Man Up | Ep. 138 • September 13, 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.
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David Tian: Boom! Stop. In Episode 138 of Man Up, I answer the question of: What to do when she’s lost that in-love feeling with you?
Masculinity for the intelligent man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!
Hey! This is David Tian, Ph.D. and for over the past ten years, I’ve been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success in life and love, by applying ancient wisdom and current cutting-edge research. And welcome to Man Up Episode 138. Got a question here from the private Facebook group. And by the way, I’m in Bangkok. There’s beautiful buildings around me. The sun is setting, sunset actually. Anyway, I’m going to try to get this done before the sun completely sets.
Question that got bumped up because I stupidly said in the comments that I would answer it like next week. I’m a man of my word, but I should’ve checked my scheduling because there are more questions before this that I was supposed to answer, so I will get to the other guys’ questions very soon. Maybe I’ll continue shooting today, actually, once the sun sets, roll down this curtain.
So, the question is from Nathan. And Nathan asks – it’s a really long question. Let’s see, how do I summarize this? “David Tian, I could really use some help. I’ve been dating the woman that I love for almost two years. We met and started out as friends, became really good friends, and after about two months became serious and committed.” After two months. “Our relationship grew to the point where about one year and a half, I asked her dad for a hand in marriage. He gave me his blessing”, but he was holding off on proposing to her until he secured a better financial situation, where he says, “Where I would feel more secure in starting a family with. In the midst of that, she and I had been talking of marriage and starting a family, so we were on the same page.”
Okay, moving down here. “So, two Thursdays ago, after living together for about four months, she drops a bomb on me that she loves me as a best friend, doesn’t have that in-love feeling that she thinks she should have for someone that she wants to marry. What’s worse is that she said she’d been feeling that way off and on for a while, but had been trying to work it out and rationalize it in her own mind. So, she’s temporarily moved to her parents’ place until I find a place.”
“I have tried a few times to suggest that the feelings she is describing is a feeling that comes and goes, and everyone I know, including her parents who’ve been married for 35 years agree, and that being best friends first is the best foundation for a marriage. All my attempts had been unsuccessful. She’s unsure of why she lost the in-love feeling but wants to remain friends. She’s unsure if we will be able to move forward again, but is not ruling it out. She just needs time. She also mentioned that if we had been married already, she would work on it because she believes marriage is for life and that she would make working on this mandatory.”
“But since that isn’t the case, she just doesn’t want to work on it now while she’s working full-time and trying to get her craft business off the ground, which I’ve always been super supportive of. What blew me away the most is that she didn’t want to work on it and she refuses to talk to anyone outside of me about it for any advice. I’m really at a loss. I see this woman as my wife and mother of my children, and she just wants to be friends and have space. There are no other suitors in the picture.”
“Just a quick background on her: She loves travel. I met her after she moved back to the States, after living outside the country for two years. She came back to the States to save up money to move to Australia for a year. We met, fell in love, and she decided to stay and have a relationship with me instead of following her plan to move to Australia. She’s only been in one other relationship that lasted over a year, and that was when she was in college. Marriage came up, but they were too young, and immature, and it was not serious according to her. She’s been single most of her life. Other than that first relationship, and then to others, one that lasted almost a year and one that lasted six months. She’s 32.”
Alright, wow. Great background. Thank you so much for the background. I think that’s important background. She’s 32. I’m not sure how old you are. I’m assuming around the same age. This is interesting. Alright, and I can’t tell what country – I think you’re in the US. So first of all, let me just deal with some of the – based on the comments below, the other guys wrote there’s a lot of confusion here. So, let me just clarify some of these things. Let’s get those off the table, let’s see.
So, one of the issues was, you keep saying you guys were best friends before you got in this relationship. And there are guys who are like, “Oh man, you’re in the friend zone. This is really bad. You can’t go from friend zone to lover” or whatever. That’s total bullshit, okay? So, the way the world works was, before the hook-up culture became prominent, people married their friends, people fucked their friends, people – they were friends and then they got married. This is quite common.
Unless it was pure courtship or an arranged marriage, okay? Otherwise, it was normal to marry your friend. So, let’s just get that out of the way. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that you were best friends before. So, and to get something else out of the way, I’m assuming that everything you’re saying here is true. So, what you’re saying here is important, because you say there are no other suitors in the picture. That’s really important. So, let’s assume that that is true. All we have to go on is what you say here.
And I will also assume that your reading of her is correct, where you say she is unsure of why she lost the in-love feeling but wants to remain friends, and that she still has feelings for you but not those types of romantic feelings. And that your reading is also correct when you say that she doesn’t have that in-love feeling, that she thinks she should have for someone that she wants to marry. Okay, so let’s get this over with.
So, here’s the truth. Everybody who believes that love, that feeling of love, as you have correctly pointed out, is the basis and reason for marriage – everyone who believes that will get divorced. Guaranteed. If they stay in that relationship past 20 years, they either – I say 20 because when you have kids, it basically freezes your marriage for a little while, because you got to deal with those kids, until they leave the home, which in America is usually around 18 years old. And now you’re on your own again, and you’re staring at each other’s eyes, and you haven’t been alone in a room for so many years and all that passion’s gone because you’ve been in the hubbub of daily life, the mundane daily life. And that’s destroyed the passion, destroyed the romance, and then you just look at each other and you’re like, “Fuck.”
