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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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My Ex Having Sex
David Tian Ph.D. explains why it is hard to recover or move on from a break-up.
David Tian Ph.D. talks about the problem that relationship anchors bring.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. shares how you can break away from these relationship anchors.
David Tian: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD, and in this video, I answer the question: How do I stop thinking about my ex getting sexual with other guys? Welcome to Man Up 202.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!
Hey, 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 Episode 202. I’m in New York, as you can see. It will be kind of noisy in the background, but for all my Asian brothers and for all of those who do not normally see New York, I thought it’d be cool to show you a bit of New York in the background. We’re at Saks Fifth here, about to do a little worship at the site of consumerism. But before we do that, it’s interesting to see that it is a across from a place of worship. Two different types of worship.
Okay, welcome. All right, this should be Episode 202. If whatever episode number is underneath me, that is the correct one. I got a question here from the Man Up private Facebook group from Joshua. He asks:
“Hey guys, any advice for coming to terms with the fact that my ex can, and probably has, had sex with someone else? I keep getting this gnawing thought imagining her opening her body up to someone else, and I logically understand we are both independent and single, but that doesn’t help fight the sickening feeling.”
Okay, Joshua. Joshua is in the major throws of it. The normal thing he should be doing is to go through the Wake Up Recovery course, how to recover from a breakup. That’s in the Man Up Master Classes. He’s already done that. He’s in there. He clearly has not gone through the course correctly, so the standard things in the course I’m not going to repeat here. If you don’t have access to that course, it’s free. It’s complimentary. Join the private Facebook group, and then just follow the instructions to download or access that video course. There’s a set of slides I go through it, so if you like to read, you can look at the slides. If you learn through video or audio, you can watch that material.
The overarching principle in recovering from a breakup, or trying to just move on from a relationship, is that the – the problem is, the relationship has created a lot of anchors. Let’s say for instance you used to go shopping a lot with your girlfriend. You used to go to Saks Fifth avenue a lot. Guess what? If that was a year or two, your relationship, every time you walk by Saks Fifth Avenue for the next few months, you’re going to be reminded of that relationship, that fun time that you did this or whatever at Saks Fifth.
If you were the one who was dumped, most of those memories will be positive. If you’re the one who left that person, a lot of those memories will be negative, or it will be overwhelmingly negative. That would be why you decide to leave that relationship. But most of the guys who are looking for a course like how to recover from an ex were the ones who got dumped. Either way, you’re going to have anchors. Anchors are things that are associations, either something you see visually, something that comes through the five senses.
It could be a smell. It could be her perfume. If a woman walks by wearing her perfume, you’re going to get triggered and remember her again. It can be smell, sight, sound, the songs that you guys used to listen to when you were together. Sight, sound, smell, taste definitely, and touch to a lesser extent. Any of those senses could trigger some memory. What happens is if you have a strong emotional experience, whatever you’re sensing through the five senses would get linked together. When one of them gets triggered, it gets anchored to the memory of that event, of that emotional experience with that woman.
The process of getting over the ex is not just intellectually realizing that you are better off without her, which is a necessary part of that process, and then intellectually understanding why the relationship fell apart, and just learning intellectually, moving forward, and having that cognitive understanding. But at the emotional level, it’s about breaking those anchors. You got to replace the old anchors, break the old anchors and replace the old ones with new anchors. That’s why one of the best things you can do is travel, and travel alone or with people that you really enjoy being around. You’ll be able to recreate associations. Moving to a whole new city will mean that it’ll take…
Over time, those anchors will disappear. Depending on how strong the anchors are, it just takes longer for them to disappear, but time reduces the effect. In some cases, they are very strong anchors like in severe traumas for instance. Time doesn’t even fix it. But in many cases with a relationship, time and time alone will fix the problem. While that’s happening, you can retrigger the anchor, and then the anchor could get reinforced, even though the relationship is over. That’s often what guys go through.
Anyway, the course walks you through how to do that in a systematic, step-by-step fashion. I’m not going to go through that course. For all of you who haven’t gone through the course, go through that course. Joshua has access to the course. What Joshua needs specifically, he’s saying that he’s having trouble because he continues to picture his ex sexually involved with some other guy. That’s haunting him because he has this sort of possession over her, and that’s probably ruined the relationship. You can see why going out with a guy like that would ruin a relationship.
