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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.
Connect with David Tian here:
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Why Your Ex Dumped You
David Tian Ph.D. explains why feelings fade over time.
David Tian Ph.D. discusses the possibility of bringing the passion back into the relationship.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. emphasizes the importance of emotions and shares it’s possible to be emotional while being masculine.
Boom! Listen up. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and in this video I’m going to be addressing why your ex dumped you. Welcome to Man Up Episode 146!
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!
Hey! It’s David Tian, Ph.D. and for over the past ten years, I’ve been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness and fulfillment in life and love through the application of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge research. And here I am in Singapore. You can see it behind me. I’m in our offices here and – pretty cool trees they got up there. Just double checking if the microphone’s working. Pretty cool trees up there. I thought it’d be a nice backdrop, and it’s good to be back in the office.
So, getting to question number – this is Episode 146. Question from the private Facebook group. This one comes from Seth – and pull up the question here. Okay, so this is another break up question. A lot of break up and break up recovery/ex type questions. Here we go.
Seth, “My girlfriend and I were together for almost a year. During this summer, we went on a holiday for three weeks and it was amazing. We viewed cities and nature, had a great time together, not a single argument. A few days after we got home, she told me she wasn’t feeling it anymore and wanted some time to think.”
Okay. “I asked her if she wanted to work on it together and solve it and she guaranteed “she had the same passion for our relationship”. Last Friday, she wanted to talk and it pretty resulted in “I’m done. Talk with friends. I don’t like you around anymore, it’s over. Can I go home now?” It came out of nowhere for me. It hurts. She always was an honest person for me. We trusted each other with everything and it turns out differently. She explained that she had the feeling during the holiday but never told anything to not ruin the holiday, which made me feel betrayed, angry, sad, disappointed, almost used.”
“We had some great moments in bed and now I discovered that she faked that all just to keep a nice holiday, and she didn’t explain why nor did she take the time to at least take a single attempt to fix things. She just left me in the dark. I don’t have any real close friends with whom I can discuss these issues, and she was a great ear whenever I had something. Same goes for her. We had great talks about each other’s problems, now I just don’t know how to move on.”
Okay, so before I continue reading, going back to the beginning there. So, they went on a holiday and they were together for almost a year, and then she says that she felt differently already on the holiday but didn’t want to ruin the holiday. And he’s trying to understand what’s going on. So, one thing, it sounds like you guys are pretty young. I haven’t had the opportunity to follow up and ask his age, but I’m guessing in the 20’s. And one of the things is – maybe even early 20s, just the way you talk about holidays.
And one of the issues here is that she’s very much ruled by her feelings. So, you got to aware that for the average person – I should say the majority of people – there’s going to be a honeymoon period in the relationship that lasts up to – it could be up to 18 months, the standard if it’s a normal relationship, it’s up to the six month mark – and then if you have a lot of polarity in that relationship and you keep your lives independent of each other, that honeymoon stage could go into 18 months. It could go possibly up to 3 years.
And then naturally, the passion, the normal passion is going to fade. And a lot of scientists or psychologists have already tracked this – as a difference between passionate attraction and companionate attraction. And that’s a theme that I’ve brought up over and over in these Man Up episodes. So, one of the things you can do is to Google Jonathan Haidt. H-A-I-D-T. And he’s got a handy chart on the companionate attraction, passionate attraction difference about intensity over time.
And most people don’t know how to make that transition from passionate attraction to companionate attraction. And in fact, they feel qualitatively different when you’re making that switch. So, a lot of young people are stuck in that Romeo and Juliet myth. The Romeo and Juliet myth is interesting because when Romeo and Juliet was written, that was a time where there wasn’t casual dating. So, the fact that these stupid young kids could be so stupid that they let their passions rule their behavior – especially with these long-term consequences – it wasn’t supposed to be like, “Oh, this fairytale romance.”
Because now moderns read it and go, “Oh wow, that’s so romantic. What an ideal.” But when it was written, “This is a tale, it’s a lesson, morality lesson for youngsters not to be stupid.” Look what happens at the end. Sorry to ruin it for anyone if you haven’t read the play yet, but they killed themselves because they’re so stupid. I can’t remember who did it first, but one of them thinks the other one’s dead, the other one’s just playing dead. So, that one who thinks the other one’s dead, takes poison and that person dies. And then the other one wakes up from playing dead, realizes, “Holy shit, that person’s dead”, and they commit suicide.
So, they both die out of being so stupid. And now, we’re in 2016 and we think that that is – we still hold that as an ideal. And more and more so, I think. More and more so, young people are buying into this – that love is purely about this feeling, when it shouldn’t be that way only. It’s more than just feelings. And as long as it’s just a feeling, you’re always going to be at the mercy of feelings, how they’re fickle – fickle feelings, right? They will change. And she decides one day, “You know, I don’t feel the same way anymore. Alright. If I don’t feel it, then it’s over.”
No relationship with this girl is going to last because at some point the passion, the butterflies in the stomach, will fade necessarily and you’ve got to do the work to bring the passion back into that relationship. And it’s possible. It’s very doable to bring the passion back in a relationship, but it requires work. It requires actual effort and conscious application and deliberate application. But right now, she’s too immature for a long-term relationship. As soon as the feelings fade, she fades, literally goes away, and she says, you know these words were pretty cold right, “I don’t like you around anymore. It’s over. Can I go home now?”
