Man Up | Ep. 220 • November 9, 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 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, PhD, and in this video, I answer the question: When I caught my girlfriend sexting her ex. Welcome to the Man Up show.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!
Hi. 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. Welcome to the Man Up show. We are here in Siam Reap. You see this gorgeous 12th century temple behind me here, it’s Angkor Wat for those who have been in Southeast Asia, you must know this amazing site. It is one of the special UNESCO protected sites, one of my favorite temples. I got a little spot here. There are little monkeys going by me just earlier, something that’ll happen again.
I got a question from the Man Up private – there they are! The Man Up private Facebook group. This one comes from Wayne. I’m going to read out most of it because it’s pretty self-explanatory, I think. I’m going to answer it. Hopefully, it will be relatively short because it’s hot out here and we need to explore the rest of this temple.
“My girlfriend and I have been together for almost 2 years and are moving in together soon.”
Cut to the chase, he found a very flirty text between his girlfriend and her ex fling. He’s asking for our opinion. They’ve been going out for 2 years, he’s moving in together soon with her. “We both love each other and are rarely apart. Last week, my girlfriend came home from a week night very drunk. There was a conference in town and she went out with co-workers and was wined and dined all night. While in bed together, she kept texting people and going on Instagram. She usually doesn’t toss and turn, but the booze made it hard for her to sleep. She also doesn’t usually text much, and this made me a little suspicious, but I tried to let it go. I figured she was talking to old colleagues that were in town.”
Okay, fast forward. So then, he unlocks her phone while she was in the shower a few days later, and he says, “I went to put it away when I saw the text from her old fling. The conversation was very flirty. They talked about sending sexy photos, wishing he could come over and if they hooked up again, would it be serious or just a fling, and how they have matured. I know she was drunk, she says, and he said he was too in the text.”
Okay. “The guy she was texting lives on the other side of the country, and I’m pretty sure they haven’t seen each other in a long time. I’m not proud that I snooped on her phone. I keep telling myself that the phone was unlocked and open, and all the text apps screamed, but I can’t shake the guilt of looking at it. When I was done reading it, I was shaking and I didn’t eat the entire day. I didn’t bring it up to her since I felt like I was in the wrong.” Okay, this guy has gotten nice guy syndrome here.
“It has been a few days since I found the text and I played it cool. This is bad, right? She still shows me affection.” You’re basically being fake just to call that out. “We’ve gone on a few great dates and our routine is about normal.” He’s pretending. He’s being fake this whole time. “And there hasn’t been any late night texting anymore, but I’m still conflicted, sad, and scared.”
He’s asking for advice. “Should I confess I know about the text? Should I keep an eye out for other signs? Should I let it go and chalk it up to booze and boredom?” Some of the comments in there are ‘confess and tell her you saw it.’ Another one is, ‘tell her when she was in the shower, her phone was unlocked and you looked.’ A lot of these explains, he’s asking not, “Is she a hoe and should I dump her, or is this a transgression of loyalty or trust?” It’s more about, “How do I explain the way the fact that I looked through her phone?”
Dude, you have to make a decision right now. It’s not about whether you looked at her phone. Obviously, that’s against her privacy, but I think you have to think about what you found. Everyone else is like, “How do you explain away the fact that you looked at her phone?” If that’s the question you have in mind, not the question of, “Can I trust her again? Is this relationship going to have a future? Does she have loyalty and integrity?” Instead of those questions, you’re asking, “How do I explain away the fact that I looked at her phone?”
If that’s the question that you have in mind, then it’s already over for you. No matter what, you’re already stuck in this relationship. You’re just trying to defend. You’re just trying to explain away how you find this. What you’re hoping to do is, when she gets to the explanation of how you found out all the stuff about her, she’s going to say, “Oh, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.” That’s what you’re hoping.
None of the behavior will change. This is behavior that you found. You have to make a choice. Is this somebody that you want to stay with? If you have any intellect and any wisdom at all, you would say no. Or at the very least, you’d have a major talk about it and see what she comes back with. The evidence is against her here.
The way you got the evidence is immaterial at this moment, because she already went over the line. You going over the line to find the fact that she had this bad thing going on, that shouldn’t be an issue right now. Now, if you want to continue the relationship, yeah, obviously, you have to have your privacy issues in place and all that. But that’s not the main issue. The fact that you’re evening thinking about that means it’s already too late for you. You’re already a pussy. You’ve already given it up and you’re just trying to figure out, “How can I not get in trouble here so that mommy finds out that I looked through the cookie jar, and I found bad cookies?” That’s the wrong way to think. The fact that all these other guys are coming back with those comments about, “How do I explain away? What excuse can I use now?” It already shows that they’re also deep in the nice guy syndrome.
You got to get rid of your white knight syndrome. You got to stop being a fixer. You got to stop explaining away her problems. This isn’t something that just came up, her sending flirty texts intimating that she’s going to hook up with that guy and get back together with him. That’s not something that just happens. That’s something that must’ve been happening this whole time, and you were blind to it because you’re needy as fuck. I got to do some empathy now. I got to keep reminding myself. I feel for you, man. Actually, I don’t. Man the fuck up.
Okay, there you go. This is Man Up episode – I can’t remember, but you’ll see the number. It’s David Tian, signing out. I’ll see you inside private Facebook group. Click the link. Join the group. We’re well over 20,000 strong now. I got a lot of temples to explore. I’ll see you in the next episode, and in the private Facebook group. David Tian, signing out. Man Up!