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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D., has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their dating and love lives.
Once a nerdy, skinny professor of philosophical psychology who couldn’t hold a conversation to save his life, David is now director of Aura Transformation Corp., and a world renowned dating and life coach using therapeutic methods. Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, including AXN, Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore. Formerly a professor at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Tian is actively researching, speaking, and publishing in the areas of philosophy and psychology.
The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man,” 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 and answers based on his experience Coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.
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Do You Need A Good Career To Be Attractive To Women?
David Tian Ph.D. clarifies the assumptions on what really attracts women.
Some men assume that making a lot of money or getting a great career will make them more attractive, David Tian Ph.D. shares his thoughts on this.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D talks about short-term versus long-term mating preferences of women.
Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD, and in this video, I answer the question: Do you need a good career to be attractive to women? Welcome to Man Up Episode 211.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!
Hi, I’m David Tian, PhD., and for over the past 10 years, I have been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness and fulfillment in life and love, and welcome to Man Up Episode 211. I am in Austria near Salzburg in a beautiful resort here at the Schloss. You can see behind me this great lake there. The sun is setting on a partly cloudy day, and hopefully it looks good on the camera. I’m answering a question here that was originally posted in our Awakenings group.
Awakenings is our most advanced program, and one of the new members in Awakenings posted a question that I get asked a lot from Man Up group, by email. It’s also largely an assumption implicit in a lot of the questions that I get, and I want to address that in a public video. Here we go. Thank you Dong for asking the question. I’m going to read a little bit of it.
Let’s skip the first part.
“Here’s the situation my friend gave me. Suppose I like a girl and I just lose everything in my career, can I still date her at that moment?” His answer to his friend, “I tell her after losing everything in my career, I feel so shitty and I don’t want to leave my house. Even though I like her, I don’t want to date her right now. Of course, I do feel her as I do like her, but I value my career more and want to focus on it first, so no dating for me right now.” Perfectly reasonable.
And then his friend says that he’s not being honest with himself and he says if he were honest with the girl, he would say the following. He’s saying that his friend would say, “I tell her that I feel so bad about my life right now, but I do like her and I want to date her. Now, she might laugh at me and call me crazy and stupid. I tell her that she’s right. I’m no one right now. But in five years, I could be successful and be on TV.” I just noticed that.
I’ve actually addressed this in the live show and we recorded it but the audio wasn’t working. So Awakenings guys, that’s why I’m having to refilm this. And I just noticed this thing. So Dong said, “I tell her that she’s right. I’m no one right now, but in five years I could be successful and be on TV. So, it’s her choice. 🙂 This has been bugging me”, he says, “I know my answer is selfish. This is all about me, but isn’t that honesty?”
I asked for further clarification. He wrote, “I believe that I need to feel good about my career in order to date a girl. So even though I’m honest when I say I feel shit about my life, I don’t want to date anyone. My friend says it’s more of an excuse to avoid a deeper problem, like I don’t want to lose face in front of her. I hope that makes sense.”
Okay, the question is great for addressing one of these implicit assumptions I get a lot, which is – there’s so many of them. I have to narrow them down and make sure to keep the video short. One of the assumptions is that if you get your life together, then you’ll have lots of dating abundance. Instead of learning how to pick-up chicks or the PUA way to go, you’ll instead get your life together. That means usually you’ll hit the gym and get fitness. We’ve attracted a lot of fitness guys into the Man Up group, and their default kneejerk response is, “Go to the gym, man. It’ll solve every problem.”
There’s the get fit guys, and then there’s the make money guys. The get fit, make money, get respect from the world, the way he put it was like, “I’m no one right now, but I’ll be on TV in five years.” “Oh, you’re a special person because you’re on TV.” Right? That’s what these guys mistakenly think would get them women. Let’s just put that to rest. And consider the self-help, self-development. Another way to put this is, if you get your shit together in terms of the conventional worldly standards for success, then women will love you. That’s the way to get women instead of the pick up way, you’re going to instead do the self-help way.
Another way to put it is, the self-help gets you laid. I’m going to come right out and say no, it does not. Let’s put this to rest: It does not. If what you’re looking for is a lot of sexual abundance, that is dating a lot of different women, you don’t need to get your life together at all. In fact, grinding and hustling, and all of those other self-help terms of art, are actually going to get in the way. Why? In terms of sexually attracting women, the best thing you can do is to be fun, adventurous, easygoing, smoking weed, dangerous, a little bit adventurous, having fun in the moment, rather than, “Hey, I’ve got to hustle. I’ve got to get my shit done.”
