Man Up | Ep. 89 • March 18, 2016
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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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Are All Married Guys Wimps?
David Tian: Boom! Stop. In episode 89, I answer the question of: Are all married guys wimps?
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!
Hey, it’s David Tian, Ph.D. and welcome to episode 89 of Man Up. I’m in the living room. I thought it would be a nice change of scenery. I really think the lighting works better in the bedroom area where I’m usually filming but anyway for a change in scenery.
So you can see some of the red pillows I got in the couch there, nice little background. And then of course you got downtown Bangkok here in the background.
Anyway, so it’s a really nice view especially when the sun is shining into this and I got this really cool couch. Area’s a long couch that runs the length of the room I like to do my meditation on. So giving you a little sense of that. Okay, make sure it’s focused.
Okay, so got a question from Logan and it’s a long question. At the end he says, he sums it up as why are all married guys wimps, after him giving examples of his guy friends over the years have gotten married and then these guys over the years, he says changed.
He’s almost 40 and he’s wondering he’s got to get married at some point he thinks, just like they did and he’s worried that the same thing’s going to happen to him. So he gives examples of his friends who have to ask permission so when he’s out with them, permission from the wives.
So when he’s out with them having some drinks, these guys always have to have the phone out to make sure they get the messages from their wives and they’re always checking in. Well actually not so much checking in he says, they’re more of the wife is checking in on them and then he feels like this is an imposition on him as a single man.
And he also brought the example about how they’re not having sex. So these guys are not getting it very often and what the sex they are getting are sort of stale and they’re starting to see these kind of desperation in their faces that he’s not used to seeing. So just to sum up that question, he asked why are all married guy wimps. Actually, I know. The easy answer to that is they’re not all wimps. But I understand where he’s coming from.
And a lot of guys who come into the funnel of our company, they’ll get some free courses and they’ll email me and let me know how they’re all doing that.
These guys who don’t go into a full-fledged program, like you know a formal program, but just get free advice then contact me, they often are short-termed minded. They think that their goal and they only need me on dating advice, relationship advice and understanding of psychology and mating psychology and romance and relationship psychology, they think they only need me that understanding women and all that, they only need that in order to get a girl. So the women who ask for advice and get coaching, that’s not so much… especially a few years ago… that really wasn’t the issue at all. They had no problems getting a guy.
The problem was keeping him, getting him investing in her and wanting to be committed to her. So the girls have it right. They are more focused on keeping the guy whereas the guys are more focused on getting the girl and getting the girl and not just keeping her.
Actually as a result of this theme that’s been going through that I’ve noticed, in interactions with guys became the title of one of my events that I do in Singapore called “Find Her and Keep Her”. Because there’s this myth that if I just get that one, then I’m done.
The one and done myth is like this, this is one of the most pervasive myths that I’ve encountered is, there are so many guys who think the hard work is just getting laid or the hard work is getting a girlfriend and after they get a girlfriend or after they get a wife they could just relax and not do anything and not improve and not learn more and not come back for… even if they come back even just for maintenance, they think it’s done.
They get the one and done. They get the one and now they’re done. It’s a horrible, horrible belief. You’re going to have a shit relationship.
I mean, getting married is not a big deal. Anybody can get married. If a guy comes to me and I ask them what’s your goal and he says “oh I want to get married”, hey easy. In fact, you don’t even need me. You can just go get a mail order bride from some cheaper country, like a poorer country.
And that you can get married, there you go. Or you want to get married with a girl that’s sort of like you and your level, great! That’s easy! It’s just a matter of numbers. So if you’re out in some suburb like in Singapore, I don’t know, like Yishun or something, then just walk around the heartland area and the shopping mall you’re at and there are going to be plenty of girls who come from the same socio-economic background as you and you just find the female equivalent of you and get married. It’s not hard.
I got married with no knowledge of psychology, no understanding of psychology, I got married when I was 24, marriage lasted for 6 years and the marriage ended with, really I would say looking back like with a benefit of hindsight, 80-20 as far as the problems were, I was at 80% problem’s with me, there’s nothing really wrong with her. It was just I was immature. I didn’t understand psychology. I thought I was done.
I used to work out like I didn’t know what I was doing in the gym so I wasn’t getting results but I was going to the gym and I was going like 3 times a week and moving stuff around. I was a skinny dude. If you look at my wrists, it looks big when I hold it close, but like with the proportion on the rest of my body, my wrists are relatively small compared to the rest of my body now.
And that’s a good gauge for like how big I should be if I didn’t work out. And that was pretty like much skinny all the way through except for the belly. And I had a nice belly. Look, I worked out, but then once I got married, I just pretty much stopped.
