Man Up | Ep. 123 • July 03, 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.
The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man,” 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 and answers based on his experience Coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.
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David Tian: Boom! Stop. In Episode 123 of Man Up, Christian Hudson and I answer the question of: What should you look for in a wife?[MUSIC] Masculinity for the intelligent man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!
Dating Advice for Men
Hey, I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and welcome to Episode 123 of Man Up. For over the past ten years, I’ve been helping a million people get success in dating and their love lives, and welcome to Episode 123. And with my very good friend, Christian Hudson from The Hero Company.
Christian Hudson: Well, that’s the name of the big–
David Tian: Also, TheSocialMan.com.
Christian Hudson: The Social Man, yeah. I just want to show you guys that we’re filming right here.
David Tian: We’re also on Facebook live right now. So, go to their Facebook page. It’s The Social Man, right?
Christian Hudson: Yeah, that’s right.
David Tian: Alright, cool. And we are answering a question from the private Facebook group, and it’s from Jacques. This is from the Man Up private Facebook group. But before we go into that, I want to just introduce Christian Hudson for the guys who don’t know him.
Christian Hudson: Oh yeah, hello.
David Tian: I don’t know who doesn’t know Christian Hudson, but this is the guy who started me on my journey almost 12 years ago.
Christian Hudson: Yeah, it’s a longest time ago.
David Tian: Almost 12 years ago and it’s good to see you again. It’s been like a couple of years.
Christian Hudson: Yeah, it has.
David Tian: We usually meet in some exotic place.
Christian Hudson: Yeah, last time I was in Singapore.
David Tian: Yeah.
Christian Hudson: Yeah, David lives over, and you guys probably know, and you guys don’t, David lives over – he kind of splits his time between Singapore and Indo- not Indonesia…
David Tian: Bangkok.
Christian Hudson: Bangkok, yeah that’s right. And so, we don’t get a chance to see each other as much as we like, but whenever we do it sounds cool hanging out, and he’s in town visiting this week and so we thought we’d come at everybody here and share this answer.
David Tian: Been going to Gold’s Gym?
Christian Hudson: Yeah, right.
David Tian: And then it’s beach and hanging out with Arnold [LAUGHS] a little bit. Okay, so, let’s just dive into the question and then they can learn more about you as you go on.
Christian Hudson: Yeah, no problem.
How to Have a Girl
David Tian: Alright, here’s the question. It is a long question. I’m scrolling along the question, and I’m going to try to summarize it. The question itself is from Jacques, it is, “What are wife material traits?” And the back story is that he hasn’t had some success with short-term relationships, but he’s looking for a successful marriage and long-term relationship, and thinking about having kids in the future, and he thinks it’s a different game when it comes to looking for something long-term.
So, he’s suggested some qualities. He wants to get some feedback, and here are these qualities. I’m just going to read them out because he wrote these paragraphs and described the qualities, but here are the qualities. Loyalty, which he says is more than fidelity. So, unwavering support for the man is what he means. Not a drama queen, so she apologizes.
Christian Hudson: [INAUDIBLE] actually was one of those.
David Tian: Yeah. She was apologizes or takes responsibility for bad behavior. Attractiveness, and we can go on, appreciative, a good worker. And he says it’s not just a measure of her employability, but it gives insight on what kind of person she is. And he says he has more qualities that he looks for, but he would like to hear our opinion on those.
Christian Hudson: Okay. So, do we know where he’s located? Like, where in the world is Jacques?
David Tian: I think he is French or French-Canadian. I think he’s French-Canadian.
Christian Hudson: Oh, okay, fair. So, hey Jacques.
David Tian: French Canada!
Christian Hudson: I’ve got some thoughts for those of you still listening, who are on board. So yeah, let me look. A couple of things stand out to me about Jacques, and I’m really curious what you’d think, but a couple of things that Jacques said here that I really want to call attention to. He said, “Loyalty, more than just fidelity, but loyalty, I mean, unwavering support for a man. Example, somebody tells me I would be a bad father, and my partner defends and says she completely disagrees.”
“Not a drama queen, apologizes or takes responsibility for bad behavior without needing to get into long arguments.” So, Jacques is right now starting to describe to me a woman who doesn’t exist. And specifically, it seems like he wants… And I’ve worked with men like this, especially wealthy men. It’s interesting, like some of the men who I’ve worked with, who are very wealthy or successful, have this attitude of like, “A woman should be everything I want her to be and nothing I don’t want her to be.” And that’s an awful way to enter a long-term relationship.