Look, if you’re serious about it, and this is the thing – I’m going to start breaking this down and do some exegesis on the question here. Dong originally said, “I don’t want to date her right now. Of course, I do feel her as I do like her, but I value my career more and want to focus on it first, so no dating for me right now. “And I’m like, “That’s totally cool.” His friend apparently knows Dong better than himself, and then Dong eventually came around to saying, “Yeah, it’s just because I’m insecure, right?”
But if you just stuck with that and if that were true, that he wants to do his career, and he doesn’t have time to date, that’s awesome. If the thing that you want to do to make the money, or if working out is something that you really enjoy doing for its own sake, then by all means do that. That’s going to bring you more happiness and fulfillment, and you’re going to have more fun. And you wouldn’t be asking this question at all, the dating questions. You would be having so much fun, and then dating would become a smaller thing and it wouldn’t bother you so much that you don’t have a mate because you’re having so much fun.
Maybe when you’re not working out or you’re not working on the business, maybe you’ll feel a little lonely. That might bug you a little bit. But most of the time, you’re going to be happy because you’re going to be doing the thing that makes you happy. Imagine somebody who is grinding 80 hour weeks, grinding and hustling, an entrepreneur, 80-hour weeks to get that startup or whatever his entrepreneurial thing is, his business, and get that going. 80-hour weeks means that you have no time to even sleep. You barely have enough time to sleep.
If you include any kind of commute time, if you include showering or any time for yourself, you can’t do 80-hour weeks. A true 80 to 100-hour weeks is like no sleep. Some of you guys doing 60-hour weeks, and even that is no time for yourself. That means there’s no time for dating either. That means there’s no time for women. Especially if the job is anything computer-related because probably you’re looking at a fucking screen for hours. You’re not going to suddenly go from screen, technology, you and the machine, to suddenly being super social and that part of your brain just switching to being social. It’s not going to happen.
If you’re grinding and hustling away at your business, unless you’re a manager or your business is HR or something like that, and very likely if you’re a young person it’s not – or unless you work in a night club or something. Obviously, if you’re working at a night club, this doesn’t apply to you. But if you’re grinding away at the typical kind of business, which is more of creating a product or something, then you don’t have time to date. That’s great because you’re enjoying it. It’s not great because you’re making a lot of money. Fuck that. It’s great because you’re enjoying it.
But so many of these guys, especially he’s Asian, Dong, and I get this from a lot of other Asian-Americans, which is that they need to make a lot of money before they feel good about themselves, or they need to get good in their career before they feel good about themselves. They feel like they don’t deserve to be attractive. Let’s put this to rest. Some of the most sexually attractive guys I’ve ever met, the guys who have lots of abundance of dating opportunities, lots of girls who want to date them, they’re dating lots of girls, and they’re just fun to be around. A lot of those guys don’t have respectable jobs at all.
A lot of them are like bums, but they’re fun bums. You can sleep on the beach in a fucking sleeping bag. But you know, during the day, you can teach surfing. At night or around 4:00 PM, you’re done, you work from 10:00 AM to 4:00PM teaching tourists how to surf, and then you’re surfing the rest of the time or you’re just bumming around, and you’re smoking weed, and you meet the girl and you’re like, “Hey, what’s up? Hey, you want to go to this party? It’s a great time.”
You go to the party and you’re like, “Yeah, whatever man. Let’s do it. It’s fun.” And you sit back and you don’t have a worry in the world.” And maybe she comes from a very worried background. In other words, she’s got a lot of responsibility. She’s an A-type personality, work-work-work. So, she meets a guy like that and it’s so refreshing for her and it’s so fun and easy going. It’s no big deal, right? And she’s like, “Okay, I’ll take a hit of that weed.” And suddenly, “Yeah” and then she lets her hair down “Woah.” And that guy doesn’t even have a fucking job, really. He’s a surfing instructor.
