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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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When Your Ex Has Moved On But You Haven’t
David Tian Ph.D. discusses how self-worth is related to vulnerability.
David Tian Ph.D. tells us the masculine way to handle the situation.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. reveals what’s wrong in the situation and why you may need therapy.
David Tian: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video, I address the issue: What to do when your ex has moved on and you haven’t? Welcome to Man Up Episode 164.
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 eleven years, I’ve been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness and fulfillment in life and love, and welcome to Episode 164 of Man Up. It is Christmas Day here in Bangkok – and sunny Bangkok. Well actually, the sun is setting behind me and my phone, which has the question. Okay, it was dead. So, I’m here in Bangkok and there’s no snow, it’s not cold at all, but the weather is beautiful and let me just get to the question.
So, this is a question from Trevor, and it’s sort of long. I’m going to try to read out as much as I can and then analyze along the way. This is another break-up question. I’ve been getting a lot of break-up questions, and I originally created a set of free courses. There’s two, actually. One is called ‘How to Recover from a Breakup’ and the second one is called ‘How to Get Your Ex Back’. Two courses that have been repeatedly requested over the past year. So now, I’m just trying to get people to go to those because I still keep getting the questions.
The questions don’t stop just because I made those free courses. So I still need to answer the questions and direct these guys there. So, Trevor’s question – he had a breakup four months ago. “Recently, I confronted my ex to give her gift for the holidays. Like an idiot, we started talking. She saw the self-made cuts and noticed how tired I was.” So, he’s been cutting himself. “She’s been going through a hard time too, but she says she still cares.” That sounds like pity. You never want to be in a situation where — he’s basically blackmailing her emotionally to get back together. “Look at how much I’m hurt! Aren’t you going to feel sorry for me and come back and fuck me?” That’s not how it works, man.
“Fast forward, and now I ask all the questions on my mind, and I come to fear that she’s already moved on.” Of course. Four months ago, he’s still clinging on and that means that he’s not going to get her back, because that’s one of the prerequisites to actually not be wishing for it and wondering about it all the time. “And I come to fear that she’s already move on.” Of course, she’s already moved on, dude. If you can’t come to grips with the fact that she’s already moved on, you won’t be attractive as a human being, sexually.
That’s one of the first steps. So, they dated a year and six months, and were broken up for four. “But I guess that wasn’t enough for her to feel pain like me.” You hear this guy is super nice guy in the fixer mindset of like, “Let me be the guy who will fix all of your problems”, when in reality he’s the one who needs fixing. And then when he can’t handle it – there’s nothing left to do! There’s nothing you can do to get her back. “I guess all I can do is cut myself!” I’m doing this in a way to be entertaining, but I feel for you, man.
I know you can’t feel it, but I feel for you. “She’s fallen for another guy in her art class, and I’m just sitting here feeling like a fucking piece of garbage.” Okay. You know there’s some serious worth issues here. Just because she, out of seven billion people, found another guy in her art class four months after your year and a half relationship, you feel like a fucking piece of garbage. “The same that she tossed out when getting over what we had. Needless to say, I got mad and lashed out.” Yeah, dude.
Okay, so I’m not going to talk to Trevor right now because he’s not in the frame of mind to take this advice or to see the truth, but I’m talking to everybody else who is in this situation – maybe not as deep as Trevor, but is in the situation of basically, where you’re talking to yourself after the break-up like, “How could she do this?” Right? “We had what he had. What we had, this thing, and so amazing. And how could she just throw it out? How could she not be in pain like me?” Right? And that’s why I created those free courses. I actually walked through guys, and I sympathized with them, I tried to emphasize with them.
Because to understand — that that’s where you are emotionally. You have to go there. But you got to grow out of that because you’re not going to attract anybody like that and it’s a horrible place to be. It’s like living hell, right? It’s even worse than physical pain, which is why the pain of cutting is less than the pain of feeling these emotions of the breakup and feeling like he’s rejected, like he’s of no worth at all. And I understand – let me explain to the guys who maybe aren’t in a breakup or have never had one or never been in love and been rejected later on. Basically, when you open up to another human being and become vulnerable in a relationship, they’re the one human being that you’re looking for the most to tell you you’re worthy.