You know, went on the honeymoon came back, went right into school to start my Ph.D. program and I was so busy, busy, busy, busy, busy and then, actually that when 9/11 happened, it was the first month of school, that was pretty much what we were watching, you know on TV after classes. And then I didn’t go back to the gym for 3 or 4 years because I thought I was done.
I’m like, I got the wife, that’s the reason I went to the gym. You know because I wasn’t like enjoying it and getting results anyways, but like, I just gave up. I just stopped it because I didn’t think I needed to. That’s what every guy, almost every guy I’ve seen when it comes to relationships… if you need help with dating, you fucking need help with relationships. Let me repeat that.
If you need help with dating, you definitely, hundred percent… hundred and fifty billion percent, need help with relationships. Because dating is so fucking easy compared to relationships.
I mean just like comparing the span of time. 10 hours you get to know the girl and 4 hours for alumni and graduates versus 40, 50, 60 years with the same woman, raising a family together with all of the stresses, with all of the life stages that you go through together with your bodies ageing overtime and all of the other stresses and challenges just come up over the years or whatever.
Like think about that. That’s just common sense to tell you. It’s much more difficult to have success over 40, 50, 60, 70 years. You know, like pretty much every year in life… business, fitness, like everything, right? So if you have trouble in basically the first dating as pretty much done in the first 10 hours of contact.
80 percent of the frame and the dynamics are set there, and then you get into the relationship and then it becomes a whole other thing. So getting married is not a big deal dude.
Just for the guys. I feel for this because I feel very strongly about this and that’s why I chose this question. You know he didn’t post it in the Facebook group because he mentioned a lot of names and stuff.
It’s because before I realized that this was one of the most pervasive myths, the one and done myth, I would coach the client through… actually back then as well, I wasn’t qualified to teach beyond the two or three mark in a relationship because I just didn’t have enough experience with different partners to speak out of my own experience.
I had the marriage of course and then a couple of long term relationships that went to 5, 6 years but that was it, right? And I hadn’t done enough research in that area. I hadn’t talked enough to world class experts. I hadn’t done enough studying in that area to feel qualified to teach it.
So it wasn’t in the curriculum. Like there was one class, like a couple of hours on that, well I think it’s four hours in the curriculum on that but that was mostly about dating.
So what the guys will do is they’ll come in, they’ll learn how to flirt, learn how to start a conversations and they’ll learn how to get sexual and take things to the next level, escalate to the next level in terms of dating. But once they’re in a committed relationship, then they’re like “oh, ok…”. They stop coming to the live event, they start coming to the courses even if many of them have committed to that like they thought it would take 12 months but because of how awesome our coaching is, they’ve achieved that goal in 3 months.
I tell them already, you know, your goal isn’t so much achieved, it’s just that you’ve got your first girlfriend. But the first girlfriend is like, for a guy who’s never had a girlfriend before in his life and he’s 30 years old, it’s like a big deal. Basically he’s never felt this before.
And for the guys who are listening to this and laughing, that’s often the case, there are guys who’ve come to me and never had a girlfriend, easily 70% or more from Singapore so it’s great! You know I give them their first girlfriend and tell them look dude, it’s just the beginning.
The chances of you going all the way to marriage with this woman in the modern world are quite slim. It’s possible but quite slim just so you know. Of course in that altered state of consciousness called falling in love, all these goes out the window. And they post about it in Facebook “OH, I’M GOING TO SEE MY LOVE!” and all of these right away and they’ve only been dating for 3 months or whatever.
And then of course, every mature person knows in the modern world, the stress of the modern world, this relationship implodes and what happens they all get depressed get in a funk, six months later they realize, they remember, “oh man, maybe I didn’t finish the program”. Maybe I didn’t finish the course, maybe there are skills and knowledge that I still need to acquire and learn and then they come back and message me, “hey, can I restart the program”.
About four years ago, three or four years ago, I started having a large segment on relationships and now we have an eighteen-hour event that can easily become thirty hours or more, called “Rock Solid Relationships”. Every time I teach it, it’s different because there are so much to draw from.
And it really depends on who’s there the room. So I send a survey before the event so I know what stage in the relationship they’re in. If they’re in a relationship yet. Or what their experience was in the past with relationships so I need to know all that to determine the best content for them in “Rock Solid Relationships”.
So it’s not obviously, I’m turning 40 now, so I’m coming up to midlife so obviously I don’t know relationship, I don’t personally know what a relationship will be like when I’m 60. But just like a good academic, I didn’t live in the 1700s either but I know I can do research history and learn and find out what life was like back then and teach about it. You can learn from people who know more than you about it and so I’m pretty confident in that area. And of course we bring in as much outside our qualified sources as we can and to inform the material.