But let’s even take that away. He can just be a total bum. I know plenty of total bums who basically sleep on their buddy’s couches and get a lot of girls. I know guys who go to the club, they never buy any tables, never buy any bottles, never buy any drinks. My friends, you know who I’m talking about, right? You don’t do it, but you’re fun, you show up, and everyone likes you at the table. You add a lot of fun to the table. You don’t even have a job, those guys.
The thing is: Guys who don’t know, which is the majority of guys, think those guys are rich. “He must be buying a lot of bottles.” I’m like, dude, he’s not paid for a fucking drink in years. But he’s always at the club, at the VIP table. Yeah, he’s got game. And so like, a lot of guys don’t understand that. In fact, if you prioritize self-help and your career over sexually attracting lots of different women, if what you’re after is getting laid a lot, or attracting a lot of women, then those are actually going to be at odds. You’ll be wondering why, and this is always happening. So, I get a lot of questions like this, “Why is it that I’m working so hard in this business, that I don’t even really enjoy that much. I’m just hoping to flip it or to exit soon. But I’m grinding over this business that they don’t enjoy. Let me just be very clear about that. Because if they enjoyed it, they wouldn’t be asking me this question.
But I’m grinding, I’m grinding. And in fact, if you’re really enjoying it you don’t think about it as grinding. But they’re grinding away at it, it’s something they don’t enjoy, to make some money 10 years from now hopefully, and then they’ll feel good about themselves, and then finally then they can relax, and then they can earn it, earn the sexual attractiveness. Well, I’m here to tell you that is not true.
In fact, if you’re hoping to make a lot of money or get a great career that you can then show off to some girls, and then sexually attract them. You’re in for a rude awakening, because what’ll happen is, if you then after 10 years and you get your exit, and now you’ve got big money or whatever it is. You’re finally thinking you’re proud of yourself, but really you’re still very insecure. Actually, you still need therapy. But at the moment when you exit, you’re thinking, “Yeah, I’m awesome.” And then you go out to the clubs and start to attract girls by showing off your money, which is going to be basically buying bottles.
Or if you’re out in the day and you meet her, and she finds out about your job, you will have a very difficult time telling whether she’s actually liking you for you, or liking you for your career, or liking you for your money. In other words, you’re like a hot chick. It’s hard for hot chicks to know whether the guy likes them for their body, or the guy likes them for who they are. That’s why they have that bitch shield. You’re going to need a bitch shield, but you’re a rich dude so you’ll need the gold digger shield.
And it’s not just gold digger just for the money. It could be for status. It could be for those other external superficial materialistic things as well beyond the money. Now you’re going to have to weed those out, and it’s hard. You may never know. In fact, you might end up like many rich guys around the world who are in the rich dad versus pool boy scenario. This is a really easy one to illustrate this point.
Rich dude makes a shit ton of money working 70-80 hour weeks, finally attracts some trophy wife hot girl, and marries her because she’s able to keep the ruse up for long enough and he believes they’re in love mistakenly, and then they get married. The guy has to work. Either he became a workaholic because that’s who he was to sustain it, or he’s going to have to keep maintaining that lifestyle to keep that girl happy. He’s off at work 60-70-80 hour weeks. What’s she doing during that time? Well, maybe she’ll try to find a job or whatever, but probably not. Maybe she’ll go the trophy wife route and she’s going to be Mrs. Robinson waiting at home wondering, bored out of her mind, twiddling her thumbs, and here comes along pool boy.
He’s like a 20 year old pool boy, tanned, young, ripped or whatever, and he’s in his swimming shorts because that’s what he does for a living. He’s a pool boy. So, he’s there sweeping the rakes, raking the leaves out of the water. She, the bored housewife, says, “Hmm, I’m a little bored. Oh, that guy’s pretty hot. I’ll just bang the pool boy.” Next thing you know, here’s this guy who has no money to his name, no status, nothing. But because he’s hot, young, available, lots of free time, he gets the advantage there. The rich man who slaved away to get all of this stuff has to continue to slave away, she’s not really loving him.
Maybe she likes his personality, but she’s not really loving him for his personality. How does he know this? Because all you guys who are waiting until you hit it big before you can finally date a lot, you guys are stupid. Here is why: You should find a woman before you make it big. You should be like Conor McGregor and Dee Devlin, where Dee was with him before he hit it big. Now you know. And there’s very low chances, actually, if you were to interview him five years ago when he was on the dole. What are the chances this guy was going to actually fight Mayweather for 100 million bucks or whatever it was?
