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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Should You Text Your Ex?
David Tian Ph.D. tells us why we need to assess the situation, re-group and build our self-esteem first.
David Tian Ph.D. deliberates on whether we should delete our ex’s contact details and block them on social media.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. gives us advice on how we can break anchors that trigger painful memories.
Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video, I answer the question: Should I text my ex? Welcome to Man Up Episode 151.
Masculinity for the intelligent man. I’m David Tian, PhD, and this is Man Up!
Hey! This is David Tian, PhD, and welcome to Man Up Episode 151! 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. And a question here from the private Facebook group comes from Henry, and it is another break-up question. So, I’ll just read out the question.
“The love of my life broke up with me. We were five years together. I’m 30 now. She is 25. Without any warning, she told me on Monday that she wants to break up with me. I begged her to stay. I said I only need one chance. I can show her that I’m the right guy, but nothing. She said she needs time for herself. After five fucking years, she gives me no chance. She just left our flat and was gone. She said she feels dead inside and that I cannot do anything about it. She said she has to figure out what she wants in her life for herself without me.”
Okay, so that’s the background. He’s got five pointed questions related to this based on the background. And the first question. Here we go, Henry. Question number one:
“Our flat is full with her things. I think it’ll take some time for her to find a new apartment, so no contact is impossible. Now, I stay at my mom’s house, but that is no option for long. How can I handle that?”
Okay, so I’m going to answer these questions one at a time. Oh, by the way, I am preparing a “How to Recover from a Breakup” free course inside the Man Up Group. So, you got to join the private Facebook group, then you tap the pinned post and you get all the free video courses there. And that allows me to go into much more detail than I can in a simple Man Up episode. So, get the free video courses.
Now, just so everybody knows, the free video courses are – I try to make them short and pithy as well, so they’re going to be – I originally tried to make them 20 minutes, and then they became 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 50 minutes, now they’re over an hour, some of them, so I don’t want to get even longer than that. Because what happens is – I’ve been coaching for over 10 years so I know exactly what happens – guys will start the video and they’re like, “Woah, it’s so long. Okay, I’ll just put it off.” And then they don’t get to it, and then they don’t use it, and then they don’t get the benefit from it.
So, I definitely need to keep it under an hour so that it’s easy for guys to get through. And if you want even more in-depth training and so on, we have courses that are so comprehensive. They go up to almost 100 hours of training, and some of that is live, so there’s a lot more you can go down and learn more – because this is about life, as hopefully you’re discovering if you’ve been following these videos.
But anyway, the free video courses are there. They’re for free, so go ahead and join the private Facebook. Tap the pinned post. You can find them there. There’s one on how to recover from a breakup, so Henry you should take that because I’m going to go into a lot more detail in that course, that will be pertinent to your question. But I’m going to answer this question and put it in this Man Up episode.
So, the answer to your question number one goes into – I go into a lot more detail on that in the How to Recover from a Breakup video course, but I’ll give you an even briefer answer, annotated answer here. Right now, so no contact is impossible but you’re staying at your mom’s house. So, you just need to figure out the logistics on this. You got to get a new place, and maybe you can move into your mom’s place for the next three/four months. Besides, for the next three/four months, I don’t recommend that you do a lot of dating. This is contra game coaches and pick-up artist advice of “Go fuck 10 girls” or something.
That is not a good way, psychologically, to build your self-esteem, which is what you need to do at this point. It’s not to just distract yourself with more pleasure. It’s pretty easy to distract yourself with pleasure, especially if you live in a first-world country. Especially if you have any kind of money, actually it doesn’t matter where you live as much. But what you really need to do is to assess your situation and re-group and build your self-esteem from there.
Actually, that’s what everybody should be doing, actually, but even more so when you’re recovering from a breakup. So, how can you handle it? You’ve got to get your own place and then move your stuff out. Minimize – you want to go with minimal contact, minimal contact or you’re going to drag this thing out even worse and hurt yourself even more.
Okay, question number two:
“Oh god, I love her so much. How can I stop myself from texting her to take me back?”
Well, one thing is, hopefully like most people nowadays, you don’t remember her fucking phone number. Right? Because most of us save the number but we don’t remember the actual digits, so delete that number. Look, in an emergency, you have mutual friends. I’m sure it’ll be easy to get her number back. Besides, you don’t even need people’s numbers anymore. If you’re connected to her – if she has a Facebook account or whatever, you can just easily message her, call her through that.
But whatever it is, on your device itself, make it difficult for you to call her. And I’ll be getting to that – oh yeah, actually, the next three questions are about that. So, let me just read those out. The next question about texting, he says:
“I have so many questions about why and why at this time, et cetera, but we all know no answer can make my pain less.”