So anyway, end of that commercial of the “Rock Solid Relationships”. I didn’t plan to mention that. But the first thing is these guys think they’re done but they’re not.
And in fact, just like working out, you might need a different work out, but just the fact that you stopped working out is the worse. Obviously over time, every two months or so you should change your workout routine because the body adjusts and everything. Yeah, you need to learn new stuff, but if you just stop completely and forget all the old stuff too, that’s doubly worse, it’s like you know, compounded in mistakes.
The one and done myth especially applies to guys in relationships. They think once they’ve got a girlfriend, once they’ve got a wife, they’re done, they don’t need advice, any more advice in dating… Dude, if you’re in a marriage, if you’re in a relationship you’re one of the biggest groups of people that need dating advice. Because if you stop dating your wife, imagine what will happen to that relationship.
Imagine if you keep dating your wife in the same fucking way that you’ve been dating her for the first 3 years of your life. Like basically just re-hashing the same old dating strategy. Like how to arouse her. If you don’t evolve, if you don’t grow, if you don’t… what’s going to happen to the relationship.
You see this over and over. Just look at you other married friends. I bet, I can put good money that 90 percent of your married friends have no clue of what’s going on as far as having a healthy, like a passionate relationship. If you want a steady relationship, when both of you are settled for that, then that’s great.
Because if you’re settled in your mind, you will adjust and you will get settled in that kind of life and that’s one strategy. Just lower your fucking standards that’s one strategy. But if you want to have a passionate relationship, you need to change it up. If you want to have growth in your relationship, you need to change it up. You need to learn new things. You need to continue to grow.
The group I would say that needs dating advice the most are the guys in relationships. I know that’s like, “Wohoo! What the fuck!”, I want to market it a relationship advice but then I don’t have as much experience in counseling people in their 70s. Though I’ve had clients who are… I have a male client who was 67, who was in a relationship with a woman in her 70s who was seeing two different other guys and he’s like the 3rd guy in the harem. It’s not called a harem when it’s run by a woman, right? Some other term.
Anyway, I have had that experience but I’m helping the people, the singles that are starting up because there are so many of them, and people who are just starting back into the scene, maybe coming out of a divorce and then they come seek me but that’s easy.
Because in dating, you just need one… just to get dating like lots of dates and then pick the one you like… if that’s the strategy, most people have that like try out lots of people and pick out the one I like the most, sort of like a buffet I suppose, it’s easy because you only have to name nail down the first 4 hours, the first 5, 10 hours of how you are. And you can present a front.
You can present the way you are at the beginning. And you can present that same thing. And that’s why the pick-up artist succeeded back in the day because they could just spit the same game and they could memorize, you know an hour’s worth of material and just keep presenting that first hour and they’d have that and they can present it to lots of different people.
So you only have to learn a limited amount of information, that just if it works then you just rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. But when you’re in a relationship, you can’t rinse and repeat. So you need to understand it even deeper than the guy who’s single.
Relationship guys need me even more and being in a relationship as I am now, I need to go deeper and deeper and deeper into the knowledge and continue to grow myself, if I ever stagnate personally, then that’s the end of the relationship as well.
So anyway, growth, growth, growth, progress, moving forward and learning new things and mastering the old and bringing the old into the new and evolving. Evolution depends on what came before, right?
You always have to lock in the old information that did work and then add on to that. You don’t just jettison it. Yeah you may think you don’t need to go to bars and clubs, you probably don’t if you’re in your 40s, probably shouldn’t even especially if you have kids.
You should be at home watching anyway. Yeah maybe you don’t have to do that part, but that’s a tiny, tiny part of dating. That’s like the point zero one percent of the whole span of things that you need to learn and master to have a passionate long-term relationship.
So here’s the other thing, two quick tips for guys who want to keep the passionate relationship going. Two things, two “P’s” okay? “Polarity”, male-female polarity, masculinity, I got email from other guys, “I’m married now, I love everything you’re talking about but I’m going to ignore the dating stuff and the masculinity stuff”.
I’m like, wait, isn’t that pretty much the whole share, but ok. But the guys in the relationship, they need masculinity more, like all of this becomes magnified in a relationship because you can’t hide behind the initial impression. And just getting a great initial impression and then coasting like guys who start of in relationships. If you’re just the starter, then you can just get really good at the start.
But if you’re in a relationship, you got to last all nine innings. That’s baseball analogy. You’ve got to last the whole way. So when it comes to polarity and polarity is about the difference masculine and feminine energies, you need to have a deep understanding of that, and I’m telling you what man, I’m partly doing the show because it forces me to put out all the things that I’m learning. Because if you just learn stuff and you don’t put it out, you’re going to forget it. That’s the way I have discovered. So it forces me to put it out there.
