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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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She Wants To Keep It Casual
David Tian Ph.D. gives advice on pursuing women who just wants to date casually.
David Tian Ph.D identifies the real red flag in the situation.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. explains the concept of white knights and what they do.
Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video, I answer the question: What if she just wants to date casually? Welcome to Man Up Episode 225.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD and this is Man Up!
Hey. I’m David Tian, PhD and welcome to Man Up Episode 225. For over the past 10 years, I’ve been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness, and fulfillment in life and love. I hadn’t shot a Man Up in quite a while. I’ve been busy with the podcast, so make sure you get on the podcast. We’re going to be releasing one ever week. I’ve also been filming a seminar series, and we’ve been building out a vlog. That should be coming up soon. So a lot going on, and then of course, building out and welcoming guys in Lifestyle Mastery, a course that’s conducted partly live. We just started the first batch of that.
Also closed out our longest running live course recently, and getting very busy with creating the content for the final event for that. Welcome back to Man Up. I’ve got a question here from the Man Up private Facebook group which you should join. Click the link. Join the group. This one comes from Tommy. Tommy wrote his entire two-screen question in one paragraph. If you want to get your question answered by me or just get more engagement from the group, which is now over 21,000 guys and a few women, make sure that you have proper punctuation, that you have good grammar. That helps us understand what you’re trying to say better, and have paragraphs. That really helps.
I’m going to try to condense this. “Thank you for all the free information.” You’re welcome, Tom. “My situation is, I’ve been in an on-again, off-again relationship with a woman 10 years older than myself. She has two children from a 20-year relationship. She was 37 when she left that relationship. I met her when she started working with me, her 39, me 30.” Those are the facts that we get the context.
“And then I had the balls to ask her out for a date. It was amazing. We had so much fun, and then problems began. She told me from the beginning she wasn’t looking for a serious, long-term thing.” Things to pay attention to right here in the question. When she was 37, she was in a 20-year relationship with this guy, but she told him, because he doesn’t know the husband, ex-guy, ex-boyfriend or husband, because of abuse and controlling behavior. We’re always getting it from the woman’s perspective.
Whenever that happens and she’s stayed in it for 20 years, even if she was forced to stay in it, but obviously she lives in a free world so she could’ve left, that creates a psychological effect. It’s important to understand that background, that she was in an abusive relationship, so she says, and that she was with a man who exhibited controlling behavior.
“Then problems began,” he says. “She told me from the beginning she wasn’t looking for a serious, long-term thing.” He says, “I failed to acknowledge the red flag. I can see that she has tried to stay with me as we have a great time together. She told me from the beginning she wasn’t looking for a serious, long-term thing.” That’s not a red flag per se. You’re looking for a serious, long-term thing, but she’s not. I suppose in that sense, it’s a red flag for you because she is not looking for what you’re looking for, but she told you from the beginning so kudos to her. That’s what you ought to do.
She’s 37 with two kids, so that makes sense. She just got out of a 20-year relationship, and it’s only 2 years from that. I think that makes sense if she wouldn’t want to jump into a serious long-term thing again, especially since she has two children that she ostensibly wants to protect from having to deal with new father figures on a regular basis. It just sort of makes sense that she wouldn’t be looking for a serious long-term thing. In that sense, it’s not a red flag. She was honest with you and told it to you upfront, so kudos to her versus you.
You ignored that, and you continued. That’s a red flag for her. You ignored something that was very important. “Anyway, I can see that she has tried to stay with me as we have a great time together. It’s so painful because she can’t commit to me and keeps trying to friend zone me.” She told you from the beginning. You’re like, “It’s so painful because she can’t commit to me.” Well, she told you so you should’ve known. You should’ve manned up, been a man instead of being all like – trying to get her to commit to you when she already told you she wasn’t looking for that.
And then she keeps trying to friend zone him. That makes a lot of sense because you’re too clingy now, right? She told you from the beginning, “But I keep denying her so that we end up flirting and getting physical again.” He keeps denying letting her put him in her friend zone, that’s what he meant. “So we end up flirting, getting physical again”, so she likes you. She likes you physically, and you’re fun at the beginning of this relationship, ostensibly, for all the other relationships you had.
“Then I get too intense and text and talk on the phone too much, which ultimately leads to her breaking it off again.” Good that you know, Tommy. Good that you know. Now you know as far as the how to’s, it’s very simple. You want to reduce the volume and the pace at which you do that texting and talking so it’s not too much. “She has used all the lines, “I love you but only as a friend. We are at different stages. I can’t give you what you need and deserve.” Good.