So, one thing he says that, “I want unwavering support for the man.” You know, a woman should support you to the extent that your actions match her values. And if you act in a way that is in lack of accordance with her values and what she believes, then she doesn’t need to support you. If you’re off cheating, if you’re off actually doing stuff that would be bad husband and stuff. So, I just want to point this out, that to… I see Darryl there, hey Darryl. That’s the Facebook live feed.
So, I just want to point this out that immediately, I’m reading between the lines in what Jacques is saying, and I’m getting the sense of somebody who feels a little bit entitled, and a little bit like he’s looking for a unicorn who is going to give him everything he wants and who going to completely compromise whatever he wants to. And that speaks a lack of maturity to me that I think Jacques needs to recognize, “Hey, a big part of finding the right long-term woman is being the right long-term man, and that means that you are going to have things that you disagree on.”
You’re going to have things that she doesn’t support you in, and you’re going to have to – I’ll close on this thought – on the things that you disagree on that she doesn’t support you in. You, as a man, have to decide, “Are these issues that you can live with?” Are they disagreements you can live with, and are they things that, at a values level, you guys can support each other on or not?
So, a simple one like, “Every now and then, I’ll have a cigarette. Like, if I’m out, I’ll socially smoke.” My fiancée fucking hates it and she’ll always be like, “I don’t like you smoking.” And she’ll make it known, but we have a discussion when I’m like, “Look, if I ever stop this, it’ll be because I want to, not because you want me to. If we have kids, I’m not going to stop unless I want to.” But I don’t do enough that it’s going to cause serious health issues in my life.
So, just a small issue where kind of said, “Okay, look, that’s not a big one. It’s not impactful to my life in a major way.” So, we can disagree on that one. If it was a matter of going out to strip clubs three times a week, I know she would not be happy with me and I can accept that part of her not being happy with that. And so, we can say, “On that matter of values, we’re in agreement and we don’t have to have fights about that.”
Female: Unless it disgusts her out.
David Tian: Yeah.
Christian Hudson: So anyway, let me talk a bit.
David Tian: Those are all great points, actually. That brought up something else I’m going to mention now, thank you. One thing I forgot to mention, just to start it off, is that a lot of the things that guys are looking for when they think they’re looking for something, some traits, in a long-term mate, are very relative and specific to that person.
So, I love to travel and I love Asian food. I don’t think I can get along with a woman who doesn’t like to travel and doesn’t like Asian food, but I wouldn’t say that that’s necessary for a long-term mate. It’s necessary for my long-term mate, but it may not be necessary for yours. And as far as objectively, universally speaking, because you’re asking, “What are wife-material traits?” That general question, a lot of what you’ve written down, I don’t think are going to be – a lot of what guys think of aren’t going to be required. What’s required, I think, just across the board, is self-awareness.
So, she’s got to know when she’s freaking out or being controlled, overly emotionally, and also knowing what her journey is as a person. Because we’re all imperfect and we’re all evolving, and we have to be aware of that. Because if we’re in a relationship, we’re going to evolve together, but she has to know that she’s evolving and she’s got to be growing, right? So, no one’s perfect at the beginning. Everyone’s got a bro, she’s got to know that.
And then the second is emotional maturity, to confront when she’s growing, she’s going to make mistakes and she’s going to misjudge things, and she’s going to have to have a lot of grace for you. Like, when you fuck up. And I think those two things, emotionally maturity and self-awareness, are going to be universally required. But a lot of these other things? Like whether she likes to smoke or not, those are going to be relative.
Christian Hudson: Those are sort of not values, I would say those are just things that are a part of the every day.
David Tian: Yeah. And in fact, they could change.
Christian Hudson: They could change completely, yeah.
David Tian: Like, your politics could change or religious views could change. People change. So, these are great examples. Loyalty, not a drama queen, attractiveness, appreciativeness, good worker. Jacques, I think what you’re looking for is a slave. You know, a hot slave, like a Princess Leia chained to you.
Christian Hudson: That was exactly what I got.