Yeah, no answer can make your pain less. You do not want her– like, even her right now, you just told me. She’s confused. She wants to figure out what she wants in her life for herself without you. She doesn’t know what she wants. And most youngsters – you guys are in your 20s, yeah. She doesn’t know what she wants. Give me a break. She’s not self-aware enough. So, asking her, “Why are you breaking up?” She’s not going to even…
Even if she wants to tell you the truth, and let’s just assume that that’s the case – though it’s not the case for many people, she’s probably not going to tell it. Most women are not going to tell you the truth, which is like, “You’re not hot anymore” or whatever, or “I’m bored with you”, or she’s wondering, “Where’s the passion in our relationship now?” You’ve been together for five years, so you’re out of the honeymoon stage, so you’re fucked.
Go watch my previous videos on the companionate curve. I just made that up. The term, I mean. But basically, the difference between passionate attraction, which is just like foof, and then it goes dead line, versus companionate attraction which builds gradually. Most people never make it to companionate attraction. They’re just passionate, passionate. And all these youngsters, you guys are in your 20s, 30s, you guys don’t fucking know. And people in their 40s, they don’t know shit all about love. They never took a course on it, they never educated themselves on it; they just know passion.
Passion is a purely chemical thing. That’s all. You can just induce it with a fucking chemical. It’s easy to create. It’s just newness, novelty and physical attraction. That’s it. So, they’re going to get that passion, foof, right? It goes up and then she’s going to wonder, “How come it’s not so passionate anymore?” So, she’s not going to know. One of the things is, when you come in – after the five-year mark, she’s probably going through her quarter-life crisis as well. She doesn’t know what’s going on. Don’t ask her.
None of her answers will help you. Number four:
“Should I delete Facebook?”
Okay, so here’s – we’ll get to it. First of all, on your device, how can you stop yourself from messaging her? Not just texting her, but messaging her? On every platform where you’re connected, you want to disconnect. So, you definitely want to unfollow her. And if you find yourself unable to resist the temptation of messaging her, then just go ahead and unfriend her, whatever it is.
You might even want to block her for your own good. So in other words, if you’re tempted to — Because when you block somebody on WhatsApp, on Facebook, on whatever profiles or social media platforms, you have to go through the step of unblocking and then messaging. So, just make it as hard as possible. Now, in this digital age, it is almost impossible – unless you’re going, “Should I delete Facebook entirely?” off your phone? I think if you find yourself blocking–
If you block and unblock and message, then that’s really bad. And if you find yourself doing that, and you want to get over her quickly and move on with your life and recover quickly, then yes. Then yes, you should X, you should delete that app off your phone. You should make it very difficult for you to give into that temptation late at night and message her. But hopefully, you have enough self-discipline in your life, but I understand if you’ve been in a five-year relationship and you’ve just broken up, how difficult that can be.
But I would just block her so that – for your benefit – so that you don’t see her when you go onto Facebook or when you go onto your WhatsApp, or whatever, you don’t see her image, icon, or whatever in your chat history. That’s for your own good, so you’re not tempted to – you end up needing to take extra steps in order to contact her. That’s really important.
And in fact, one other thing. The old school way of doing it was to write down all of her info in an emergency, and then hand that to a friend – so that just in an emergency, somebody else you can trust in that person’s safekeeping, and then you delete everything off your own phone and out of your house. That’s where you want to get. But in the digital age, it’s very difficult to disconnect entirely from another human being.
But you can start with blocking on the various platforms that you find her on. Okay, last question:
“I have a million pictures of her on my phone. Should I really delete all these memories?”
Yeah. Now, if you want to maybe look at them as a history later on, then save them into a separate folder, put them on a junk drive or an external drive, and then hand that external drive to your friend for safekeeping and telling them, “Do not give this back to me for at least” — if it’s a five-year relationship say a year. “Do not let me have this for another year.” Basically, the shorter the relationship, the shorter you need to have that time constraint.
But for five years, one year sounds pretty reasonable. So, you hand that to your best friend and say, “Protect me from myself. Do not let me see these photos for another year.” That way, you can have them — because when you get older, you look back and it’s just a marker of how you’ve grown. Hopefully, you’ve grown through this and you will if you take the free video course that I’ve got. And you have to make this into something that is actually going to propel you forward into growth; something great can come out of this.
But that can only happen if you distance yourself, right now, as you’re healing. So yes, you need to delete it off your phone so that you don’t go and look at it because you know what it’s going to be like. But you don’t have to delete them out of your life entirely. Save them into an external drive, give it to your friend for safekeeping so it’s hard for you to access that drive. Simple as that. You want to basically minimize anchors that trigger memories that are painful for you right now.
So, that’s the review or the summary, and that’s part of moving out of your current apartment and finding a new living arrangement for yourself. And that’s a good overall theme. You want to break those anchors that are triggering painful memories at the moment, and that will allow you to give into temptation. You want to remove those obstacles in your life right now and give yourself the time and space to heal. And not just to heal – because healing makes it sound like you’re going back to – like baseline, but to actually grow from it. That’s very important.
Okay, so that’s Episode 151. Thank you very much for watching. And I’m doing live shows inside the Facebook group, so you can interact with me – you can ask your questions and get your answers live in the Man Up group. So, join the private Facebook group and I’ll see you inside the group, in the live show. For now, Man Up!