Man Up | Ep. 241 • May 6, 2019
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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 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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Boom, stop! I’m David Tian. And in this video, I answer the question: How to succeed in casual dating. Welcome to the Man Up show.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man.
I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!
Hi. I’m David Tian, Ph.D., and over the past 13 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 the Man Up show. I’m in beautiful Taipei. You can see the 101 behind me. All right, let’s get to the question here. It’s a question about casual dating. It comes from the Man Up private Facebook group, which you should join. This one comes from Brandon, and it’s not too long. So, I’m going to read out most of it for your context.
He posted a couple of weeks ago in the group, “Wife left, all that jazz.” So, he says. “I took a ton of advice from the comments on the post, have taken action on some of the advice, and all around just doing what’s good for me. And as we should all do, been watching David’s free master classes.” Which you all should do. So, those are available inside the Man Up Facebook group. Once you join, you’ll see the instructions for accessing the free master classes. Then he goes on to say, “Saturday, I got roped into going out with a buddy and his wife. Plan was to play pool, binge drink, and then watch the Masters while doing hair of the dog on Sunday,” drinking more on Sunday, masters, golf. “Without my knowledge, my buddy’s wife called a girl who she knows to come over and hang out.”
“She was hot. I was drunk. We started talking, and suddenly, it was a date. Within the confines of my buddy’s house patio, I did everything the Perfect Date class teaches.” That’s the class that is available as an optional purchase as part of when you sign up for the free master class. You don’t have to get it. It’s optional but it’s awesome. It’s called The Perfect Date System. So, he followed The Perfect Date System on like the same day that he’s meeting this woman and it worked. So he says, “In fact, I fucking crushed it so hard, that two hours later this very attractive young woman was on top of me and I’d done what the class claims we can do. After that, we spent the rest of the night just doing pillow-talk, laughing, joking, a little deep talk, a little more flirting. Woke up the next morning, I gave her my number, walked her to her car, got a kiss goodbye and left it at that. Yesterday, she texted me saying she wants to get together again, talk some more, et cetera. I asked her if Wednesday worked for her and she was immediately all for it.” Okay. So, here’s the question.
“I do want to get to know this chick. I definitely want to sleep with her again. I just know where my state of mind is right now” since he just broke up with his ex-wife and still reeling from that. “There’s a very real possibility I’ll catch feelings for her and I don’t want to do that right now. I’m still working on getting me back.” So, he’s following the break up recovery process that’s in the free master classes on how to recover from a breakup, and it’s a whole process, right? So, he’s got to finish that process. “How do I keep this fun while I figure it all out? If I weren’t in the situation I’m currently in, this girl would legit be one of my dream girls. But with my current situation, I could very easily fall back into the stupid shit that led to my marriage failing.”
Okay, so he’s working on himself, going through the process, some of which is psychotherapeutic I assume, and he doesn’t feel like he’s ready yet and might fall back into those patterns, but he’s feeling good right now. So, part of him is worried, coming from his own insecurity of whether he’ll be able to handle himself. But another part of him is coming from the place of, “I don’t want to lead her on because I’m not ready to commit to more or to deliver more at this point, but it sure is nice to hang out with you.” So, how do I basically keep it casual for a longer period of time for his sake and her sake so he doesn’t lead her on?
Okay, so great, kudos to you Brandon already for taking action on all of the various courses, and the master classes, and so on. Kudos to you and you’re welcome. This is really good. So, here’s what I would say. So, for the guys who are looking to keep the relationships casual, and this also applies to guys who want to have alternate relationship situations like friends with benefits, fuck buddies, so to speak, multiple open relationships, and things like that. Basically, you’re looking at the same four variables. There are four variables. Let me see if I can remember them off the top of my head here. The first is frequency. So, if you want to keep it casual, don’t see her as often as you would if you wanted to go serious. Okay, so it’s very easy when you fall in love to suddenly see each other every week, every day. And once you get to more than once a week, it already — you already start to create those bonds of attachment, and you get used to each other.
So, that’s something you got to be wary of, frequency. If you want to keep it casual, keep it to no more than once a week. And if you can do it at like once every other week, that’s even safer. Once a month is getting close to like she might forget you, unless she just had a super memorable time and you have a legit excuse, like you’re traveling for work or something. But definitely, if you have other excuses like you live far away, or you have work that makes you travel, once a month is perfect. You don’t usually have to worry about leading her on until like many months down the road. But once a week max if you don’t want her to get the wrong idea or if you don’t want to catch the feels, you want to control that and just keep it fun, once a week maximum, right? So, if you’re seeing her, if you just met her on the weekend and you try to hook up on a Wednesday, again, that’s too soon.
Now, you’re starting a pattern where feelings will happen even if you don’t want them to or didn’t mean them to from one of the other part — one or both parties, right? So, keep the frequency down to once a week. In addition, texting. This is a new modern device. So, I guess for you 20-somethings, you’ve been — you’ve had this since the crib, right? But it’s a new device. We used to have to like ring numbers and stuff. So, with this new device, you can ping people all the time. And that means that if you’re texting each other a lot, that counts as frequency. So, you want to keep the frequency of texting, of social media, of tagging and things like that where she’s coming up on your radar and you’re coming up on her radar on the phone, you want to keep that to a minimum as well. The more of a minimum, the better if you want to keep the attachment to a minimum, right? So if you think about in-person meetings being once a week, then you’re looking at like a phone call being once or twice a week, and generally, those are around like confirming the actual in-person meet up.
