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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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Girlfriend Shuts Down and Pushes Me Away
David Tian Ph.D. explains the reason why a woman might be running away from you.
David Tian Ph.D. tells us how to distinguish avoidant attachment styles.
In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. shares how you can make her stay.
David Tian: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video I answer the question: What to do when she shuts you out? Welcome to Man Up Episode 178.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!
Hey. It’s 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. And welcome to Man Up Episode 178.
We’re here at the Sunday, the third day, of the Mastermind Summit that we’re doing here in Bangkok as part of the Mastermind. I always love these events, and I did a full day of speaking yesterday from 9:30AM to 5:30PM, just me meeting the whole thing. And then went out and we had a big dinner, a really great dinner, and then went out clubbing to a few different clubs.
That’s why my voice sounds like this. We’re meeting here to have some fun, just let loose and have some – middle of the afternoon, laser tag in Bangkok. So, as everyone is coming in for that, I’m shooting this video for you. It’s 178. This is a question I’m answering from the private Man Up Facebook group, which you should join. Click the link and join. I’ll see you inside there.
A question from that group, from Levon, and it’s a one paragraph question, so I’m going to try and just read the whole thing.
“I’ve been dating this girl for six months, and she once shut down and wanted to find herself, because she did not feel she could give herself to me as I deserved. We found back together, and after two weeks she shut down again, saying she couldn’t do it. She could not be bound.
She admits that she has issues from her past relationships, because they were bad, and she’s sad. She just can’t get over her state and be with me, because she really feels like we’re soul mates and she loves me, and that we are perfect together, but she can’t be with me, and doesn’t want to lose me, so she wanted me to be – as I have always been – but her friend.”
“I told her, no, I can’t do that. And we removed each other from every social media, as I demanded it without any negativity. But she also says that she can’t keep hurting me by, at times, shut down, and can’t be the girl she says she should be.” If it sounds like weird English, that’s because I’m reading straight off the question.
“That’s probably a big reason why she can’t be with me, because she doesn’t want to hurt me anymore, and that I deserved the best in the world. I might have been a bit needy without really noticing it. How do I undo that? I don’t understand it, because I feel it’s me that she has done something wrong, but she keeps saying that it’s her.”
“She is very busy. She studies and has a child of four years. I asked her that if she ultimately had made her mind up that it wasn’t going to be us and she said, “That’s how I feel right now. I can’t tell of the future.” What do I do? Thank you so much. I trust in your advice.”
Well, thank you, Levon. A lot of comments. 62 comments on this one, and I said I’ll make an episode for you. A lot of comments here. So, the issue is – a lot of guys didn’t notice this. This is one of the reasons I picked this. By the way, great feedback as always in the group. So, if you’re one of the guys commenting in the group, keep doing so.
The guys who are asking for help, you get a lot of good guys in the group who are going to be replying to you. And sometimes, that’s often why I won’t bother making a video for it if I feel like it’s been responded and handled pretty well in the comments already. For this one, I think people are missing the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is your attachment styles. I think this really comes down to attachment styles. You are asking this question of, “Am I needy? I feel like I was too needy. Was I too needy?” The answer is yes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but what you are is – probably you had…
By the way you’re writing here, you have an anxious attachment style. She has an avoidant attachment style, and that’s why you guys click so well.
You actually are very compatible in your neurosis together. What that means is the more intimacy she feels, the more it scares her, and the more she needs to run and push away from that – because then she’s back in her comfort zone. And a lot of guys are like, “Oh, you’re in the friend zone, dude.” They thought it was a friend zone question.
I’m like, I just asked you, did you have sexual relations with her? Were you having a sexual relationship? If you were, which you were, which you did, then that’s not the issue. It’s not a friend zone issue, it’s that you got too close to her. Obviously, she has an unusual background, the sense of it wasn’t like a sheltered, happy childhood and so on.
She’s a single mother, so she’s gone through some shit, is what I’m saying. And the people that she has probably counted on in the past, that she has loved, like her dad, or some other caregiver, probably wasn’t there for her and let her down a lot. So, one of the reasons she developed an avoidant attachment style – and it might just be genetic as well, but she would naturally develop it if the people she keeps trying to count on aren’t there for her.