Even a year ago, you would’ve thought there’s no way that fight’s going to happen, and now look at him. She clearly wasn’t with him because she was a guaranteed lottery ticket. It was more of like she believed in him and has potential and probably actually loved the guy. There’s pretty good chances of that. I mean, he was just living on her couch, basically. So, you meet the woman before you hit it big. That’s’ the way to go, man. Not until you hit it big, and then you want … I mean, it’s stupid. It’s just your deep insecurities which you need to get a psychotherapist or one of my Masculine Mastery courses or something like that to deal with.
But you got to deal with the deep insecurity. Dude, your insecurity won’t just magically go away just because you made some money and you got a great body now and whatever. Those will just delay the onset of your insecurity, or it’ll basically just distract you from your insecurity. That core insecurity is still there. As soon as you have a set back at work or some kind of setback that’s big enough, your insecurity will just bubble up again. It could be just being dumped by the girl that you thought was the proof that you had it together.
Another misinterpretation, or a misunderstanding, or a false assumption that a lot of guys have, is that women are a litmus test of how they’re doing in life. This came through the PUA world as well, the pick-up world, saying basically women’s reaction to you and whether they’re attracted to you was a great barometer for how great of a man you are. That’s stupid. That’s like attractive women in general, which is going to be young women. And generally, the ones you’re thinking of, are at that stage in their lives, they’re going to be quite superficial and they’re going to have low emotional regulation.
Think of like a hot chick in a club, or think of a young college girl. Even a 25-year-old average woman, or even a 25-year-old educated woman. What are the chances that she’ll be able to know the differences between a really mature guy and a guy who is immature? Now, here’s a great example. Short-term versus long-term mating preferences.
Females themselves, and this has been proven by evolutionary psychology, it’s something that there’s just a lot of literature around this. Females themselves have trouble distinguishing between, or the reasons why they prefer a certain thing for short-term mating, and a certain thing for long-term mating, very different things for short-term and long-term mating. If you were ambitious and industrious, would that attract women? Yes, if they’re looking for long-term mates. That’ll attract them through their pre-frontal cortex, mostly.
They’re not going to be like, “Wow, he’s so hard-working” and start diddling themselves over that. If he’s adventurous, sexy, hot, fun, easygoing, chill, laid back, and whatever, fun, right? Or any of these dark triad traits. Like, he’s got a little bit of the edge in him, a little action hero assertiveness. They’ll find that attractive for short-term mating. In fact, if you just ask a female, “If you had to hook up with a guy, a stranger, would you rather hook up with a hard-working… And you would never see him again and no one would find out. Would you rather hook up with a respectable doctor?” I don’t know, maybe they have a fetish for that. Or like a hot model who is so sexy, and he’s really laid back and fun?
Studies show that they’d prefer the more fun, easygoing, and physically attractive guy for the short-term mating, but not for the long-term mating. Now, guys understand this very easily. The hot girl. If she’s a bimbo or whatever, you’re not going to want to marry her, right? Some of you guys might, but that’s if you don’t have a choice? Right, so you’d prefer the other thing for the long-term mate.
But guys get all confused because girls say that – this is characteristics for the long-term mate as the short-term mate. Let’s just be clear about that. That’s not the case, but you’re thinking sexual attractiveness. Sexual attractiveness has to do with short-term mating potential: whether she’s turned on immediately upon meeting you, interacting with you. You want to obviously have both. That would help a lot if you were good on paper, so to speak. She could take you to home to introduce you to mom and you’re sexy and passionate. She could be passionate with you and so on.
But what you’re thinking is, “If I finally make it in my career, then I will be attractive to women.” First of all, your litmus test for whether you’re doing well in your life, killing it in life, shouldn’t be women. If it’s business, it should be the market. If it’s school, it should be your professor. Whoever is marking your paper. It’s sort of like saying that the right way to decide on a McGregor-Mayweather fight were those corrupt judges. Okay, I went back to that fight.