And when they say, “I’m not really feeling it right now. I don’t want you anymore.” What you hear is, “You are worthless as a human being.” The one human being, who before that woman, was your mother or your father, is now that woman. You put it all on her. You put all your chips on her, and it doesn’t take a lot for guys who aren’t vulnerable – vulnerability takes a lot of courage – who aren’t vulnerable, for them to be vulnerable in their way, their immature way, of opening up to this girl and giving her all, giving her his all, and then having that thrown back in their faces during the breakup, or just by the act of the breakup, makes him feel like he has no self-worth as all.
That’s where he’s at right now. He has to get back his worth as a human being, and you can’t do that, Trevor, and all of you guys, and all of us, by putting our self-worth at the mercy of another human being. You can’t wait until somebody tells you you’re worthy for you to feel worthy, or otherwise you will never truly feel worthy. And this is his situation. He’s put it all on her. She said, “Nope. No thanks.” And now he feels like he got a big goose egg on the scorecard of life. And then he lashes out, because at the end that’s all he’s got.
“Needless to say, I got mad and lashed out. I feel so conflicted. She says that she cares about me and hopes I don’t do anything drastic. I already got locked up for attempted suicide. Not to worry, my cutting days are gone, yet it feels like they might come back.” So whenever suicide comes up and you don’t go through with it, it’s even worse. Especially when you bring it up with another human being. Partly what’s happening is a cry for attention, and there’s crying for attention because you’re not giving yourself the love that you crave and need, and you’re hoping somebody else will but you don’t know how to get it. So, you’re like a little two year old kid – literally a two year old, like you’re in the terrible twos – and you’re just lashing out randomly, hoping some adult or a benevolent deity will come and pick you up and tell you you’re lovable, that you are worthy of love.
And the suicide attempt is a last ditch attempt to redo the terrible twos method of just getting attention and hoping somebody will love you as a result. So, it’s okay. You need to get a hold of yourself. And the way to do that is not by powering through it like a man does, like taking a blade and cutting yourself, and taking control and doing violent things, and lashing out, being mad, is not a masculine way of handling the situation. It’s a macho way, but a macho way is an immature way. I’ll get to the solution at the end here, we’re almost done.
“I don’t have any answers and I’m out of questions. Can I get anything, advice, step-by-step instructions to fix my fucking mistakes?” Yes. I have step-by-step instructions in the step-by-step video course I made on how to recover from a breakup. So, go and get that, Trevor. Join the private Facebook group – well actually, you’re in the private Facebook group. So just opt into the primer and get the free video course on how to recover from a breakup. It’ll walk you through there step-by-step. Considering you’re on the verge of suicide, the three hours that it’d take to go through the course is going to be no investment at all for you and will save your life.
Part of the advice there is in extreme cases, and I would say yours is because of the level of — I was going to say immaturity, but we were all in that situation at some point — but you need to just grow out of it, and you need support on a consistent basis: somebody who is there for you in emergencies that you can just call, and somebody who is there that you can see on a weekly or daily basis – if you can afford it – and that would be a therapist. And here’s a little bit more.
“What did I do? I treated her with respect, and she said herself I did nothing. So what do I do?” This is like the guy, “What did I do wrong? What did I do? What did I do?” Those guys, right? This is what you do. Cutting yourself is what you did wrong. If you’re in the situation where a breakup would cause you to commit suicide, that’s what you did wrong. The emotions and the psychology is what is wrong. So in a way, the whole thing is wrong, the entire relationship is wrong. There’s nothing you can do in a relationship if your psychology is wrong, if you’re coming from an immature place.
So, get that free video course. It’ll walk you through actual, concrete steps of ‘do this, do that’. It will also explain to you the psychology of getting out of the breakup and recovering and becoming stronger, but you also need support. I’m a coach. I’m not a therapist. You need a rock to fall back on. You need somebody to be there to rely on when there’s emergencies that you can just call up in these situations. You need a therapist and you got to get a hold of a 24 hour hotline where you can call in emergencies when you feel really, really low and you just need someone to talk to to hash these things out.
So, you can ask that person, “What did I do wrong?” Because you’ve probably got no friends right now. Probably, all your guy friends are liked tired of your shit because all you’re doing is asking questions, meaningless ones, into the sky like, “What did I do wrong?” That sort of thing, right? So, you’re repelling all of your dude friends who are like, “Dude, just have a beer.” So, get a therapist, man. You need one. And I would say, even if you’re emotionally healthy and strong as fuck, if you can afford it, why not? Get somebody that you can talk to, whose entire job it is to listen to you and walk you through your thoughts.