David Tian: But I know a lot of guys who are like this. They don’t want a drama queen, which means they don’t want any challenges. They want a woman who will agree to everything he does and just basically is like a maid, or a really hot maid, who will help him with his job, who he does not have to support. You want a good worker who can make real money, you know, an independent. And these are all great traits in a male friend. Loyalty, not a drama queen, appreciative and a good worker, and I guess attractive is the only difference.
So, going along with what you were saying…
Christian Hudson: No. I completely agree. And you know, this is where I see a lot of guys come in. Either they’re insecure or they’re hurt. So like, somebody made a comment, “Hey, it goes both ways.” Nick, I completely agree it goes both ways. You got to bring your best self and she’s got to bring her best self. I wouldn’t be with someone who is not going to bring their best self in a relationship.
So, I’m going to assume that you have this level of discernment to find that right person, and we can talk about that, but we can’t even really talk about who she is until we talk about who you are and what your expectations are for the relationship. Because I know when I was younger, certainly I had this expectation of – I don’t want to call it the slave or the maid, but I had an expectation that I’m going to get a woman who doesn’t challenge me. And it really used to hurt my ego when a woman would challenge me, and man, that took a lot of fucking work to get through and to evolve.
And frankly, I want that in a relationship. I’ve written stuff about this, and I’ve had guys write to me angrily and say, “It’s not a woman’s job to challenge a man. It’s like, that’s his own job.” Fair, right? Okay, fair, he should be pushing himself to his boundaries. But there’s going to be times when a man doesn’t know what he’s capable of where the woman who’s next to him in his life, that life partner, should be able to say, “Hey, you deserve more or you can be more.”
So, just on Jacques’ point, I really want to make that clear. When I get a challenge from my woman, I really try to discern whether it’s a challenge or a – we’ve talked about this before – test of strength versus test of insecurity. So, a test of strength is, “I want you to be better. I expect more from you. You are better than this. The man who I see, in my eyes, is better than this, and you’re not living up to that”, versus, “Love me, hold me, support me, tell me how much you love me.” That’s that test of insecurity where she’s looking for constant reassurance.
David Tian: Yeah. I mean, most guys also are looking for male friends who don’t challenge them either, not in a direct way. So, there’s just an idea that you become the people that you associate with the most – I’m going to look both ways – that you become those that you hang out with the most. And when you get married, you’re going to be hanging out the most with your wife, or your girlfriend, right? That’s the companionship thing. And both of you are going to rub off on each other. Not just physically, but you know.
So, when you think about your peer group and you think about your wife, she will be the biggest determinant of your peer group. A lot of guys don’t think that. They just want a slave, in a way, right? And here’s the thing: most guys’ peer groups suck, and that’s why you suck. So, one of the problems is, guys think that, “If I have a good friend, my friend will support me no matter what”, and that’s actually not true.
Christian Hudson: No, that is bullshit.
David Tian: So, if you’re under your standard, your friend should tell you. “Look, you’re not living up to your potential. You’re underselling yourself.” And he should challenge you. And sometimes, if you don’t step up, in a way he should walk away so you feel like, “Shit. I lost that. I better set back.”
Christian Hudson: I completely agree. And you know, I’ve had to do this to friends in my life, people who I’ve worked with in this business even. And it’s painful as fuck. I’ve had to do it to women, and I’ve had women do it to me. My girlfriend in college, you remember her, Erika… She’s the love of my life at the time. I wrote her a long letter and she still dumped me and he said, “You are not the man I need you to be.” And she was absolutely right, and I looked back on her breakup. It’s such a fucking gift from her to me, because it forced me into New York, into new relationships and all of these things that I wouldn’t have achieved otherwise.
So, I think what you’re saying is so true and so right. Do you want to talk about what kind of traits do – I mean, we talked about those two traits.
David Tian: Yes. Well, one thing I want to mention to Jacques. You know, I’ve been coaching over ten years and I know Jacques is going to get really defensive right now, right? So Jacques, we’re not attacking you directly. I’m saying that most guys, over 90% of men, are feeling the same way. They want a woman who does not present drama. But let’s deal with drama, because that’s actually one of the core traits of the feminine essence. Like, to be masculine means that you’re disciplined, you will break through, you will go through, you’ll follow through and you’ll get shit done.
