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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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What To Do If She’s Not Over Her Ex
David Tian Ph.D. talks about “nice guys” and the type of woman they are attracted to.
David Tian Ph.D. explains why some women put up with the abuse.
There is importance in understanding the psychology of all the different roles in the relationship, David Tian Ph.D. tells us why.
Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD, and in this video, I answer the question: What to do when she’s still not over her abusive ex? Welcome to Man Up Episode 214.
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, and welcome to Man Up Episode 214. Back in Bangkok as you can see. I don’t know if you can identify Bangkok by these high rises, but this is the usual view when I’m back in Bangkok. I got a question here from the Man Up private Facebook group. Let me just take a swig of water first.
Alright. This one comes from Justin. This is actually quite deep and a challenge for me is to get this done as quick as possible because I got to hit the gym, and then I got a set of client calls after that and I can’t be late for those.
“So, I’ve been dating an awesome girl for the last seven months. She broke up with her ex just over a year ago. He cheated on her and was talking to multiple women during their relationship. They always fought and he drinks a lot. Now, I have fallen for this girl, but recently she had a conversation with me about her feelings. She said she still has feelings for him and can’t seem to get over him. She also cares for me and has feelings for me, but right now she is lost and confused. She feels like it is almost a love triangle. We all live in the same town, and so she can’t seem to escape reminders of him. She says one day she hates him, and another day she misses him. One day she wants to be with me, and the next day she doesn’t want to be in a relationship.”
“She claims her self-confidence and self-esteem is gone, and she needs to get that back before she can be committed to me. I don’t want to give up on her because we are amazing together, and have a great connection, and a lot of similarities.” I just picked this up. The first time I read this, I thought Justin was already going out with this girl. As I am reading it out loud, which forces me to read slower than I usually read, I paid more attention to the fact that he says “She says she still has feelings for him and can’t seem to get over him. She also cares for me and has feelings for me, but right now she is lost and confused.” Which sounds like they never started going out in a relationship and probably haven’t been sexual and beyond just friends going out to see a movie together or something.
So he’s creating this whole dynamic in his own head where he says “because we are amazing together.” How do you know? You’re not even together. You’re just hanging out. “And have a great connection and a lot of similarities.” Alright. “I know most of you will tell me to get out now or leave her behind, but it’s easier said than done because I feel like there’s something there and we should be together, maybe just not right now. I guess what I’m asking is, what should I do? Should I give up or give her space and time to see what she’s missing with me?” Oh god.
“Let her see what she’s missing with me. If you need more information, just ask.” So, Justin. Welcome to nice guy land. I made a whole other set of videos, two in a row, and then a lot of other videos having to do with the same thing. If you YouTube search ‘David Tian white knight’, you’ll find that one. The other one is – your situation isn’t quite similar, but it’s about manic fairy dream girls and the nice guys who like them. It’s about why nice guys are attracted to a certain type of girl.
Nice guys are often attracted to a manic fairy dream girl, but they’re also often attracted as white knights. There are different types of nice guys. One particular type of nice guy which is very common is the white knight nice guy, and that’s you, Justin. How do we know this? Because the way Justin describes the ‘evil boyfriend’. He’s actually quite restrained in the description. And if you go in the Man Up group, there’s a lot of guys, maybe 20% of the guys, who are posting – or over 50% of the guys who are posting about friend zone issues, often they don’t even know they’re in the friend zone, but for those who understand what that is.
They’re often criticizing the fact or bemoaning the fact that she likes some other guy who is bad for her. He says that he’s really good for her, and one day, “How do I help her see that I’m really good for her?” That’s the question often, right? This is similar to Justin’s question, who is like, “How do I give her space and time to see what she is missing with me?” And then his description of the ex-boyfriend, who he hates and doesn’t even know, but he hates because he knows the ex-boyfriend, through her description, is that he cheated on her and was talking to multiple women during their relationship. “They always fought and he drinks a lot.” That’s not too bad, but “That’s despicable ex!”
They just rip into the ex-boyfriend because they’re coming in as the rescuer. His unconscious fantasy is to rescue females, and this is why he would be attracted to a girl who has a sob story like this. She’s attracted to the rescuer as well, but she needs to be in a dynamic that requires that. She’s always going to be in a love triangle because, first of all, the guy that she’s actually sexually attracted to, not just the ex, but in the future it will be a similar guy like that, unless she gets through her issues, that guy will never be able to satisfy her so she’s always going to have another guy who is going to be the shoulder to cry on. There’s always going to be a love triangle for this girl.
“So, they always fought and he drinks a lot.” Okay, he’s asking, “How do I get her, or will she ever get over the bad boy to appreciate me, the nice guy, who can make her life amazing?” There’s a lot to say about that. I’ve already explained this dynamic in previous videos. I explained why the white knight, Justin, that’s you, would have this tendency and what are the demons haunting you that would cause you to be attracted to somebody who is basically broken like this woman, and your desire and need to feel pity but not wanting to be compelled to jump in and rescue her; and then also not to be repulsed by it as far as getting involved with that situation.
Instead, you’re drawn to that dynamic. You’re like, “Let me rescue you, woman. Can’t you see I’m good for you?” Let’s figure out what’s going on with this woman. So, I’m making this video more to explain to Justin and to all the other guys who are white knights why this woman will never appreciate you and why she will always be looking for the bad boy. So, there’s a thing that psychologists called, and this goes back to as far as Freud, but you’ll see this in all of the modern literature as well, repetition compulsion. There’s a lot of literature on repetition compulsion in addiction therapies. Alcoholic Anonymous and all of this will be talking about why the alcoholic is drawn back to this thing that’s bad for him, and it’s not just a chemical dependency, but it’s a mental one.