And then just like a good night kind of thing, or just checking that she got home safely, kind of call or texting, right? So, just around the actual meet up that week. And then maybe one other interaction on the phone. That’s it. So, generally speaking, two interactions a week on the phone and one in person. That’s how sparse you want to keep it. Now, I know for a lot of guys, if you actually try to implement that, that’s going to take control. That’s right! That’s the point. Because if it were just natural for you, you wouldn’t even ask this question, right? The thing is, it’s hard for you to resist because you’re still needy, and you’re lonely, and you haven’t learned to meet your own needs for connection, and love, and significance, and so on. So, you need that certainty that she likes you back and all that shit. So, he’s right in focusing on himself so he can meet his own needs so that once he gets to that point where he can meet his own needs, he never has to worry about any of that other stuff like counting frequency. But right now, you do. All right? So, just to recap, once a week in person, twice a week max over the phone.
Okay, then the next one is activities, what you’re actually doing together. So, don’t do couple activities, even going grocery shopping. That’s the sort of thing. If you’re going grocery shopping together, it’s the kind of thing couples do together. If you start doing that sort of thing, like going grocery shopping and taking her home and cooking, that’s going to be a really sexy date but it’s also going to set a relationship tone to that relationship, to that dating relationship. And unless you want to take it to a relationship, you shouldn’t do that. That’s actually going to be leading her on. Also, really super romantic dinners, expensive dinners, anything like that, like the kind of thing that couples will do, you don’t want to do that if you want to avoid becoming a couple. You just want to keep it casual, then do it casually. So, it might mean meeting up at 9:00 p.m. for drinks, and then hooking up, or like early as 8:30 at a cocktail bar, that kind of thing. Because if you meet at 7:00 and you have dinner, and now you’re going to a nice place for dinner, that’s what couples do.
So, it’s going to be normal for her to start unconsciously even thinking about you getting attached, and the same for you, even if you’re keeping it to that once a week frequency. So, you want to make sure that the activities are not too coupley activities, but just fun activities, the kind of things that two friends might do that’s not like romantic, too romantic. And this might be counterintuitive to all of the other dating advice you’re getting. That’s because the other dating advice is leading you into a relationship. This dating advice is how to succeed in a casual relationship and keep it casual as long as you can, and then just keep it fun, light and fun.
So, that’s the second thing, activities. Also, the activities… Well, there’s a special type of activity that you should avoid as well in addition to couples. I’ll get to that at the end. And then the third is words. Watch your words. Don’t be saying words that get her thinking, projecting into the future like love, like ‘wouldn’t it be great when we have kids?’ or that sort of thing. You don’t want to lead her on with your words. And in fact, you can do the opposite where you reinforce the relationship that you have like you can say, you can start with phrases like, “Isn’t it great that we can just meet once a week and just pick up where we left off?” And that sort of thing. “Isn’t it great that we can meet once a week and still have so much fun, and still feel so connected? Isn’t it great to have a friend like you?”
And maybe that’s a little bit too strong if you’ve been seeing her like on the seventh day. You probably don’t want to say friend by that point, but you can reinforce that this is a casual, fun thing. And isn’t it great that we can enjoy this fun time without all that baggage stuff? And especially if the both of you are recovering from relationships, and you don’t want to rebound with each other, right? So, you’ll both have that expectation and pressure lifted if you hear that from your partner that they don’t want anything extra, they’re not expecting all this other stuff from you. So, just chill out and have fun. And if you reinforce that with your words, it’s a really good message, just that whole casual vibe, “Isn’t it great that we can just see each other once a week and do this?”
You’re reinforcing the frequency. “Isn’t it great that we can be so close yet still be such great friends?” That kind of thing. None of the love stuff. Don’t introduce her as your girlfriend. Okay, that’s all going to be deal breakers and lead you into relationship land real quick. So, that’s words, activities, frequency. And the last is a special type of activity, your network. So, don’t be introducing her to your friends. Now, this is going to sound counterintuitive. Brandon’s already met her in the context of a friend, so now it’s going to be tricky for you.
Because what’s going to happen is it’s a friend’s wife’s friend that introduced you guys, right? So, the friend’s wife or the friend are gonna be like, “Hey, have you seen Susie?” or whatever her name is, right? And they’re going to be asking stuff, and they’re going to be pestering her about the relationship status between you and her. And this is going to just create extra stress that’s unnecessary. That’s going to actually cause either a breakup or speeding forward to some kind of committed relationship situation, which if you don’t want that, well, obviously — so, you don’t want that right? So, be careful of the type of network that you put her in.
Be careful of introducing her to your friends and your family especially, because otherwise, what’s going to happen is they’re going to be asking about her to you and on your unconscious mind going to be — they’re going to be pressuring you to move that relationship forward. And it’s the same for her. Her friends are going to ask her about you, and then causing doubts and things, and just ruining a fun, casual thing.
Now, having said all of that, if you can maintain the frequency of contact to the minimum required, the activities to just fun, casual light activities, the words to reinforcing casual and fun and not reinforcing exclusive and committed; and then finally, being careful of your network. You just want to isolate it so that it’s just the two of you and your own special thing, and you don’t need all those other people getting involved and making things more complicated. So, if you can do all of that, even with all four awesome variables going, and by the way, this is the same four variables that will come into play for any other kind of casual relationship, including a multiple open relationship.
Even if you check the list on all four of these, you still might catch the feels, because that’s just love, right? It’s just chemistry. That just might happen despite everything. So, this is all at the caveat of good luck and best practices, these four things. So, there you go, how to succeed in a casual relationship. The sun is setting in Taipei. It’s beautiful out here. I really love it. Beautiful little bar. I hope no one discovers it, because as you can see, it’s still — I mean, it’s really nice. So, I guess it would be good if there are more people. I don’t know. They should do something with this middle part, but maybe they will in the summer.
Anyway, so David Tian signing out. Check out the Facebook group where Brandon asked his question. Click the link. Join the group. We approve join requests every day. See you inside the group. Until then, David Tian, signing out. Man Up!