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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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Is Chemistry Enough For A Relationship?
David Tian Ph.D. explains chemistry and love.
David Tian Ph.D. deliberates on whether attraction can turn to love.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. shares the key to a lasting long-term relationship.
David Tian: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD, and in this video, I answer the question: Is chemistry enough for a relationship? Welcome to Man Up Episode 195.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!
Hey, 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 Man Up Episode 195. I am in Bali. A beautiful day and just forgot this is our last day of our stay and forgot we haven’t shot any video here, so let’s do it. Usually, I shoot at sunset, the lighting is a lot better for video, but too bad we have to deal with the shadows because we’re checking out today. So, here we are.
And I got a question here from the private Man Up Facebook group. This one comes from Michael. Alright, let’s read it out and let’s get to it. Hopefully, this will be short because I need to get my drink.
“Okay, me and my girlfriend of two years have been having some issues for a few weeks now.” This is Michael writing. “And I’m not really sure how to fix any of it. Our views are complete opposite sides of the spectrum. She was brought up in a Christian home and follow such as she brought up to do, and I was brought up doing most of what I pleased. I’m a musician so weekly I’m out at practice or pulling a show, as well as balancing two jobs in order to make enough money to move us out within the next year to 16 months.” They sound young. “And she is in school half the summer, working the rest.” Okay, they’re in school.
“She’s the kind of person that requires a lot of time and attention to feel valued, while I’m the kind of person that doesn’t mind missing out on time with her for a few days if need be.” Okay, so he’s pointing out a lot of places where they don’t match, and these are all pretty important places. She’s pointing out things like attachment styles, basically, that he can go for days without being in touch much, and she needs him to constantly reassure her. That’s a pretty major difference, as well as these ideological views, her Christian upbringing which is going to be more conservative and judgmental. You’ll see more. And he’s more of the laissez faire, easy-going, full-time musician type of thing.
“We’re drifting apart. I know we work well together because every time…” This is a weird – listen to this. “I know we work well together because every time the summer months roll around and the free time disappears, we both begin to feel dissatisfied with each other and the fighting begins.” I didn’t hear a reason why you guys work well together in there.
“I realize there’s room for both of us to change, but I just need an outside view looking in.” Look, yes, if you really – this is interesting. I just noticed that sentence. If you really want to make it work, and you want to go through a lot of change to make that work, then that’s obviously an option. After a certain age, after you finish university or high school, it becomes very difficult to change the personality and the way you are. But if you’re really motivated to do it, you can do it. I mean, the business personality change.
“Some other details: She really dislikes the playing shows until late hours of the morning, and she does – and when she does come, but she only comes to support me as the whole late night rock music is not her thing. And due to insecurity” Okay, so this is the whole Christian upbringing thing that’s coming up, right? “She’s very uncomfortable with me having close opposite sex friends, which has caused me to lose quite a few dear friends by putting her first.” Okay, I asked him why you chose her for a relationship.
He took that literally, as in, “How did they meet?” So, that’s an interesting sign of – he hasn’t thought about him choosing her. Most people think that it’s not part of your choice, it’s not something they have any power over, it’s just like fate. And those people will get divorced, those people will have failed marriages, and those people will fuck up their kids, which is the majority of the world and that’s okay. I mean, it’s okay in the sense that you’ll have lots of company, but maybe 50 years from now people will approach psychology and relationships the way they do fitness, which is a lot more educated, and more nuanced, and sophisticated.
He says, “We met working at a Tim Hortons some years ago.” Canadian, yes, Tim Hortons! I love the Timbits, man, those – they look like balls. Well, they are balls. I’m not going to say I like balls. “She trained me for a full week and we clicked right away.” So, you clicked right away within a week, you’re together, you hit on your trainer. “There was instant comfort and connection between us, one of those moments where you feel you’ve known someone for years, when it’s only been minutes.”
For the more mature of you, this is what puppy love – this is the idealistic bullshit that kids buy into and many adults as well. They’re fucked up in the head, and you all need to watch a series of two keynotes I gave. One is called Love vs. Attraction. You should be able to search bar that thing, Love vs. Attraction, David Tian, Man Up, you should be able to find that. I explained the difference between attraction and love. You are confusing those two.
I asked him, “What do you see as the difference between instant chemistry and love?” He says, “I’ve never been really sure exactly what love was.” Really? “But I know that I’ve never felt like this with any other partner.” So, he’s fucked. So, a lot of you – I chose this question because it’s great, because when I give the lecture with people who are rational and prefrontal cortex type of people, they watch the lecture and they’re like, “Who would ever think of this? Who would ever believe this idealistic romantic love bullshit?” Lots of people do. Michael does. This is a normal thing, and you probably did at some point of your life.
It’s time for you to grow up, Michael. You have attraction but not love. If you want to make that transition, you can – both of you work on each other. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be many years, and I just don’t think – I think for both of you, you would each find a better partner… I know you don’t believe this, right? I know you’re going to completely resist this. But as an older person and someone who does this for over 10 years for a living, you’ll be able to find a better partner who is more compatible with you. It will take time, it will take you putting yourself out there more and meeting more new people out of your social circle, but it’s definitely – I mean, there’s 7 billion people in the world, over that.
This is a great example of somebody who is bought into the romantic ideal of fake love, which is really – they think of it as love. It’s really just infatuation, and now they’re invested, they’re like pot-committed, and now the guy is trying to make it work when it’s obviously clearly not going to work unless one of you changes drastically – or both of you. You’re both young and this is probably one of those experiences that will affect the way your relationships go as you move forward, your future relationships. This really won’t work out for you. I highly doubt that it will. I highly doubt that either of you have that level of fortitude and maturity and stick-with-it-ness to get through all of that personality change work that would have to happen in order for this to actually be successful in the long run.
The better thing to do right now is – for you to take away from this a positive view that you guys had this great chemistry, you have this great time together, but chemistry doesn’t make a relationship. It kickstarts a relationship, it jumpstarts a relationship, and it’s an essential element in a lasting long-term relationship that often needs to be rekindled, but it’s not going to – in and of itself – create a lasting relationship. You have to have compatibility.
And you say you had instant connection, but what you felt was infatuation; you felt the chemistry. That’s attraction, that’s not love. And to transition from attraction to love, it’s a very difficult thing, and psychologists and scientists have already pointed out that transition, how difficult it is. So, go and watch that keynote talk, Love vs. Attraction. I go over all of the points in much more detail, so enjoy that. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this, so David Tian, over and out. This is Episode 195. I’ll see you inside the private Man Up Facebook group. Until then, David Tian, signing out.