Man Up | Ep. 218 • November 2, 2017
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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 Asian philosophy who couldn’t hold a conversation to save his life, David is now director of Aura Transformation Corp., and a world renowned therapeutic coach. 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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Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD, and in this video, I answer the question: What if your woman leaves you to travel the world? Welcome to the Man Up show.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!
Hi. 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 the Man Up show. I think it’s Episode 200-something. I can’t remember exactly. It’s been a long time since I’ve shot a Man Up episode, forgive me if I’m a little rusty. I’ve been doing lots of travelling and a lot of prep for various other projects. If you’re in our programs, you’ll see them coming out.
I just want to show you a view from the office past few days at this beautiful 2-bathroom suite in The W Bangkok. A cool view. You get to see – there are no trains coming by right now, but you can see down there is a BTS, like an overground subway system here. You can see there’s that tower there which is – there we go – which is the tower that was in Hangover 2. Back at it, and how’s that looking? Okay, cool.
I got a question here from the private Man Up Facebook group. This one comes from Joe. Joe says:
“My girlfriend of over 4 years, fiancee of 7 months, left me a month ago.” That sucks. “She’s saying she wanted to go away and travel the world for a couple of years.” They were engaged for 7 months, and then she wanted to go see the world. “This was after a few months of the relationship falling apart because we were both very stressed about our jobs. I didn’t do anything about it until it was too late, but it seemed we were going to be okay just before she hit me with this.”
“She had talked in the past about us going away to travel together, but I had always said that I had already done that, so has she, and my career has finally started to progress. I know it’s a case of us wanting different things, but I still find it hard to let her go. I saw her last night. She told me how much she has missed me and loves me but still talked about going away like it was set, and love was not going to make her stay. I have been really down since she left and I got the impression she has taken it worse than me. I still have hope that we can be together still. Any ideas of what I can do?”
I got the impression she has taken it worse than me… I don’t think so, if you’re asking the question and she’s not. So, asked a few more clarification questions. “She is 30. She’s been away travelling years ago, as have I, and I’m pretty sure she enjoyed it. Her family is quite well off, so I didn’t think she’d pay for much. She said this time she wants to do it off her own back.” Well, Joe has never heard of Eat, Pray, Love. Let’s see.
“We have talked a lot about it before she left, and I was very understanding despite the fact that my heart was being broken. I do agree, though, that a lot of it is her dealing with stress, etc. The fact that she feels she isn’t going anywhere in life as well.” Joe is confused about why his 30-year-old fiancee of 7 months would want to travel the world because he’s like, “She’s already traveled before!” And he’s like, “I did that, too.” As if you can just get the travelling bug out of your life. You travel for 1 or 2 years and then never need to travel ever again 4 years later.
He’s wondering, “Why would anyone want to travel?” It seems like Joe is now battening down the hatches on his lifestyle and is now focused on career. And so, he was fun Joe before, and then they got into a relationship, and now he’s career Joe who wants to stay home, go to work, come back exhausted, because he gets his significance and spent all of his energy at work, doesn’t do much, doesn’t travel much, doesn’t go and see the world or have unpredictable great variety of fun things in his life, and is really focused on making money. This is the normal way that guys usually go, by the way.
What they’ll do is they’ll go online, figure out dating – right? This is the norm in America, anyway. The guy goes out and figures out dating. This means he’ll often be in the night clubs or bars for 3 – 4 years, or more like 1 – 2 years, maybe as little as 6 months, and find a girl. It might not be from the bars and clubs, but it might be because he’s being really social, and he has more energy because bars and clubs require you to stay up late. He’s probably at bar and club time when it’s time to be social, which is dinner time and after. He’s not exhausted from day time work because he’s in this habit of being really social, fun, adventurous, easygoing, cool, chill, and laid back. That’s attractive to the girl that he meets wherever, probably at a house party or something like that.
And then he gets into a girlfriend relationship with her. The normal thing then is the dude, the 20-something dude thinks, “Okay, I got the girl. Check.” Right? And then he just compartmentalizes that part of his life, dating, being attractive, and having a fun, adventurous, easygoing lifestyle, and putting that aside now because he’s got that handled – he says, he thinks, and then he focuses on making money. That becomes his focuses, in his mind, for the next 30 years. He wonders why the relationship falls apart.
Well, you didn’t get her when you were that way. You were the fun Joe. Now, you’re the boring Joe who is focused on career. She’s getting restless, right? She’s turning 30 and she hasn’t got any kids yet. Basically, going with you, settle down Joe, is telling her unconscious mind that life is over. Because after this, there’s nothing really to look forward to. All you have is popping out babies, and then a career that she’s probably not that into. The last thing I just read, he says, “The fact that she feels she isn’t going anywhere in life as well.” She’s not really into her career, her day job, and there’s nothing else really for her to look forward to besides getting pregnant.
She doesn’t want that. She wants to see the world, wants to recapture her youth, the fun and adventure of her youth. You’re not going giving it to her anymore, Joe, because you, like most dudes in their 20s, think that you just need to be attractive until you get the girl, and then you can stop and become a boring dude focused on money and getting significance through that, feeling worthy through that. That’s the problem right now.
I totally understand where she’s coming from, because you’re boring as fuck now, Joe. You don’t understand that. You think, “Okay, now that I got a girl” – and this is most of, what I’ve seen, the average dude attitude, which is that it’s harder for the average dude to be fun and adventurous because they don’t get rewarded for it like young females do. When young females are fun and adventurous, clubs give them free entry, free bottles, and they’re the center of attention.