I have a whole eighteen-hour event open only to our Total Transformation guys and “Rock Solid Relationships” which is also open to our long term members in Total Transformation which is a 180-hour coaching program of the course of the year. So one of the events is “Rock Solid Relationships” and another one is called “Masculine Mastery”. It’s about this what masculine energy is, what feminine energy is.
How to be more masculine so that you draw out the feminine. One of my biggest mistakes when I was in the marriage was that I wasn’t aware of that polarity. And all the political correctness and all the liberal academics they’re going to deny that, there is even a polarity and all of the feminism is going to deny that and I understand where they are coming from. They are fighting a kind of reaction to the old patriarchy.
But look, you don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water and that’s one of the biggest reasons why a guy as he gets older in a relationship becomes wimpy or is perceived as wimpy or feels wimpier not only because his testosterone is lower or as scientifically has been shown, as he stays in a relationship but also because he’s not aware of that polarity. He’s not aware of being in his masculine core.
So if you’re not masculine, if you’re not a leader, if you’re not independent, if you’re not taking initiative, if you’re not assertive, if you’re not moving forward, if you’re not the leader, if you’re not leading… I’m not saying you have to be the leader but if you’re not leading, then she’s going to have to step up because somebody has to defend the interest of the couple as in the future, someone has to defend the interest of the family.
And if you don’t do it, then she will have to do it. And when you ask her to do it or when you come out of that, and you leave that role void, and she has to step into it, she starts to get in to those masculine energies. And that changes the way she feels, the way the energy she puts out, how it will affect her physically over time. It’s the psychological and physical, pretty much, because psychiatry it’s all based on that right, it’s closely joined.
That’s what happened. If I’m not going to put my foot down when the taxi driver in China tries to rip us off, and I’m like, I don’t want to start a fight and she’s like “No, we’re not going to pay whatever 200 Renminbi more from that ride” and she starts to take charge then that is me becoming, going to my feminine energy and she having to step in to her masculine energy is just one example. There’s so many different facets of it and obviously I can’t go into it here. I’m way overtime but I wanted to put that out there. .
And the second thing is “Presence” and a lot of guys have never learned presence. Maybe they were present for the first part of their relationship because they were excited because it was new, it was novel.
But then they switch gears, because if you’re one of those guys that believe in one and done and you don’t need to listen to David Tian anymore and you don’t need any more advice when you get into a relationship which is total bullshit, and you need aura and you need to grow, you need to progress, you need to learn more, and if you believe you don’t, then what will happen in your life is you’re going to… what’s happening is that you go and say I don’t need this so I go work on my career, I’ll go make money now. I got my girlfriend, check! you know it’s like a check mark like, girlfriend – check, and then she becomes my wife – check, you got married.
And then we have a baby – check.
It’s like a checklist of shit that you think you need to do to be happy or feel like you’re an adult. And then you got to move on to career and make more money now. Then you neglect growth in your relationships, you neglect growth personally, you neglect growth in growing your passion and one of the first things that goes, well, I should say the first thing that goes is your presence. Not you presence as in where you are but your presence intellectually, mentally, emotionally and physically obviously we need to have it.
Being focused on her, being present completely with her and completely feeling and understanding, empathetic and feeling and listening to her deeply and instead you are focusing I’m on the moon on to the next thing I told you, I know what that’s like. That’s what I did when I first got married when I was 24, you know, fifteen years ago and I thought, I did it, hey I’m done, I’m married, cool – check.
Now I can get my career going. I thought I could just put this on auto-pilot. Relationship on auto-pilot and let it coast. That was obviously a stupid mistake. That myth is still out there. The one and done myth and the first thing that goes is presence. The thing she needs the most from you is your presence. So my message for the guys who are married, sign up man.
You need to learn from the beginning, you don’t need to learn how to go to bars and clubs per se obviously, that’s just even… not even necessary. It’s not even a necessary component. It’s good to have a good time, that’s for sure. Learn how to relax and be easy going, just have a good time. To have a good time in the club by the way, you need to be focused on the moment. It’s a misnomer… it’s a myth, it’s a false belief that you can go into a club and be attractive there if you have a mission to do “x” number of approaches.
You see weirdos do that and anybody who you think is authority in this area who says that looks attractive is either unqualified to give that advice or lying to you. So you don’t need those things. You do need to learn about presence, about passion, about masculine energy and how to grow it and you need to learn how to be attractive over the long term.
Okay, the video is way too long. So on that note, thanks for the camera that kept me up, on that note, I’m going to be seeing you in the private Facebook group now especially you married guys, and in relationships too and I will see you there. Until then, man up!