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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.
Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.
The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (https://www.davidtianphd.com/blog/), is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/manupcommunity/) and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.
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How To Tell Someone You’re Divorced
David Tian Ph.D. discusses how you can bring up your divorce casually into the conversation.
David Tian Ph.D. shares why it’s okay to show your own vulnerabilities.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. explains why it’s powerful to not hide these kind of things.
David Tian: Boom! Stop. In episode 73 of Man Up , I answer the question of, when should you tell a girl that you’re divorced?
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!
Welcome, my name is David Tian, Ph.D. and this is episode 73 of Man Up! I’m answering a question from David in the private Facebook group. It’s actually two questions in his original question but I’m going to answer the first one in this video. I’m going to try to keep it short. Try to keep it to five minutes.
He says, “Hey, I really like your videos especially the inner honesty segment.” Well, thank you very much. “I’m going through a divorce,” he says, “Filed but not finalizing, getting back into the dating scene after almost six years.” I get exactly where you’re coming from. “Okay, a quick question. I recently went on a first date with a girl for the first time in six years. Fairly certain we had good chemistry. On our second date, I didn’t kiss her or anything yet.
I decided to take the moral high ground and be honest so I told her the truth that I’m going through a divorce and I’m still living in the same condo but in different rooms with my soon to be ex-wife. After I told her, she said it was no “big deal” but almost immediately, she decided to leave our second date.
My guess is that she thinks I’m a sleaze ball which couldn’t be further from the truth. I texted her a few times afterwards for the next few weeks, initially she still responded but not anymore. I think I like her more than just a little. How do I win her back? And when if at all, should I tell a girl that I’m going through a divorce or later that I’m divorced. I’m guessing probably not on the second date.”
Okay, so I’ll just stop there. Easy answer to “how do I win her back?”, if you’ve messed up in this way, you go and apologize, hopefully she’ll understand. You’ve got to be completely honest and tell her you wish you had told her earlier and so on. In fact, you can only win her back if you understand what you did wrong. So answering the second question, “when should I tell a girl that I’m going through a divorce or that I’m divorced?”.
Yeah, you’re right. You shouldn’t do it on a second date. First of all, I can tell already that this is hard for you because you said “I decided to take the moral high ground and be honest”. For you to think this is taking the moral high ground is really scary. This is just what you ought to do as a human being.
As soon as you sense that this could be an issue with her, you should bring it up casually like in a story. Just bring it up casually. Don’t make it a big deal but just bring it up. You shouldn’t be opening beginning conversations with “Hi, my name is David and I’m divorced.”.
That’s not good. But if you’re talking to her, you should say, if you get the feeling that she’s getting attached and this is a pretty important thing for you to say to her because you want her to know – you want her to know because this is an important thing to you obviously – that you’re finalizing a divorce, you should mention that.
Now I don’t know enough about you to make up a story for you – to create a story for you – but you can just say something like “as my ex-wife or soon to be ex-wife’s leaving the condo this morning, I noticed such and such” or “she said such and such”. You could also say, I can’t wait to move out of the condo I’m in because right now I’m sharing it with my soon to be ex-wife, got to wait for that until it gets finalized.
One of the condos I’m looking at is… blah, blah, blah, blah!”. Put it right out there casually, you see. The point of the story is just part of the story and you just slip it in there. Just that’ll let her know. That’s all you need to do! That’s all you need to do! And mimic the guys, mimic the people for whom this is not a big deal. And think about the times in your life where you mentioned things that are not a big deal to you. If you make it a big deal, it’s going to be a big deal.
For you to mention the second date, probably it was a big deal you made out like all this nervousness around it and she picked up on it emotional contagion mirror neurons. She was like, “ohhhhh”, right, and “why was he hiding this”. You’re only a sleaze ball if you hide something. If you just put it out there, like it doesn’t matter, like this is just a fact of life, because it is a fact of life.
I have no problems, actually I love – I love – people knowing that I’m divorced because it shows that I’m mature. Because it shows I’ve gone through some shit you haven’t gone through. It’s like a fucking battle scar. It’s like a fucking point of pride. Yeah, I was married. Now I can help you because I know exactly… now I can help you, David, you can come to me. Because you know I’ve been through this. You know I was married for six years.
I can go through it. I think it’s stupid, that people… it’s a sign of immaturity that people are shamed of their weaknesses, because the life is… we love people more for those weaknesses. That’s what makes them admirable. The vulnerability… that’s what makes it… that’s what sucks as in.
So, anyway, I think it’s awesome to have those, those little vulnerabilities. So I put it out there. So I put it out there proudly… I like throwing people off. Just like the other day, I was at dinner with some of the guys, you know, I’m in Bangkok like I mentioned on the video… I was like… uh… how did I bring it up, something like, oh yeah, something about racism and my ex-wife having to work in Dexter, Michigan as the only Asian person, the only Asian teacher, but the only Asian person in an all-black school with mostly white teachers and there were some racist kids.
And that was the context of the story. They were like, “Wait, wait, wait… What? You’re married?” You don’t remember I was married? Yeah man, fuck yeah! That’s why I can help other guys who are married. I can say I’ve been through that. That’s why I can say I’ve lived six years through that. And that’s made me who I am.
That’s made me a better person now that I’ve gone through it. Luckily it wasn’t acrimonious, luckily we didn’t have a lot of assets to go separating and all that. And it was a pretty smooth separation, bless our hearts.
Never hide these things. These are your power. If it hurts you, if you’re insecure about it, that is exactly your power. Go and re-watch my inner honesty segments that you love so much. Go on and re-watch the demolishing destructive beliefs. That’s the power that you have. Take hold of your power. Okay, so that’s a great way to end it. Take hold of your power!
Alright, so this is Man Up, join the private Facebook group. Join the group, I want to see you inside. This show thrives on your questions. So I’ll see you in the private Facebook group. Until next time, man up!