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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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How Can I Keep The Passion Alive In My Relationship?
David Tian Ph.D. says that if you find your relationship stagnating, determine whether you are actually in love.
David Tian Ph.D. shares that you could create more unpredictability, more variety, introduce more surprises in the relationship, do things you’ve never done before to bring back the passion.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. tells men to rediscover, rekindle and strengthen their masculine essence and their masculine core.
In this episode, we talk about how to keep the honeymoon phase alive in your relationship.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!
Welcome to Man Up, episode 6. Today we have a question from Nicholas. By the way, this should be somewhere around week 2, so I’m pretty happy about that. Again, these are coming out every day, that’s the idea anyway, so look out for the next one on a daily basis.
We’re on Facebook, we’re going to be on YouTube, and we’re going to be in various other websites, so spread the word. Spread the word, let your friends know, if you like this, share it and say nice things. You don’t have to say nice things, just share it, it’s fine.
So let’s dive into the question from Nick, “Hi David, my question is about keeping the honeymoon phase going in a relationship.” And he says, “It also brings up the question if men in particular, are meant to be with just one woman? I wonder because of our sexual needs as men.
I see so many men after they get married and have kids, their wives don’t want sex.” Thanks, Nicholas. Okay, there’s quite a lot in there. Let’s just first deal with the first sentence, which is: How do I keep the honeymoon phase going in a relationship?
If you’re asking this – I’m assuming you’re in a relationship – and usually the honeymoon phase will last three months to a year. Sometimes depending on how much external drama there is in that relationship, it can induce passion in it, if there was a lot more barriers or external conflicts that they have to band together and overcome, it can last as long as three years or more, in some cases, exceptionally.
But the honeymoon phase is usually around three months to a year and then things – what usually happens then is things get into a routine. Even sex – which you brought up at the end, Nicholas – becomes routine because there’s only so much that the average people can do when it comes to sex. Most people just have it, in other words, they’re just in the bedroom, naked, and they just go at it and have sex. There isn’t much more variety there and there isn’t any unpredictability.
So first thing, the most basic step if you find your relationship stagnating is to be clear whether you are actually in love. Do you actually love each other or do you feel connected to each other, do you want to stay within this relationship, is this something that you want to invest time and effort into, do you want to invest in it?
If the answer is yes, that you love this person but it’s just not as exciting anymore, you love them in the sense that you want the best for that person, you enjoy being there for them, you enjoy supporting them and you enjoy that they support you, but it’s just not passionate anymore.
So what should you do? In this case, the first and easiest thing you can do is to create more unpredictability, more variety, introduce more surprises in the relationship, do things you’ve never done before. An easy one is travel. I’m blessed to be in Southeast Asia, I’m currently here in Singapore. If you’re in Singapore or pretty much anywhere, you can fly, or take a bus, or take a train or drive out a couple of hours to a new place and explore together.
You can do new activities, and take up new hobbies together. You can also just be unpredictable, try to surprise her with something that you’ve never done before. Yes, this requires effort. You have to think about it ahead of time but that’s the easiest thing you could do. That’s one thing; we’ll call that number 1, is to Introduce more variety into your relationship.
The second thing is, as a relationship progresses, the man and a woman tend to de-polarize in terms of their masculinity and femininity. This is a very deep and profound topic. In fact, that’s really what Masculinity for the Intelligent Man is all about. So we’re not going to shy away from these, maybe a little bit less PC topics – then again, like, meeting women in clubs isn’t really PC either – but I think this is less mainstream. Talking about masculinity and what masculinity and femininity really are.
In a relationship, what will happen is you will become more like your partner over time. So that even happens physically, you might see people who have been together for a long time and their faces start to look similar; their fashion sense starts to look similar. That’s just a normal thing. Why? Because you become who you hang out with, who you associate with.
If you’re in a relationship, you’re going to be associating with one particular individual in the whole world more than anyone else and so it’s natural for that to happen. What happens over time is that the masculine and feminine polarities de-polarize. So you become less masculine and she becomes less feminine, you become more feminine, she becomes less feminine – overall, in general, on the whole. Okay, there’s always exceptions to this but that’s on the whole.
Now what often happens when the honeymoon phase dies is that the man has given in, so to speak. So for instance, the woman is saying – maybe at the beginning of the relationship he was a real manly guy in the sense of – that’s not what masculinity means, by the way, masculinity and manly are different – but at the beginning of a relationship, I’ll take a case of a client of mine who loved to do sports, these were, like, rugby and really physical sports.
Then he met his girlfriend who became his wife and then in the relationship – she was sexually abused by a family member early on when she was young – and then her husband was abusive, so you can see a trend here. When she got into this relationship with my client, she told him all this history and that made him afraid to be himself, in the sense of to be more masculine, to stand up for himself, to be more assertive.
It definitely translated into the bedroom where she would say she’s afraid of anything really physical and so they always had really gentle sex and then after a few months of that, that got really boring and she was very unfulfilled.
So I actually worked with both of them, talked to them both and in the end what she really wanted was for him to step up, to be more dominant, to give her the feeling that she could just submit and there’s a little bit of danger and excitement there, when he gets a little more physical.
Like a little slapping, a little hair pulling, a little dirty talk, which he enjoyed doing before but because of his assumptions that she needed to be treated with kid gloves and her own fears of her past which are all very understandable. Both of them made very rational decisions here, but it resulted in – because of the lack of self-awareness – the de-polarization, so that five years later they weren’t passionate for each other and they came back and asked me about this. This is when I found out – or we found out together – that she actually wanted him to be more sexy and actually go a lot further than he had ever gone before but she didn’t know how to ask for it.
That’s the thing, a woman should never have to ask for things in the bedroom because for a woman they’re going to think that it’s a man’s job, he’s got to take the initiative and do it and go ahead and take it. He was afraid to do that and over time the honeymoon phase died pretty quickly because of the lack of polarization.
What happened was he became afraid of her, of hurting her, and that turned into – over the years – her having to take more charge, and her being in the more bully position and then her lashing out at him. So at that time in their relationship, she’s just lashed out – she lashes out at him, scolds him very publicly, very loudly and he just gets quiet, does this, and just being very passive and holding into himself.
He gained a lot of weight and just wasn’t happy with his life, also just stagnated in his career. Those are all signs that the de-polarizations happened and the masculine man has become a lot less masculine. So by introducing his masculine core into him, by getting him back in touch with that bad part of him, the little killer in him, he was able to rekindle that.
All he had to do was show her that, yes, he can be this killer bad boy but when he turns to her, he’s the gentle teddy bear that would never hurt her but can always access that part of him. And that’s incredibly attractive. Especially, evolutionarily it just shows he’s able to protect the family, he’s able to get ahead in the world, he’s not going to be pushed around or bullied by others and he would go out and he has drive and will succeed and achieve and move forward.
That’s the deeper answer, so there’s the more superficial one, which is the easiest one to hit first, which is to introduce more variety. The second one is rediscover, rekindle and strengthen the masculine essence, the masculine core in you. An easy way to do that is to come to one of our live events or to get one of our trainings. This is really a very thorough program, an online training program, and if you could take one of the live events we have a series of in-person exercises where I take you through – over a period of 18 hours – rediscovering and reinvigorating your masculine core.
All right, so join the Man Up Movement and click on the link and get on the Facebook group, the private Facebook group. Ask your questions there, post your comments there and I look forward to hearing from you. All right, man. See you next time.