Man Up | Ep. 184 • March 29, 2017
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or 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 Asian philosophy 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. 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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David Tian: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video I answer the question: What if she dumps you when you’re depressed? Welcome to Man Up Episode 184.
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 Bali. We’re in the Seminyak Beach here and it’s the beach right off The W, as you can see here, The Big W.
Still on the way to breakfast. I thought I’d shoot one more just because it’s a beautiful day. It’s supposed to be raining today. But as you can see, it’s just beautiful and really nice. Okay, so this is a really good question. Another ex question. But it’s three paragraphs. I’m going to read out most of it to you so you have context for it.
And it’s a really good question; very important for you all to pay attention to. By the way, welcome to Man Up Episode 184.
“Yesterday, my girlfriend of four months sat me down and told me she didn’t feel like our relationship was what was best for her anymore. She told me it was due to an extended lull on our relationship due to a strong depression that I’ve slipped into over the last four to six weeks. I haven’t been able to bring myself out of it or take steps to better myself until last Friday/Saturday when she told me how concerned she was for me. It was a heavy conversation.”
“But she finally got through to me. Saturday, I resolved to start seeing a therapist, among other things I believe will help me mentally.” So, you’ve just started seeing a therapist. Let’s just put that into context, he’s just started.
“But despite telling her, she still dumped me on Sunday.” So, you’re like, “Hey, woman, I haven’t even started but I’m going to. Stay with me.” Okay.
“We’re both seniors in university and she does not feel like this rut is worth pushing through if graduation is only two months away anyway. She’s a self-admitted selfish person but she had been always loving, supporting, and compassionate until now. I feel absolutely backstabbed and heartbroken as it came as a total shock, out of the blue to me.”
I don’t think so. It wouldn’t have come as a total shock if you were like, “Hey, look, I’m seeing a therapist. Don’t leave me.” So, obviously, it wasn’t a total shock, so get over it, little boy.
“I feel like it was a shitty thing to do to give me a push to be better on Friday.” Okay. “How dare you make me a better person on Friday and then dump me on Sunday despite my turning a corner?” How the fuck did you turn a corner asshole? I didn’t even notice this one. Dude, are you motherfucking serious? You lazy college kids. I have no respect for any of you, none of you.
Notice I don’t choose questions from college kids most of the time because they’re stupid and lazy, just like you. Look at this.
What work did you do, asshole? All you did was book a fucking therapist and had a therapy session. Step it for fuck up, man. Raise your fucking level, raise your fucking standards. Anyway, “But despite me trying to better myself on Friday, yet dumping me on Sunday despite my turning a corner.”
“Can anybody rationalize her decision?” Yeah, you’re a fucking lazy fucktard. “I understand it, but I think she is making a mistake. I am an amazing boyfriend.” Really? I somehow doubt it. “She does not have as much relationship experience as I do, and this was her longest relationship to-date. Could it be that she doesn’t understand how a long-term relationship operates?”
Yeah, you’re a fucking needy guy and you bloodsuck all of the people who get close to you, probably. “I don’t feel like it was a fair thing for her to trick me when I’m down.”
Look, if you are in chronic depression, as it sounds like you’re making it sound like, she has a choice to make. I’ve been making fun of him for this whole while, but really that wasn’t the point of this. I just didn’t realize how pathetic he sounded when I first read that question. I just read it once and I’m like, “Okay, I will do this one.”
So, there we go. Dude, you suck. You haven’t really worked hard at this yet. To think that it was a big deal for you to book an appointment with a therapist? I don’t even know what to say to that. That’s just comical. I think for her, if I were her friend, I would tell her, “You should’ve dumped his ass a long time ago.”
But you do raise a valid point about – does she know what a long-term relationship entails? I’ve been saying in previous episodes that real love is not just an emotion or a feeling, it’s also a commitment, it’s a behavior, it’s an attitude, it’s an action, it’s a decision to stick with it, even when the feelings aren’t there. So, what’s important to realize though is nobody is obligated to love anyone else unless you are literally a dependent.