I mean, that sounds awesome instead of having to chew out your friend’s ears for it. And Trevor, you are in a very vulnerable position right now. And if you don’t grow from this… There’s only up from here, actually. You’re at such a low point that you absolutely need a therapist. And what’s going to happen when you begin therapy in this state of mind is you’re going to be very resistant. The reason you’re asking, “What did I do wrong?” is because you can’t see what you did wrong. You’re actually unwilling to. Get that free video course, it will help you a long way through.
But what I worry is that you’re in such a state of not just confusion, but of resistance because of your position. Your position is, “I did everything right. I did the best I could. What else can anyone ask of me?” And that’s where the anger is coming from. That’s where the lashing out and bitterness is coming from. And until you can let go of that, you’re never going to grow.
So action points: Get the free video course on how to recover from a breakup. Get that course, go through it step-by-step. The second is look for a good therapist. It might take two or three attempts to find a therapist, and just persist. Just keep going through it, talking to a professional. I would say there’s no shame, but actually there’s a lot of pride in this. I want all of you guys fucking listen to this. You’re not a fucking man unless you have a therapist, how about that? Or a team of therapists. Or you’re not a man until you can fucking afford a therapist and not fucking think about it. To like pay somebody…
I mean, how badass is this, right? Imagine you have a trainer who follows you around 24/7. Actually, I know a guy who does that, Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s got a CEO for his body. Imagine you have enough money, you don’t fucking care, but your priorities are ‘take care of my body. I have a trainer who tells me what to eat, is spotting all my workouts, but on top of that is making sure I get enough active movement and all this stuff, and sleeps at the right time.’ Imagine how badass that is? It’s like Iron Man with Pepper Potts, the personal assistant who takes out the trash and does his dry cleaning. But you got somebody for your body. Now, how about this?
Get a trainer for your mind. How badass is that? Get a trainer for your mind. Get a trainer for your heart. That’s badass, man. That’s not pussy. That’s not weak. That’s strong. That’s badass. That’s a boss. Be a boss, man. Get a team of therapists. Get a team of counselors. Get a team of coaches behind you. That’s badass. Get Team whatever-your-name-is, right? So for me, it’s Team David. Get a team surrounding you, supporting you on all aspects of your life that you want to rock it on. Get a team around you. Get a team of support. That’s boss. That’s badass.
If you can’t make the money right now, there are lots of ways to go online and get a group. Or there are actually some new companies right now for — therapy is a horrible term. It’s a horrible word because it makes it sound like you’re broken. Like, usually you think of physical therapists as somebody that you go to see when you break your arm or you break your leg or something, and they put you – fuck therapy. It’s counselling. It’s like coaching. Coaching is more about results. “Here A to get to B, and you go there and we get to the results”, right?
Therapy is more something that’s there all the way through. That’s something that you can follow on, so that no matter how bad life gets that week, you know that’s there. That’s coming up. That session’s coming up. That’s for you. Get that team around you. Get coaches and therapists. If you can’t afford it, like I was saying right now, like on a regular basis, you can do – there are some apps where you can, I forget the names of those but there are a whole bunch of aggregators for therapists that basically you pay a set fee, same fee for everyone. I think you can get as low as 80 bucks an hour or something. It could be even lower, maybe 15, 20, I don’t know.
The standard rate for a good therapist is 200 an hour. If you can’t afford that, there are companies that basically hook you up on the internet. You do Skype therapy and that’s cheaper. Or here’s another hack, is if you’re in a university town, go to the university clinic. There are going to be fellows. They’ve already done their PhDs and they’re working on the practicum year, and they need to do a year of supervised practice. They’ll do it for real cheap. Especially if you’re an actual student, it’s almost going to be zero dollars for that. But even if you’re a member of the public, they always need people to practice with to help them with their problems.
And that could be you. It could be – I don’t know how much it is, 35 something like that an hour. Go check that out. There are a lot of different ways around it, but you absolutely must drop the fucking ego bullshit about macho bullshit and get that team around you. Get that team of support around you. The teams for your mind, your body, your finances, your wealth, everything; fashion, style. That’s boss. There’s no shame around it. That’s boss. That’s stepping it up. Level up. It is a new year, man. Level it up.
The first thing you should do, though, obviously is to join the private Facebook group, get the free course on breakup recovery for all of you guys listening, who that title of this video appeal to, that’s what you got to do. So, click the link. Join the private Facebook group. I’ll see you inside there and get your free course, the breakup recovery. Happy holidays. And to everyone around the world, I’ll see you in the New Year. It’s David Tian, signing out. Man Up!