When a dude is fun and adventurous, he’s looking at as irresponsible or something like that. “Get your shit together and get an honest living” and bullshit like that. So then he gets his honest living and he thinks, “Now, the girls should love the fact that I’m responsible and mature” when she actually fell in love with the fun, childlike guy. Obviously, you can do both ways, but you have to realize that you got to have a balance in life. You can’t just focus on thinking, “Now, I’m just going to focus on my career and make money” and the girl who didn’t like me from before when I was fun adventurous is supposed to like this settled life.
She doesn’t want to do that anymore. It was a bait and switch for her. Now, she wants to go and see the world. I threw in the Eat, Pray, Love reference because a lot of girls are also trying to find themselves because they don’t know the meaning of their lives. In their 20s, they were fucking around, figuratively and maybe literally. Now, they have settle down at the age of 30 and thinking about – she wants to have kids, she’s going to need to have kids in the next couple of years for it to be safe, because it gets riskier as you approach your 40s. That biological clock is ticking even unconsciously in her. She’s getting the mid life, or now, because people live a lot longer, like 1/3rd life crisis. She wants to recapture the fun of her youth, but also figure out what her meaning and purpose is in life as well.
A lot of people think that when they’re in that stage of finding their meaning and purpose – Joe, you find yours in your career at the moment until you burn out. But she hasn’t found hers yet. Right now, she hasn’t found it. She thinks, rightfully so, that if she travels and gets new experiences and new context, that she will. She’s right. Travel will help her, especially if she’s in a new context and exposed to new experiences, new languages, new ways of living, new cultures, new foods, even, new spiritualities. Those will trigger growth experiences for her. That’s a good thing.
Now, she’ll go real hippie, woo-hoo, and probably not. But just travelling and seeing new things? That should never get old. It should never get to a point where you just stop travelling in your life. I think then you become boring, unless you don’t give a shit, unless you’re fine with being boring, because you want to sell your soul to the devil and make big money. If that’s your choice, you should know what the downsides are, that the woman who was attracted to you when you were travelling or more fun is not going to be attracted to you anymore. Now, you’re boring and you’re settled, and she hasn’t figured out her shit in life, so she wants to go and see the world, and recapture the fun of youth, and also find meaning and purpose in life.
I think I’ve said the same thing three times already. We’ll keep it short. Pretty straightforward, but I think it’s a problem that a lot of guys have when they’re in their 20s coming into their early-30s, thinking that their job as a man is to bring home the bread. A lot of them have these old-fashioned ideas. You know how the exponential growth of information in the digital age? It’s happened for sexual values and lifestyles. Lifestyles are a big deal, like travel, health and wellness; they’ve changed a lot recently.
Recently as in the amount of change in lifestyles that occured in the last 300 years has been dwarfed by the amount of changes in lifestyles in the past 5 years. 300 years versus 5 years, in terms of the availability of certain Uber, Airbnb, food deliverites, Amazon, what’s happened. These have changed people’s lifestyles. And now, people who used to be thinking they had to settle down and have kids, have actually the freedom – like I do now – to actually live this life where they’re just travelling all the time.
Today, after I film this, we’re going to probably lounge at the pool while I read. After that, we’re going to move to another hotel suite by the river. Maybe I’ll shoot another episode so you can see that there. After a couple of nights there, we’re going to move to another suite back up the other area of town. We’re always bouncing around. We love it. It’s fun, and I’m 40 now.
You think travel is done because you did it before in your early 20s. Now, why does she want to still travel? She travelled a couple years. Are you kidding me? You boring fuck. No wonder she’s not interested in you anymore, and she wants to go and see the world. Now, is it irresponsible of her to say yes to you and then break it off? Yeah. Bad on her, but it’s actually better for her to do that now than for her to get a divorce 2 – 3 years into your marriage. You should be happy that she at least figured it out. She’s doing you a favor.
Obviously, she should have more self-awareness, but probably you changed in a gradual way within those 4 years in a way that it kind of creeped up on her. She didn’t figure it out until too late as well, understandable for her. You’d have to tell me where she wants to travel, and then I could give you some stereotypes about her, but yeah. Otherwise, I think unless you find a girl who is happy being pregnant at home, and you be the breadwinner – those are rare kind nowadays, but then again, I’ve never really travelled much through Middle America. Maybe there are still women like that.
You got to basically fight over scarce goods, because a lot of dudes want that. Women who are watching this, if that’s your fantasy to just stay home and take care of the kids and not travel at all, and just throw away your passports, there’s a lot of guys who are interested in you, who are interested in being your husband. That’s the kind of wife that they would love to have. A lot of people nowadays are empowered to go out, travel, and see the world. It’s a lot cheaper and easier to do. In fact, I’ve created a whole course with a major component, which is lifestyle travel, called Lifestyle Mastery. It’s coming out soon.
It’s something that I do, and I think it has a lot of benefits psychologically and emotionally in terms of maturity. I understand where she’s coming from. Joe, you don’t want to do bait and switches. Who you are going to be or who you plan to be later on, it’s best if you can hurry up and be that guy now, because then the girl that would be attracted to you in a relationship you start would work for the longer term. I understand people change, so you change as well, Joe, and she is not responding as much to that change.
She’s changing as well. She wants to go back, recover some of that youth, and find deeper meaning and purpose in life. There you go. I got to get moving as I said. Join the private Man Up Facebook group. We are over 20,000 strong now. It’s a really great community. As soon as a guy posts, I see 30 comments on there before I even see that post, like within a half hour or so. Really active community, and I love it there.
Join it. See you inside the private Man Up Facebook group. Click the link. Join the group. See you inside the group. Until then, David Tian, signing out. Man Up!