So, she just doesn’t want to get that feeling anymore, of counting on somebody, and then that being let down again. So, it’s easier and more in her comfort zone if she just pushes away and just says forget it, right? And that’s where she’s going. It scares her to be too intimate. It scares her to be vulnerable. It scares her to depend. It scares her to be relying on somebody else that she is connected to.
So, it’s just easier for her to cut it all off and just go back into her own independence. As well as looking for that soul mate, is I think one of those issues of like, “Look, we’re great together, but I can’t handle the intimacy.” She just got to run. And then she’s going to keep looking for the guy who doesn’t give her that feeling, but that feeling of needing to run, of abandonment, of having to avoid intimacy, that’s always going to be there for her.
So, if you want to have this relationship happen, you’re going to have to be much more secure than you are, and you’re the one who is going to have to lead her into a deeper level of vulnerability and comfort with vulnerability, and emotional connection than she is used to, and that is comfortable for her.
And for you to be able to do that, you have to have a lot of emotional awareness control, and that’s a tall order. And based on the way you have reacted already, and the way that you’re answering people’s comments and things like that, I can see you’re still quite young. You’re still developing, and it makes sense that your anxious attachment style is actually attracting her. You guys click in that sense.
But because you click, you have chemistry, it’s because you are both although complementary in your neurosis, neither of you are secure enough to make that relationship work, the relationship will never work. Unless you, being this needy, generally tending to be needy, tending towards an anxious attachment style, can learn to become secure, and only then can you then lead her in this relationship.
And that’s a tall order for most people, that never happens. If you take David Tian’s advice, if you go through David Tian’s programs, like Invincible, to start with, you will transform. You will become secure. You will become emotionally strong. And you will be able to be an emotional leader in your relationships, including even workplace relationships, school relationships, wherever you are. You’re going to be able to be grounded and centered emotionally.
That’s one of the benefits of Invincible, and we have programs that we cover in Aura Transformation. It’s a little plug for my course, but the point is, the truth is, you’re going to have to transform to become more secure emotionally, more emotionally intelligent, more emotionally aware, more present, more self-awareness and emotional strength. Most people don’t develop that.
You have to actually really work at that consciously and take – it’s almost like a course for yourself. Not almost like – you can take the course for yourself, or you’d have to do that for yourself. I know very few people who were able to do it on themselves. So, that’s the only way. That’s the only way this will work. Otherwise, she will just keep running from you every time you get close, and then you’ll get hurt.
You’ll start to cave in on yourself, and like, “I’m needy. It must be me. It must be me.” And you’re going to be too self-involved, too focused on the self because your anxiety is causing that. Also, though, because of that, that’s why you had chemistry in the beginning. I go into a lot more detail on this in our upcoming course Rock Solid Relationships.
Look for that when it comes out. It’s still in beta. We’ve been testing it a lot, but I’m looking forward to releasing that very soon. So, anyway, there you go. Two plugs for two courses, but the truth is, it’s because she’s not comfortable with intimacy. You’re getting too close and she has to run. But also, yeah, you have an anxious attachment style probably and you are needy. That’s going to get in the way of you ever making this work. You’re going to have to change if you want to be able to lead.
If you want a chance. It’s still going to be a little tough. You’re going to have to go through that with her. It’s a lot of patience required there. And so, there you go. It’s possible but difficult. But if you can transform, you can make it work, and you can lead. But you got to transform. So, there you go. If you want that to happen, there’s a lot of emotional growth.
There you go, David Tian, signing out. I got to get back to manage this group. I got to lead this group over here, figure out what’s going on over here, and make sure everyone is armored up with their guns. Anyway, this is like childhood, remember doing this as a teenager. It’s always fun doing stuff when you were a kid – kids stuff, doing it as an adult, it’s just extra fun.
So, David Tian, signing out. Join the private Facebook group. That’s where you can interact with me, ask your questions, as well as all the other awesome guys in the group. We are thousands strong right now. Thousands and thousands strong. I’ll see you inside the group. Click the link. Join the group. Until then, Man Up!