The feminine is in-the-moment, flowing, you know, she wants to experience in-the-moment; to be free. And the world makes a lot of women stay in their masculine. And if you want to enjoy a passionate relationship and you’re a masculine man, you should be looking for the feminine, and the feminine will often challenge you in seemingly irrational ways.
And this is a big theme in the Man Up show, where a lot of guys think – are butting up against the ‘irrational’ feminine. And instead of embracing it and conquering it with your presence, you go in your head and start thinking, “What an irrational bitch”, right? Instead of realizing that just responding to her energy instead of her words…
Christian Hudson: And feeling like your ego is being attacked as well.
David Tian: Yeah, right.
Christian Hudson: Your sense of self is being attacked. “How could she be this way? How could she treat me this way? This is an imposition against me.” And realizing that in that moment, it is not about your ego and it’s about how things are feeling for her right then and there. And trying to depersonalize this and stepping up and being strong, and that is such a hard thing to do but it makes for so much better of a relationship.
David Tian: Yes, definitely. Because if you have a relationship where you basically have a good friendship, that’s often what happens to marriages over time, you just become really good friends, then there’s no passion. That’s because there’s a depolarization between your masculine and her feminine. And over time, because she’s your biggest determinant in your peer group, you level out to be this pretty much the same. And you just spend evenings sitting on your couch every evening watching Netflix and just chilling out, that’s your thing.
But one caveat I want to put out there is, when you think about drama and challenges, it’s really important to discern – like what you were getting at – what are good challenges, and what are bad challenges or inappropriate challenges? So sometimes, the girl’s ego will come into play because you’re growing too fast and she’s reacting to that because she’s not on the same life path as you. Maybe she needs more validation, maybe she wants to keep going clubbing, and now you’re getting serious with your career, or mission or something, and then she’s going to create a lot of drama because she’s reacting to that.
And that’s when your own self-awareness becomes really important. You need to know what your values are, what you’re about, what mission you’re on, and that will determine whether her challenges are mature challenges or immature ones.
Christian Hudson: I really like that. I really like that. I know some people who’ve been through things like that and they needed to hear that but not now, they needed to hear that a while back. And you can see that happening. And I think to a certain degree, that goes into what I’ve called selfishness or selflessness in a woman. Everybody wants a woman who is selfless, right? And every woman wants a man who is selfless, and you’re constantly fighting against those two things, right?
One of the things we were talking about is a woman who has done some athletics in her life. That’s really a good proxy for whether she is going to be able to be a part of a bigger team or if she’s going to be able to – or if she’s just somebody who’s very focused on herself.
David Tian: Like the teamwork aspect of me.
Christian Hudson: Exactly, exactly. Being able to put herself aside and say, “What’s right for everybody here?” So, yeah. And I will say this: If you see a woman who you feel is holding you back out of her own insecurity, her own unwillingness to grow, to me, that’s the opposite of a trait that you want in a long-term relationship. But you and I are very – we’re very growth-oriented people. For as long as I know, you’ve been trying to learn new things, push yourself in new ways and growing these skills.
David Tian: Likewise.
Christian Hudson: And yeah, thank you, and I’m very much the same way. So, I think, for a guy who’s content to just sit around on the couch and hang out, maybe he wants that girl who’s not going to challenge him that much. But I think a lot of the men who follows us, who listen to us, hopefully you guys here and you guys there, you want to become the best men you can be. You want to have a woman who’s going to support you, and part of that means finding a woman who is going to challenge you.
But back to it. I do think you’re going to look – you said self-awareness.
David Tian: Emotional maturity.
Christian Hudson: Emotional maturity.
David Tian: And then what you said also raised the issue of integrity. So in my mind, emotional maturity would include integrity. But just in case it’s not clear, that’s one of the rarest things to find among 20-somethings these days. Like, actual moral values, because there’s no religion anymore. There’s actually, philosophically speaking, there’s no reason to have values. Those are evolutionarily adapted, but they don’t exist. I mean, this is the standard view in academia.
So, if there’s no god, there’s no objective good; and if there’s no objective good, then do whatever the fuck you want, right? YOLO? And so many people are doing it. So, as long as they can get away with it and no one gets hurt, they’ll do it. And that said, not a good attitude for a long-term relationship, because at some point she’s going to have to be able to restrain herself from following the pleasure angle, right? Because hey, she’s still young and she could easily go back into a club and just get laid again, right?