So far, those are all things she should tell you and that’s a good thing. You ignored them, that’s your problem and that you’re fault. But the fact that she keeps giving in to the physical temptation, well, that’s not so good. She should man up with that. You say, “Now, I have reached the crossroads. Do I continue torturing myself with this woman I really want to keep?” Obviously not.
“Do I need to continue with that or do I accept that it can never work?” It’s not that it can never work. Usually, people who have neurotic trends or neurotic patterns in their relationships think in terms of ‘always’, ‘never’, ‘forever’, all of these sorts of universal terms. When you ask the question with a universal – ‘do I accept that it can never work?’ The answer is obviously no. It might work in the future.
We, as human beings, have imperfect knowledge of the future. Or actually, we have no knowledge of the future, we just guess, predict. We don’t know what changes might occur in her. I’m assuming that, given enough time and healing, she might be in a position where she wouldn’t be looking for a long-term relationship. It’s not happening right now, and she’s doing the honest thing of telling you over and over. You’re doing the wimpy guy thing, the cowardly thing, of not listening to her and trying to pressure her.
This is a great example of how nice guys are actually fake nice guys. They’re actually not that nice. They just pretend to be nice because they think that’s how they can get what they really want. In this case, she’s been telling you over and over, and being quite honest with you, and yet you’ve been trying to pressure her. This is worse than a player. There’s a good player, which are rare, by the way, but a player would be like her in the sense of – she’s like a player here.
He would be honest, “I’m not looking for a relationship. I’m not looking for anything serious.” The more courageous in her, an even better player would back out of a situation where he sees the other person, in your case, she’s a player here to you. In your case, she’s backing out of the relationship with you, Tommy, so that you don’t get tempted over and over and she has the strength, willpower, and the courage to not keep torturing you. That would be the real morally upright casual dater.
I’m not even sure ‘player’ is the right term here. She’s just a casual dater. You’re trying to pressure her, seduce her into committing. It’s an interesting turn of events in terms of sociology and how men have been vilified as the one who wants to just get sex and not a relationship. You flipped the script on that and she just wants sex and fun, and you want the relationship. Just be aware, man up. But hey, general it’s totally cool. She’s obviously in a position where she’s much more self-aware than you. She’s 37. She got two kids, came out of an abusive relationship, so power to her for knowing herself well enough that she knows she’s not ready for a serious thing.
“Okay, it is day one of complete disconnect. I saw her in the office. We met eyes.” They work in the same office, a complete disconnect is not ideal in that situation. I mean, complete disconnect, but there’s – calibrated disconnect is better. These are terms that come out of the free course I made, the master class on how to get your ex back. You’re going to be seeing her a bunch of times. You don’t want to be just ignoring her because then it’ll look out of the ordinary. You do want to just be civil, but just not like anything beyond that. And then I say a lot more about that particular strategy in the course, the free course that’s available inside the Man Up private Facebook group.
“I feel like if I don’t contact her, I will lose her to another guy.” Yeah. Well, that makes sense. If you focus on the feeling that you might lose her to another guy, you’re always going to be this needy guy that will repel her, in fact, repel any woman that you have a thought like that about. A lot of guys do. A lot of needy guys, co-dependent in this situation, they exhibit co-dependent behavior if not actually being co-dependent. What happens is that neediness overrides the previous fun, loving guy that she fell in love with, and now he becomes possessive.
That’s what you are right now. You’re a possessive. There goes the nice guy, right? It was just at provisional nice guy until he gets what he wants. Okay, “I feel like I’ll lose her to another guy. She is beautiful and has men lining up wanting her. Very, very likely.” If you keep thinking, “I’m losing her. I’m losing her.” That’s the wrong mindset to becoming an attractive guy again in her eyes. So, you’ve already lost her. She’s already told you over and over and you’ve decided that you’re going to have complete disconnect.
You cannot implement a complete disconnect or calibrated disconnected strategy, or any kind of ex back strategy, in fact, unless you let go of trying to possess her again. That’s why most people cannot actually implement a get the ex back strategy, because they’re actually doing all of those things – they’re supposed to be doing the good behavior, the effective behavior in order to get her. But that very mindset of, “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get her back” is the very thing that will sabotage the whole enterprise.
Which is why I say before you watch the Get Your Ex Back, you got to recover from the breakup so that you have that distance and independence and you can take it or leave it. That’s why in the course, I say before you start watching this Get Your Ex Back course, go through the Breakup Recovery course, which is much more important. Tommy has not recovered from the break-up. It’s day one. He is just implementing a little tactic, little strategy to manipulate her back into his life, and that will never work. You’ve got to recover from the break-up, get your mindset right, get your heart right in order to actually implement – put the mindset and psychology behind the actions and words, the behavior that you’re going to be doing as part of the Get Your Ex Back strategy.