So, those people who believe in that will either get a divorce or lead a life of quiet desperation. Most men are leading the life of quiet desperation, who hold to that view. I call it the Hollywood view. You may call it the Disney view. And basically, why we call it that is because in the Hollywood movies, in the Disney movies, you just see the plot up to the point where the guy and girl hook up, and then the end.
And that was like the hard part; getting together was the hard part. But getting together is the shortest part and is the easiest part. It’s the most effortless part. The rest of the relationship is called ‘real life’. And of course, it’s not sexy, so they stop the movie there. So, those who believe in that kind of Hollywood romance thing are fucked, and this woman is one of those.
And you know, the thing is, a majority of people are that way. That’s why I will always have a job. I mean, that’s why this company, this business, if I die, will continue to go on, because there are so many people who bought into that lie. And I think in a way, our ancestors in the 1700’s and 1800’s or earlier who were assuming courtship, old style courtship, or arranged marriages actually had a better go of it because they had to accept that reality in their minds and work with it. And the adaptability of the human mind is much stronger than searching endlessly for that high, which by its very nature is not there.
Now, I attached in the comments a chapter from Jonathan Haidt’s book. Let me just double-check that I did do that. Oh, okay, maybe it was in a different – Oh yeah, I’ve read the article, wow, okay. I have attached it there, haven’t – Oh yes, okay. It just didn’t show a preview. I’ve attached it into my first comment on that question, in the private Facebook group. So if you guys want it, just go ahead and join the private Facebook group and you can scroll down and see that question in my comment, with a link to a free chapter from Jonathan Haidt’s book – he’s a professor now at NYU, I believe, a very prominent professor of psychology. And his book Happiness Hypothesis, which is incredibly accessible. It’s very easy to read, and that chapter on love.
And in that chapter on love, there’s this really cool chart. We’re basically showing if this axis is intensity and this axis is time, then passionate love is very high at the beginning, right? So, the beginning of the relationship, it’s very high, and then it just drops pretty quickly. And I would say that drop happens six months to 18 months into that relationship. So actually, you’re right in there. You’re like two years in. It was already dying between six to 18 months. So, she was feeling that high for six months, and then it just started to die.
And then there’s this other thing called companionate attraction, which can be measured over time, and it looks like this in terms of intensity. It’s not a straight line, so it’s hard to see on this video, but it’s more like straight, and then it’ll start to curve up. So, it’s maybe more of a curve like this. And the idea is that it’s something you got to work on, and there’s that transition period where the two lines cross, and that transition period of three to five years or 18 months to five years, where that passion then has to mutate into a deeper connection that carries the day.
And then what I believe is – and this is a view that most academics don’t understand – but basically to continue the passion, you need polarity. You need the difference between male and female. The reason why academics don’t get it, is because they’re so blinded by political correctness over the past 50 years that they can’t say that men and women are different. Not even just biologically, they didn’t even want to say that shit. But the truth is, male and female have different biology and different chemistry, and it causes a different psychology.
Now, does that mean that a female can’t be in her essence masculine? Of course not. And I’ve covered that in other videos. And does it mean that a male with a penis can’t be in his core a feminine? Of course not. What I’m saying is that the majority of, given the biology and the biochemistry of the sexes, will cause a certain type of energy or essence in most males. A masculine essence in most males, a feminine essence in most females, and respecting those two is different is what causes the tension.
When two human beings spend a lot of time together as I mentioned in the previous videos, they will become alike. And if a male and female spend a lot of time together, they would basically depolarize. That’s the nature of things. They have to work to maintain the polarity of that distance, of masculine and feminine, so that there is that tension, the electricity of those polar opposites. Otherwise, they come together and depolarize, and there’s no passion anymore; there’s just friendship and some kind of connection.
But it’s not that passion anymore because the polarity is missing. And most men don’t control the polarity because they don’t control their masculine essence. They don’t know what it is and how to grow it. So, I cover this in my course Invincible, and I’m going to create a whole another program. I have been teaching a program live in Singapore on it called Masculine Mastery that you can sign up for for 5,000 dollars. I know it’s also not accessible to most people because of the price, but also the location, Singapore.
But that’s our test ground for when I eventually will release it as an online course. But I have now been teaching snippets of it in my latest courses on 10 Weeks to Freedom and in Invincible, there’s a whole module on that on masculine energy. And there are multiple weeks on it in 10 Weeks to Freedom: Masculine Freedom. So, there are different ways of exploring that. But one of the easiest ones that you can implement right away, right now, just for this video – I’ll just talk about that one thing – is presence: being fully there, fully present with your woman and feeling what’s going on in the moment and boring right into her mentally and emotionally.