And maybe you had a fight and so she could lash out that way, but she has to have enough integrity to say, “No, I’m going to go back in and give it another shot.” And that’s something you have to decide as an active will. And compassion, selflessness are very much lacking in people these days.
Christian Hudson: So, one thing that I see a lot on our blogs – I know we’re getting a little long here guys, but it’s probably no problem because it’s productive conversation – one thing that I would say, and I see this a lot on the blogs, I see the anger, right? And you see it from both sides. A lot of guys – I’d love to write an article about this – a lot of guys are like, “Ugh, women sucks these days.” And women are like, “Guys suck these days.” And there’s just anger on both sides.
It’s like republicans and democrats. Like, who knows what, right? Everybody’s angry at everybody. And one of the things that I’ve accepted for myself, is that there are behaviors that I will have which my woman and my friends are not going to like. And if they hold me to a perfect standard, I’m going to let them down. And it’s going to require some flexibility on their part to accept that from time to time, I’m going to be selfish, I’m going to be forgetful, I’m going to be…
David Tian: [INAUDIBLE].
Christian Hudson: Yeah, there’s all these things. And when I get into arguments, I’m going to be a butthead sometimes. And in the same way, I think that I need, for my friends and my woman to – or I have to accept that my friends and my woman are going to be that way too. You know, if I was completely unwilling to bend, if I was completely incalcitrant, or recalcitrant, I can’t remember exactly what the word is, but recalcitrant, then that would also not be productive to my long-term relationship goal, which is to have a loyal, loving relationship with one person.
So, my point is, both sides need to be able to be flexible and to have a degree of – you used the word ‘grace’ earlier which I really liked – a degree of grace word the bad behaviors of others, and willing to look…
David Tian: That’s the maturity angle, right? You need to know we’re all evolving and growing.
Christian Hudson: And again, this is where it goes back to you guys. Women watch these, but most of the people who watch these, at least at our Facebook live, are men, and I think most of the people who watch David’s stuff are men. So, we’re not talking to women out there saying, “Hey, you got to become more emotionally mature. You got to become more self-aware.”
What Attracts Women
We’re talking to you guys and saying, if you want to empower yourselves and have the best relationships possible, yes, here’s some traits to look for but here’s some things about yourself that you can evolve so that you can A) Be someone who deserves a woman with those traits, and B) Be able to discern those traits when you see someone and see help guide someone into those traits when they’re less than perfect. Which has happened to me before. There’s been times when I’ve been probably excessively willing to let someone get away with something. Because I love them and because I believe, “Hey, if we can get through this issue, then perhaps she’s going to grow.”
And in times I’ve broken up with women, it’s because they have not been able to leap pass that. And in times when I’ve stayed with people, it’s because if that was the issue, that she was being a bit of a butthead or what-have-you, we were able to talk through it, we were able to work it out, and she was able to contextualize what we did in part of the bigger picture of our relationship, and understand how that was causing problems, and how this is a personality trait that doesn’t become her.
So, you need to have a bit of, I would say, patience of grace, in order to walk someone through that if you truly love them. And to me, that’s a big trait of a great man, is that patience [INAUDIBLE].
David Tian: Wow, we went to grace. Hey, that’s how the story goes.
Christian Hudson: A lot of people don’t know. David has such a strong Christian background.
David Tian: And then I did my Ph.D. in religion, religious studies partly, so yeah.
Christian Hudson: And I’ve known Christianity inside-out, so that word’s not surprising. And also discernment, I feel like discernment is a very Christian word.
David Tian: Yeah. Well, self-awareness could be kind of discernment in a way.
Christian Hudson: Yeah.
Tips for Men
David Tian: So, well, I got to wrap up my part here.
Christian Hudson: Yeah, I think we should wrap up too. Thank you for joining. Let’s wrap up the Facebook live and also and let’s see–
David Tian: Hey, Facebook live.
Christian Hudson: Kevin wrote here — you know, let’s wrap this up and I’m going to talk some shit to Kevin.
David Tian: Okay, cool. Okay, so join the private Facebook group. That’s how you ask your questions. Click on the link below. I’ll see you inside the group.
Christian Hudson: Thanks for having me.
David Tian: This is Episode 123. Great to be here. I’m in their offices. And until next time, Man Up![MUSIC]