This is this great, moralistic, sexually moralistic, judgmental attitude that comes out. This is very common among nice guys. They are usually co-dependent nice guys because they have a ton of shame. I’m going to be releasing soon a seminar series where I go in depth on shame. It’s not just for pick-up artists. Even worse than pick-up artists are the fake nice guys, which is almost all nice guys, who are trying to manipulate the woman or women to like them by being nice. I have a term for that, white knights, and most guys in the world who take the moral high ground are just white knights. They are fake.
He says it here, “Fortunately for me, so far, they have repulsed her with their purely sexual approaches.” Notice that he won’t take a purely sexual approach. By the way, she does, right? She is like, “Look, I just want to have fun.” And she says to him over and over, “I love you, but only as a friend. We are at different stages. I can’t give you what you need and deserve.” She’s trying to friend zone the guy and she just keeps hooking up with him. Like, friend zone, there’s no emotions here, but we’ll have some flirty fun.
He’s like, “Those guys, they just want sex. They’re awful.” What the fuck do you think she’s doing to you? Same fucking thing, but they’re so easy for these nice guys to take the moral high ground. It’s fake. He’s just waiting, “I hope I can manipulate her to get what I want by being a nice guy and maybe guilt her into it.” Whereas all these guys who are more forthright about what they want, “I hope those guys don’t get it”, but I think you actually have read the situation wrong. I’m not sure that’s actually correct. For all you know, she’s already hooked up with these purely sexual guys because she’s keeping you at arm’s length and not telling you everything. Also, she’s 37 and she seems self-aware enough to know she’s just looking for some fun and not a serious relationship.
Kudos to her. She shouldn’t be jumping into relationships with guys when she’s got two kids and two years out of a 20-year relationship, so it makes sense. You know, there was a comment on one of the YouTube videos which was like, “It seems like it’s always the guy’s fault.” Well, there’s a selection problem. I’m reading off questions that are in a group, where you go to this group and the people who post in the group – there are a lot of cool guys in there who give great advice. But the guys who post questions in the group are usually the ones who don’t know what the answer is. You’re getting a selection bias where you’re getting the guys who don’t understand attraction or relationships.
Is it always the guy’s fault? No, and obviously not, but the guys who ask the questions, yeah, generally, it is their fault because they’re reading the situation wrong. Or at least, there’s a fault on both sides. In this case, the only thing you can fault her on is that she should’ve not seen you anymore. She shouldn’t have tortured you by continuing to hook up with you. But you know, it seems like it’s about time that you get your arm’s width away from her. Okay, “I want to contact her so badly, but it’s only a matter of time until someone will build her attraction.” That’s true.
But again, what he’s doing is – let me read that sentence again. “Fortunately for me so far, they have repulsed her with their purely sexual approaches, but it’s only a matter of time until someone will build her attraction. And apparently, just – she will fall in love with him, that guy, and have sex with him. His possessiveness is coming in again, and the sexual moralism is coming up here. It’s quite obvious just in that one sentence, in his neediness, the co-dependency, just so you’re aware, Tommy, of all of those issues. I’ve got a lot of videos that go into much more depth on each of those. You can start with the nice guy, white knight syndrome video I did. It’s about 40 minutes long. It’s pretty in-depth on that.
What he’s saying here is she is a passive party in this. “It’s just a matter of time”, sort of like she’s a fish in the sea, and then if they just keep putting the bait down she’ll bite. This is a common nice guy / white knight view of women. They actually don’t see them as people with autonomy, not much autonomy. They see them as passive recipients of sex and attraction. That’s why he’s just – he keeps going at it even though he’s completely not listening to her, completely ignoring her. She’s been telling him repeatedly that she’s not looking for anything serious, and yet he just hangs on, hoping that he’ll eventually break down her defenses and give into his advances, and then he’s wondering why all of these other guys are coming in so strong, direct, and honest, and that they’re going to ‘repulse’ her.
That’s what he’s afraid to do. He’s afraid to come forward with what he really wants and be more forthright with that, be more direct and honest with that, because he’s afraid, “Well, it’s not going to work” which is actually true. Neither of these things will work. So, “Fortunately for me so far, they have repulsed her with their purely sexual approaches, but it’s only a matter of time until someone will build her attraction.” She is not just a passive party here. Men cannot seduce a woman unless she wants to be seduced. Just put that into an Instagram quote card.
“Men cannot seduce a woman unless she wants to be seduced.” They are just like you, Tommy. They are human beings. They have willpower. They have autonomy and independence of mind as much as you do. She can decide who to choose. She chooses the man. You’re making it seem like she’s a victim and these “Oh, these bad boys who are preying on her” – it’s such a common thing. It’s a very social justice warrior kind of view of things.