There might be some kind of moral obligation or responsibility, for parents to love a child. But it’s arguable. There’s no obligation whatsoever for a girlfriend to love a boyfriend. That’s her choice, free will, she decides whether she freely wants to give that love to him. There’s no obligation there.
And she can withdraw it at any time, as you are also a man, able to withdraw your love at any time. That’s totally within your freedom. Now, if you enter a marriage contract, depending on how seriously you take that verbal contract – the verbal contract is usually a love vow, right? “I will be with you until death to as part, in sick and health”, and all of that.
There’s a contract where you’re supposed to honor your word. Now, luckily, this girl has not married your ass yet. She has no obligation to stick with you. Right now, it’s okay to be in a transactional relationship. Most people are. At some point, if you want to take it to real love, instead of just falling in love or infatuation, then you do have to make that decision.
“Okay, I’m going to go that step further of actually going to love this person even when I don’t feel it.” Now, she might have been sticking with you despite her feelings for quite a while already. It sounds like you are a lazy guy. So, you probably are a needy guy who is parasitic. The way you talk about other people, it’s sort of like, “Hey, didn’t you know? You’re supposed to stick with me even when I’m down.”
You’re making people feel bad that they’re not with you when you need them. You’re a needy parasite. But even in a normal relationship with normal people, if things go really bad and she just decides the ROI is negative for her, and maybe it’s just too hard for her emotionally to love you, and that’s her decision to pull out and she’s just like, “I can’t do love with you right now.”
If she deceives you by continually saying to you, “I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.” Then there’s some culpability there on her side for leading you the wrong way. But she is not obligated to stick with this agreement if it is just boyfriend-girlfriend level. That’s one of those things where it’s okay if you see that – yes, love is work. Relationships are work. But some relationships are more work than others.
It is up to you to decide whether that relationship with all of the work that is entailed is worth it, whether the work is worth it. That’s the question. Is the work of love for you worth it for this relationship with this person? If you decide yes and you decide you’re going to love this person, because that’s what love is. It’s not just a feeling, it’s first and foremost a decision and an attitude and action to go forward.
The feelings come alongside it. And eventually will if you invest enough time and effort into this, just by human nature. You decide whether it is worth it. It is your choice. You are not responsible or obligated to love another person unless they are a dependent or unless you’ve already entered into a contractual agreement with them, that’s quite explicit about that.
So, you can make mistakes. It’s okay to make a mistake and say, “I guess I really didn’t love you the way I thought I did or the way I wanted to. But right now, it’s a negative ROI for me and I was really at a transactional level.” And that’s okay. It’s more important that you realize that and that you stick with that honesty than to just get into a relationship and just hate yourself for being in it, hate every minute of it, and then therefore transfer that negativity towards the person and just poison that relationship. It’d make the relationship really hard.
That’s okay. That’s why it’s important to date before you get married. That’s why. It’s important to have a trial period of dating before you get married. It’s important to see whether, for you, the upside is enough for you to put in all of that extra work. Trust me: relationships that last more than three to five years are going to require work. It will require commitment, dedication, and it will be work: time and effort that you’ll have to invest into making this work.
And sometimes, you won’t feel like it. But if you are in it for the love, if you understand what love is, then yes, you do have to follow through to reap the rewards. But in this case, it may be a situation for her – it obviously is – where she trialed you out. She had a trial of you and she decided “It really isn’t for me” and she’s pulling out now. That’s her free will to decide that.
Okay, so there we go. Sometimes, the work is not worth it and both sides have to understand that the party that pulled out just decided that the potential upside was not worth the potential downside, or the actual downside, the work.
Alright, guys. It’s really time for breakfast. I’m starving. It’s a little bit hot out here, but otherwise it’s just beautiful. You see how this beach is mostly deserted, it’s just wonderful here. A lot of room if you want to jog with your dog or something.
Alright, guys. I’m heading up now. So, David Tian, signing out. Join the private Man Up Facebook group to get your free courses on how to get over your ex, how to get your ex back if you want, and all of those awesome goodies inside. Join the private Facebook group, great community in there. Until next time, David Tian, signing out. Man Up!
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