of loving yourself. If you did you would not have continued being with him. I suggest getting tested first.

      #2. Thos behavior is not going to change. He is showing you who you are and you are ignoring it. Marry him, he will cheat. Don’t marry him, he will cheat. It is up to you. What are you willing to compromise on? Make a decision and stick with it.

    • deel

      December 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Did u just say he loves you??? He doesn’t honey. Move on my dear. Total waste of time.

    • jhennique

      December 8, 2014 at 9:40 am

      @ Confused. Babe, run for ur life. you may only cry for like 4 months, after that it will be over. Better now than later. i tot i wud die when my ex left me. I never beleived i will laugh again but here i am, totally over him. Move abeg, the earlier the better for you.

    • Chinedu

      December 9, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      The reason you don’t know what to do is because your emotions are getting a part of you. You have more than enough evidence nailing this dude. He is cheating. But heck, you are probably in the middle of, ‘how do i give it up’, ‘heart broken’ or probably not sure if he hasn’t moved on. Babe, give the dude and break and get better deals. Flash the red card!!!

  7. Teris

    December 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    “…I had a girlfriend whom I cherished very much. She was like a sister to me…”
    i don’t know, but that statement…

    • TANTRA

      December 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      What is wrong with the statement?

    • Teris

      December 5, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      i don’t kno… it’s just….

    • tunmi

      December 6, 2014 at 3:18 am

      I thought the speaker was a guy SL I read it over and over imagining the speaker was a woman. I didn’t see the author’s note until the end

  8. Ngozi

    December 5, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Hi confused,, I know how you feel but please leave him now and focus on your life. You are a child of God and God will bring somebody good, caring and honest. Please leave him, it’s not love, he doesn’t love you. Love doesn’t cheat and lie. You are going to struggle in the future if u remain there. Why would you torture yourself in a relationship with a man who cannot control himself? Please protect your heart, soul and body. I know it’s difficult but please find the courage to leave. I hope after today, you will not be confused anymore. Take care of yourself

  9. baby gyal

    December 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Tell me about it. I’ve always had female friends like that. This is going to sound petty but I just gave birth and i’m proud of my baby boy. He’s really cute for real not because he’s my son. So this my supposed former best friend put to bed before me and I would always compliment her baby whenever she put hers pics up. Will you believe that apart from the day I gave birth this babe has never complimented my boy’s picture?I could go on and on, people like that just keep their contact in case you need them but just wipe them away from your heart

    • olami

      December 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      @baby gal, seriously you have issues on your own so because your friend doesn’t make comments on your baby pictures you think she doesn’t appreciate him.kilode!!!!why do we always expect so much from fellow human being??? Not all of us are that expressive in nature!!! The best thing is to love and appreciate what you have.

    • Asgrl

      December 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      An extremely petty post from a petty woman. Methinks the other lady should be glad to be rid of baby gal as a friend

  10. Tosin

    December 5, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Part of life. Relationships have different rhythms and reasons. Let each give according to his/her ability, abi?
    Sometimes the point of a relationship is for it to be one-sided, e.g. someone caring for me when I’m ill, though maybe I’m paying a bill which is paying their salary.
    Blessed is the one that gives and the one that receives too lol.
    Some people (many Nigerian men) are used to hogging all the attention and affection, they love being the babies, the ones cared for etc etc loool, Nigerian women are used to loving the sense out of their men I guess.

  11. Steps

    December 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Hello,@ So confused I think you clearly know the answer but you keep ignoring it… trust me it happens to everyone. I wouldn’t tell you to leave the relationship or not… but look inwardly and evaluate your self worth. If you think you deserve been treated in that way then so be it. if not, then do the needful, Sometimes in life we honestly love some people but what’s best for us is to let them go… for our sake and theirs too.

    However, if you are staying then communication is the key… set ultimatums! sometimes that might be an effective way of passing on a strong message. There are no excuses for cheating… but we do need to know when the other party deserves another chance.

    If you decide to leave… me some days you will feel like you made a mistake and you will have the urge to call just to check up. The healing process could be quiet painful, filled with tears and more confusion but at the end you will feel better.

    At the end, I do hope you find peace….. life is simple and we all need to be happy,. wish you the best of luck.

  12. tutu

    December 5, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    I totally get you. I read it twice just to make sure. hehhehe

  13. MsChief

    December 5, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    One – sided relationships? We all have some of those and unfortunately, most of us are exactly like that. I have friends who take from me way more than they give but I am honestly ashamed to say I have not been the best of friends/family to some wonderful people in my life. Time for a change I guess, I want to be able to genuinely complain without having some of my fingers pointing at me.

  14. Adun

    December 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Teris nice comments btw. U must really b intelligent nd well read. I see a bright future . God bless

  15. Ephi

    December 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    @So Confused..
    Man-wahala, we’ve all been there. You’ve got to know when to put your own interest / peace of mind first and serve the red card when necessary . Life is too short for any unnecessary pain and drama.

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