“I want to contact her so badly, but I know if she’s ever going to realize my value, I need to stick to your advice.” Good on you, Tommy. I like to hear that, that’s good. “I guess I just need a little reassurance.” No, actually, here’s my reassurance to you: You’ve got the wrong mindset here. Implement the How To Recover From A Breakup course first, and then get into the How To Get Your Ex Back course. You can’t implement the Ex Back strategies without the emotional distance, and you don’t have that.
Also, even if you somehow trick her into getting back into that relationship, which is very difficult, and I’ve already said, you cannot actually seduce her unless she wants to be, unless she gives in for that weakness when she knows she shouldn’t have been leading you on. But you know, maybe you can manipulate her momentarily to get back in that relationship. You will lose it again because you’re too immature for her based on what you’ve said. You still don’t understand sexual morality for a woman who is free and independent, and can hook up and have fun, and is not looking for something serious. She’s a casual dater. There’s a lot of moralistic judgmental attitudes around casual dating that these white knights bring to the situation, and they judge the guys. They never judge her.
They think of her as a passive victim in this whole thing. Actually, she’s, throughout this question that you’ve described, she’s the active one here. Okay, you have to mature in terms of your understanding of love and attraction, and dating and mating in the modern world. You have to mature in terms of your co-dependency issues in a relationship. If you do that, and then you implement, and along the way you’re implementing the How To Recover From A Breakup course, then you have hope of getting her – well, also, she’s like 50% or more of the equation.
If you want a relationship with her, which is what it sounds like, not just hooking up, which is what you had before, she was happy with that, but you want to get a commitment, you’re going to have to wait until she’s ready for a commitment. You can’t pressure her into settling down. She’s not looking for that right now. Man, it’s like these white knights think they’re doing the right thing, but they’re actually even more manipulative. Whereas the casual dater guy comes up and says, “Hey, look, I’m just looking for fun as well, you looking for fun?” And then these two people, they’re just consenting adults and they have fun. You’re coming in, being judgmental on both sides, but only to the guy. It’s easier for guys to judge other guys because part of their unconscious is, if they jump in as a white knight and hold the pass or whatever, they come in and rescue the maiden from the evil man, then they’ll be rewarded.
Most of the younger white knights, they hope they will be rewarded by sex. In your case, you hope you will be rewarded by a commitment, but you can’t force somebody to do that. She has her own free will as much as you do. “Okay, should I accept friendship because that would be true love?” No, neither. That would not be true love and you should not accept friendship because that’s not what you want. “Give up my sexual desire for her?” I think you should right now because she’s already fine with the sexual relationship, but that’s not what you wanted. You’re being all wishy-washy. Man up here.
“Give up all my sexual desire for her?” Again, you’ll have to wait it out until a time at which she is looking for a commitment instead of pressuring her into doing something she doesn’t want to do. That’s what you’re doing. These white knights are pressuring the female to do what the female doesn’t want to do, and they think of her as a passive victim with these ‘bad boys’ and they have all this animosity towards them. Go watch the White Knight Syndrome video I made. It also explains co-dependency and just be honest and more direct with who you are and your intentions, and listen when she says she doesn’t want X. That means she doesn’t want X, whether that is sex or a commitment. Listen. Don’t pressure her into trying to get it for yourself. That’s actually worse than the player boys that you hate so much.
Okay, “Any thoughts? Welcome hard truths and supportive comments.” Okay, those are hard truths. Let me give you some supportive comments. Good for you for going through the courses and being educated, but you got to go more thoroughly because when you wrote this, it was just day one of your complete disconnect. So, get into the How To Recover From A Breakup course first. Implement all of those life changes. Get started on that. Along the way, implement calibrated disconnect; you work with her, just be civil but don’t seek out anything further, and let her know that you need your space to reflect on things.
That will create that vacuum where she’s going to feel the need – the lack of you in her life. I go into all of this in more detail in those courses, so just review those courses, get into the How To Recover From A Breakup course, implement that thoroughly. Along the way, you’re going to also need to learn about your psychology. That will also help you learn about her psychology. Along the way, learn about the white knight syndrome and watch the Reality of Women course to understand why a woman would want casual sex in the first place.
A 37-year-old coming out of a 20-year abusive relationship with two kids, I mean, that makes a lot of sense that she’ll just want to casually date for this time. There you go. Understand your own issues. Understand the larger issues around mating and dating. I’ll see you in the Man Up private Facebook group. Click the link. Join the group. We approve join requests every day. I’ll see you in the group. Until then, David Tian, signing out. Man Up!