So being there – not thinking other second-order thoughts. Like, a lot of guys, they have doubt and they allow those doubts to arise while they’re having a conversation. So, if you’re looking at the camera and you’re looking at me, and as you’re talking to me, I’m thinking other shit like, “Uh, what should I say?” Or like, “Hmm, does she like me now or am I doing this right?” You can feel that energy go away when I’m there with you, and I’m fully feeling you, and I’m feeling what you’re feeling, and I’m trying to get inside you, to feel what you feel, and to think what you think; and to really understand what you’re feeling. Not just what you’re saying, but what you’re feeling. That’s a deep type of presence that’s hard to do if you’re not used to doing it, and something you can train.
It’s something that you have to train, actually, and that will help you in maintaining facing your fears. Because a lot of guys, the reason they’re not present is because of fear, is because of doubts, because of insecurities, because of the lack of confidence. So, there are so many things to talk about in terms of polarity. But the reason why this is happening, my friend, if I can call you friend here – I don’t like when people casually call people friends, but Nathan, it’s because she, like most people, have bought into the lies and myth of Hollywood and Disney. Is there anything you can do about it? Not really. I mean, you basically will have to tell her that there’s no tooth fairy.
And women want to believe that fairy tale bullshit, because it sounds so nice and is easy to do. And it’s like drugs: it’s people who just look for that next high. And so, she’s addicted to that high of the passionate attraction and will not – unless she matures and it turns on her brain – will not be able to make that transition to compassionate attraction. The thing is, at 32 years old, she probably will never find that happiness that’s eluding her.
If you want to, and it sounds like you got your head screwed on straight – and that’s one of the reason, that’s one of the problems the passion went away. Because now, you’re thinking about these long-term things. You’re thinking about, “Okay, she’s the woman I’m going to marry. I’m going to get a lease.” You were thinking all this long-term, and you’ve lost the moment. You’ve lost the moment. And the reason I say that that’s masculine is – I mean, in some ways, it’s feminine as well, of course, but the masculine presence is there like when you’re in a fight.
Like, when you’re in a fight and you’re there in a cage or on the street or whatever, if you start to think – you start to plan ahead, like four hits ahead, the guy’s going to smack you. You’re going to get knocked out. You got to react. You got to be in the moment. You got to be in the moment. You can’t be thinking second-order thoughts. And when you’re playing a game and they’re coming at you, you got to go by instinct and hope your fucking instincts are cultivated and honed through practice and training.
Because I’ve had those situations, where I’m playing basketball and I’m like – I get the ball and I’m like, “There are some cute girls over there in the stands” and I’m thinking, “Okay, how do I look right now?” And as soon as that happens, I make a mistake, like I dribble on my shoe, or I get the ball stolen, or I fuck up something because I’m not in the game, I’m thinking about myself too much. And I’m thinking ahead too far. Don’t think ahead too far. Stay in the moment, the relationship.
That’s when guys fuck up: when they start to have these plans as if she’s something you can just slot into your life. That’s not how human beings are. You got to stay in the moment and stay in the present with her. Okay, so I think I’ve said enough about that. The hard truth is, this woman is not ready to be in a long-term relationship. She’s just ready for lots of short-term ones. And every time the feeling of passion goes away, which it inevitably will – Because at some point, you can bring the passion back, but you have to work now. Now, it’s going to take some effort.
Like, you have to remind yourself, “Okay, be present.” Before, you were always present because it was just so exciting. And she’s not going to put in the work as long as she buys into the myth, the Hollywood myth, the Hollywood romance, the Disney romance. As long as she buys into that, there’s no hope for her, and don’t drag yourself down with her. I know this guy’s been messaging me privately over and over with just, “Oh, but I can’t live without her.” And I’ve done another video on how to get over a breakup.
And for me, it turns out I’m a pretty rational being. So, when I understand rationally what’s going on, that helps a lot in getting over the emotional stuff. The emotional stuff really hits me when I don’t understand what’s happening intellectually. So, that’s what helps me. A lot of other guys, meditation, heavy lifting, like testosterone-jacking type of lifting. Challenge yourself physically, like submission grappling. Pick up the deadlifts, the full-body lifts, squats, and just activating those hormones in you, the male hormones. Going for the killer instinct; reigniting that.
Meditation, physical challenge, travel and getting new perspectives, getting new anchors, destroying the old anchors, getting out of where you were before – because all those old anchors with her are going to fire off. Wherever you were and spent with her, go somewhere else, establish new anchors. And time, time, man. The deadening of the memories, having new memories, replacing them with new memories, it will happen if you do those things.
I know guys who can wallow in it for months and months, or years and years, and never recover. And that’s just sad, sad as fuck. And I’ve done a separate video on meditation with Stefan Ravalli, excellent I’ve heard, and masculine physical challenge. I haven’t done a video on that yet, but maybe I will soon. I did a whole separate video, a Man Up episode on getting over a break-up.
So, there you go Nathan. And join the private Facebook group. You can read Nathan’s question plus my response with the link to the free chapter of Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt. And I will see you inside the Facebook group. Join the Facebook group. Click the link and join the group. We approve requests every day, and that’s where you can ask your questions, and I will answer them personally. Alright, I’ll see you inside the group. Until then, Man Up!