Anyway, he’s going to break the anchor. It’s all about anchors. Here’s a little tip that I don’t include in that course because it’s not for most people, but it is for a minority of them, and that’s where you still think that the ex is physically attractive, still turns you on physically, and that you are having trouble getting physical or sexual with other women because all of the anchors, whether it’s touch of skin, breasts, body parts, the sexual act itself is anchored to her. That’s the case with a lot of virgins who lose their virginity with that first break-up. That’s a big deal. Or if they have little sexual experience, then the little bit that they do have gets magnified in importance. It’s harder for them to replace those.
Here’s a little trick. This is from straight-up from anchoring. How do you replace an anchor? Here’s an easy way: replace it with an anchor that will turn you off. Here’s a really easy trick. Go look on YouTube, search for disgusting things. The most disgusting thing you can find. There are people who apparently have bugs in their noses and ears, and then for months or years, the bugs just lay eggs, and they get stuck in the inside of the nose cavity, in the ear cavity. Doctors go in with the scope thing, and you can see the video of it, and then the tweezer goes in and plucks the carcasses of these dead insects and other larva shit out of the guy’s nose and ears. It’s really gross.
Stuff like that. There’s one I saw of an ape, a gorilla, and it has embedded in its neck larva of worms. They had grown and it was just disgusting. They couldn’t save the gorilla, but basically there’s video of them taking out these squirming larva, it’s just disgusting, out of the poor gorilla’s neck. I don’t know what else is there right now, but just have fun looking for disgusting stuff. Basically, what you’re going to do this, you’re going to open up one window, you’re going to have the disgusting video playing.
You’re going to open up another window where you have full-blown in full-color, her, like the sexiest image that you have of her, that when you close your eyes and you’re haunted by her having sex with the other guy, the image of her, the closest thing that resembles that haunting image. It’s probably like full-blown, full-color and it’s big. There are all other kinds of NLP ways of replacing it, but this is the easiest. There are other ones where you shrink that image of her, you put it in a different part of your imagination, visual field, you shrink it, you make it black and white, and you make it say stupid noises, and you throw it out, and it gets smaller and smaller. That works too, but this is even more powerful.
What you’ll do is, first you watch that disgusting YouTube video, or it could be a series of them. You could just do this as much as you want. The more you do it, the more the effect is felt. Get that disgusting video, and then at the height of this disgust, where you’re like, “Ahh, gross!” Just toggle. Depending on your computer, it’ll be like control+tab or whatever, and you just tab over to her. And then you see her. Right when you have the disgust back and you see her ‘sexy’ photo, and then you go back and forth. You’re like disgusted, see her, disgusted, see her, disgusted, see her, disgusted, see her, disgusted, see her. You just do that over and over and over again.
And then go to the next disgusting video. And at the height of the disgustingness, you just do that. And as you get better at this, you can toggle much faster. It’s like you barely see it, but your unconscious brain will register the images, and you’ll begin to associate very quickly, depending on how disgusting you find that video, you’ll associate the disgust mechanism with her image. It’s disgust, her image, disgust, her image, disgust, her image, and rinse and repeat that. And basically, the disgust and her image will come together, and you’ll be disgusted by her image. The next time you see her, you’ll be like, “Ughh, gross!” You’ll have, in your mind, you’ll start to see – it’s a bizarre thing, you’ll see her and then you’ll see the disgusting shit you were looking at.
That’s just using NLP. That’s exactly breaking anchors and replacing them, but it does it much quicker. Joshua, there is your advice. End this video right now. Turn the video off. Do that right now. Do it for 10 minutes a day, and do it for 10 minutes a day for the next 30 days and let us know how you feel. For the rest of Joshua, end the video now. See you later, Joshua. Power to you. See you in the Man Up group. For the rest of you, okay, don’t do this if you have kids with her, or you’re planning to get back together with her, because then there’s pretty much no hope now. Once you do that, you’re going to have to undo that anchor, which is really going to be really hard to do, and then you have to replace it again. You have to do all of this work again.
But if you’re convinced this is over and you just want to get out of it, then do this. It’s pretty powerful. That’s another reason I don’t put it in the course. I hope you can see how you’re now going to create unconsciously that association of disgust with her image. Pretty fucking powerful. You are welcome. Little tips and tactics you probably didn’t think of.
Join the private Facebook group. That’s where Joshua asked his question. There are a lot of senior guys in there, mature guys answering in there. That helps out my workload in there as well, but if you want to interact with me, that’s the place to do it. I’ll see you inside the private Facebook group. Click the link. Join the group. I’ll see you inside. Until then, David Tian, signing out. Man Up!