Anyway, the point here… Let me summarize some of the points I’ve made. I’ve got the point about the assumption of if you get your self-help together that you’ll get laid or you’ll be sexually attractive to women. That’s just not true. You can be a total bum on the beach, and just alcoholic even, on a motorcycle with a biker dude, just like dangerous sex or whatever. You don’t need to be a responsible member of society, or mature, or disciplined, especially not those things. I mean, none of those things would hurt, but they’re not going to really help you very much either. They will if she’s looking to settle down and have a long-term mate like a husband or something. Obviously then that would come into play.
Another assumption I want to throw out there and destroy is the idea that women in general, attractive women, are good litmus tests for how well you’re doing in life. It’s just not true. Third is that the reason why you should be doing these things is pursuing the things that you do during the day, to crush it, or to hustle, grind, or whatever, should be things that you actually enjoy. That is the only way you’ll find fulfillment.
What I’m after, David Tian, and what the Man Up group is now after, is self-fulfillment, is fulfillment, and joy, and happiness in life, not just being sexually attractive or getting girls. I know why some guys, especially who’ve followed me three years and more ago might be confused, it’s because that’s how I started. I started out teaching guys how to pick up chicks and how to attract women, and then I made that transition myself from that sort of thing into a more of a self-help sort of thing. And then two or three years ago, I got really clear on the fact that those things really come apart.
If what you’re looking for is just to be sexually attractive, you want to learn how to text a girl on Tinder or something, go somewhere else. That’s not what we do. That’s not what we’re interested in. Because what we’re interested in is actually the things that will lead to long-term fulfillment, and emotional peace, and fulfillment, and happiness, and joy, and aliveness. If you’re pursuing the sexual attractiveness thing, that will actually lead you in the wrong direction.
Now, finally, to end off, Dong. If what you’re looking for instead of just being sexually attractive to women in general, and which would be a marker of basically – if a lot of women, like 8 out of 10 attractive women liked you, that would be like, “Hey, yeah, you’re sexually attractive.” If that’s what you’re after, you shouldn’t be focusing on your career. You don’t need that. You just need to develop certain personality traits like being fun, easy going, assertive, adventurous and so on. That takes no money.
But if what you’re interested in instead is emotional fulfillment, then what you should be doing is finding that one woman out of 7 billion people. That means that you can have 6 billion rejections from men and women who just don’t like you, but it doesn’t matter because you found the one who does. And if you guys match, that’s awesome. In other words, this is a kind of polarizing self-selection process. If you’re looking for that one person who would give you the love, connection, and relationship, you shouldn’t give a fuck about what the other 9 out of 10 think about you.
That’s why it’s so inimical, the opposite of what the pick-up artists are trying to do. The pick-up artist would consider himself successful if the majority of the girls he approaches like him. This is his greatest weakness as well. He’s always going to be externally validated and he’s actually coming from a deep place of insecurity. But if you want emotional fulfillment, emotional health, joy, and true happiness in life, then you’ve got to go the other way. You should neither care what the 9 out of 10 who aren’t the type of person you’re looking for anyway, whether they like you or not, and you should be really gunning for the type of person that does match you on the personality traits that you’re looking for.
Now, really immature guys have no clue what that woman is because they have no clue who they want to be. Because most guys have either just been unknowingly going about their lives, just obeying shit like get good grades, especially Asian-Americans. They’re just obeying their parents. They may not think that now, but they still are. Dong is getting a career. That’s bullshit. “Get your career and you’ll be a good boy”, and that’s what they’re living out, right?
So they have no idea what they really want because they don’t know what they want for themselves. So when you take that existential leap and start asking the big ‘why’ questions, “What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life?” Something that we will be actually focusing on in detail in Lifestyle Mastery, a new course coming up. When they get to know themselves better and start to lead more self-actualized lives, lives that are basically – where they decide what they want and they go and get it – then you’ll be able to find a woman who matches that. And until you figure out what you want for yourself, you’re not going to be able to spot that in other people or in potential mates.
But once you do know that, that’s all you’re looking for and you shouldn’t give a fuck about attracting the majority of women. Because you don’t want the majority of women to be your wife, I hope. It’s not legal anymore. Okay, so there you go. The sun has totally set now. I got to sign off here. It’s just a beautiful lake even in the sunset. Anyway, David Tian, signing out. Join the private Facebook group. As you know, there’s a lot of deep concepts and things going on in there for your emotional fulfillment, and happiness, and joy in life. I’ll see you inside the group.
It’s David Tian, signing out. Man Up!