Apart from alcoholics, because I know the guys who are like, “I’m not alcoholic”, they’re losing analogical thinking here, is that the woman is compelled to repeat her cycles of abuse. This is what she knew from her primary care giver, her male primary care giver between the ages of birth to at some later formative years. The earlier this happened to her, the more ingrained and deeper in her unconscious this pattern will have been locked into. Especially if there was any kind of abandonment from the father or for the primary male care giver, whoever she saw as her father, between the ages of birth, to 18, to 36 months, that’s the real crucial period. What of course happened is if she was abandoned by her dad when she was seven or ten, she’d have that same feeling of trying to get that back.
Obviously, if there was any kind of physical abuse, that would actually exacerbate that dynamic. Any father who abandoned her or was just emotionally not there for her, or physically not there for her, like physically abandoned her, or abused her which is going to be even worse, so she’s going to be even deeper in this dynamic of looking for men who will abuse her, or verbally abuse her… Verbal abusers are probably more common than physical abusers, though you’d be surprised at how common physical abuse and sexual abuse is for women.
Because they are used to that, they’ve associated that treatment of them with love. This is kind of wacky and messed up. I know if you’re a 21st century modern person, you’d be like, “Ah, that’s bullshit childhood stuff.” But if you dig deep into any psychology, you’ll know that this is the truth. It’s actually quite intuitive. When you’re a little baby, it’s really hard for you to make fine distinctions such as, “My dad is a bad man and he’s abusing me”, like when you’re 3 years old, versus, “I’m a bad person. I deserve this treatment” because the only father figure you have – it’s even difficult for you to understand the term ‘father figure’. It’s going to be hard for you to make these distinctions and distance yourself from that abuse. Like, “He’s a bad man and I shouldn’t be treated this way.” That’s not how young minds think. Their brains are relatively unformed and they just accept things uncritically. It’s easy for them because they’re quite self-centered in an innocent way, like their whole life revolves around their needs. That they would internalize that treatment as being reflective of who they are and their own self-worth.
And of course, this is all happening unconsciously. It’s not like she knows what’s happening. She just interprets it naturally that way. And it’s not like and six year old gets therapy, or a five year old, or a three year old gets guidance through this, so they have no idea. They just start making these assumptions, and then they just start forming those neural networks, neural pathways, based on that abuse. That’s how they consider what it’s like to be loved. And they still need love, but they’ve made this bad connection between abuse and love.
When they’re looking for love, which we all need, they’re going to look for what they’re used to. That’s why they have this compulsion to go back and repeat that cycle. Unless she gets therapy and sticks with it, and really commits to it for three months and more, depending on how severe that abuse was. It can be abuse or abandonment by the father figure, unless she gets that therapy and works through that, she’s going to just repeat this over and over all the way through adulthood. And then she will probably visit this.
What will happen is she’s going to end up getting with a guy like that, and a guy will stick around enough to give her a baby. And then the baby, if it’s a girl, she’ll feel the same thing towards the father because the mother found a father for the kid like that that was like her father. This is multi-generational and it continues forever until some very strong individual decides to stop it. It takes strength, courage, and bravery to admit this, and then to seek out help, and then to stick through it. Most people in the world are not mature enough.
Also, pop media and pop culture is not mature enough to support that sort of work, anyways. That’s what’s happening right now, Justin. You’re with a woman, a girl, who is just stuck in that dynamic and she is addicted to that guy. She knows that it’s bad but she needs to go back to it. The way she thinks of it is she needs to get her self-esteem. How? By winning that guy back and them dumping him? This is stupid. This is very childish. And literally, it’s childish because she’s reverting, regressing back to childhood to undo the unfinished business with her father figure.
Obviously, that’s not the way to go about it. And the only way she’ll heal from that is to revisit those childhood wounds and traumas, and then to process those correctly, let those out and then have new perspectives as she grows forward with those. I’m explaining the female side of that for Justin and other white knights. On top of that, more importantly for white knights, you need to understand why you’re drawn to that and your mother issues. Yes, it does go back to childhood, but it’s not some woo-hoo airy fairy stuff. This is actually quite intuitive if you just even understand neuroscience and how the brain is formed as a child, and the interpretations that children make about the events in the world and things that happen to them. It’s all very, very natural.
And quite intuitive. It’s not woo-hoo bullshit or anything. This is just straight up. And if you go to any university and study psychology, you’ll encounter this all over the place. This is just normal. It’s just most people just don’t study psychology, unfortunately. So, Justin, there you go. That’s why you can’t be her rescuer. That’s toxic for you to enter into that. She can’t be rescued by anyone except for herself. It’s toxic for her to stay with you or that other guy until she matures, and Justin, you need to mature.
If the both of you mature, then maybe you’ll be a good match for each other. Right now, you just repeat the same cycles you’ve always had for all of you, all three of you in this triangle. I haven’t even talked about why that dude is in his player bad boy mode and why he feels compelled to do that as well.
But anyway, there you go. It’s really important to understand the psychology of all the different roles. Hopefully, Justin, you will then get help and move forward. If you need to get extra help, for anybody watching this, we have a lot of free courses. I’m going to be adding new free courses to it, but there’s already almost a dozen free courses in there. Join the Man Up private Facebook group and then you’ll see the instructions for getting the free courses. Join the Man Up private Facebook group. Click the link. Join the group. I’ll see you inside the group.
It’s David Tian, signing out. Man Up!