And this is a typical young person’s fickleness of their feelings in a relationship. So, if you’re in a relationship and it’s purely based on feelings and not on your word, not on integrity, not on compassion, not on anything more deep and abiding than just, “Oh hey, that’s fun. As long as it’s fun, we’ll stay together.” That there’s got to be something deeper than that, otherwise it’s just a very long fling.
So now, we get to the issue here, which is that he’s so disappointed and sad because he doesn’t actually understand – Seth – how relationships work. But even worse, let’s go down to the third paragraph. “I don’t have any real close friends with whom I can discuss these issues.” And that’s one of your biggest problems: the fact that your guy friends – or even if you’ve got a close female friend or a sister, isn’t going to be around to talk about emotional stuff, means that you basically don’t have any real friends. You just have people – partners – to play games with, basically, but they’re not friends.
A deep friendship is one where you share everything. You share your emotions. You share what’s going on in your inner life. That is one of the things that makes friends – a deep friendship special, is the fact that you can open up and share and be vulnerable with this person and with your friends. And the fact that you don’t have any means that in that romantic relationship, you for sure were needy. If you were putting all of your – and this is so common for most dudes. This is one of the issues about masculinity. Most guys don’t have friends that are comfortable or equipped or trained in emotional connection, and even self-awareness of their own emotions. So, how the fuck are they going to open up and be vulnerable with each other? They can’t even do it for themselves.
So, because they’re lacking that, they get a girlfriend and she’s the only conduit this guy has for emotional connection, and vulnerability, and opening up. Imagine how needy he will be in that relationship, and how gross and sickly it will be because he’s putting all of that onto her. So, it’s not fair to her, and it’s an unfulfilling life. So hey guys, most of you suck at emotions. Come to me, come to the Man Up group, join the Man Up group, get some education on your emotions, on masculinity, how to be emotional while being masculine, and even in a very strong sense emotional as a masculine, because your life is stunted and you will fuck up all your relationships unless you do so.
So, this is another example. Now, the guy’s heartbroken. He’s like wah-wah-wah, and he doesn’t have any close friends to talk about this, to discuss emotional issues. Basically, he doesn’t have any good friends, people that I would count as friends. He doesn’t have any. So, of course, your relationship’s going to suck and you’re going to be way needy in the relationship, and you’re going to be way too clingy in it, and you’re putting way too much pressure emotionally onto her, and it’s just not going to be a very healthy situation.
If you don’t have any close guy friends, get a therapist, because at least you’ll have somebody who should be equipped and capable of going to the emotional talk, and then that way you don’t turn your girlfriend into your therapist. Everyone needs counselling. Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on. Everyone needs somebody who understand them and is going to listen to them when they want to open up and talk about their inner thoughts and beliefs. And issues, and feelings, and emotions, and all of that. So, if you don’t have that, I pity you and you should go and get a counselor for that.
And what ends up happening is, he just holds it all in, bottles it up, and then finds a girlfriend and puts it all on her – it’s not attractive and you’re going to be needy in the relationship. This is what happens. When she goes away, he’s got no – it’s like cutting off an umbilical cord. There’s no way for him to get that emotional connection anymore, and we all need it, we all require it. It’s an actual need as a human being that we have for emotional connection.
And a lot of guys are very stunted in that way because they just don’t connect. They’re not connecting to themselves, they’re not connected to other human beings. “Now, I just don’t know how to move on. Just the thought of not seeing her anymore stings. Not having that shoulder to cuddle during hard times or being that much needed ear for her. I know I deserve better and that I should just move on, but somewhere deep inside I’m praying or hoping that she will eventually miss me and want me back, and I shouldn’t because it is breaking me.”
Well, she might want you back, but that doesn’t mean anything. I mean, if she wants you back one day, the next day she might not want you anymore, just like what happened. So, just her – basing an entire future based on fickle feelings that could change day to day is really stupid. That’s a horrible investment strategy. And secondly, even if you did get back into the relationship, you’re going to fuck it up anyway because you have no other conduits or no other people to connect with and you’re putting it all on her. So, the whole pattern’s going to repeat again.
You’re right in saying that it’s best if you don’t get back with her, but I understand how hard it is. I’m actually going to be creating a free video course on recovering from a breakup. So, go into the Man Up group, get that free video course. All you got to do is join the group. We approve requests multiple times a day. Inside that group, there’s a pinned post, tap the pinned post and you’ll see the link to how to get your free video courses. There’s free video courses – I’m going from getting out of the friendzone, from friends and lovers, I think we called it, or friendzone – endzone or something fun like that.
And then there are going to be courses on recovering from a breakup and getting over your ex, as well as hopefully one I’m creating on getting your ex back. That’s going to be a big one, so we’ll see. I’ll go sit down and do that one. So, join the private Facebook group for that free video course – and all the other video courses. I’ve got one on starting conversations with women, and with people, and all this, so join the private Facebook group. I try to put as much free content in there as possible, and I’ll see you in the group.
Until then, Man Up!