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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” (, 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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“The Man Up Show” Ep.44 – How to Avoid the Nice Guy Trap

How to Avoid the Nice Guy Trap

  • David Tian Ph.D. explains the problem with “nice guys”.

  • There’s a difference between unconditional giving and transactional giving, David Tian Ph.D. discusses what they are.

  • Some men like to pay stuff for women they’ve just met, David Tian Ph.D. asks men to be stop doing this.

David Tian: Boom! Stop! In episode 44 – 44 and not 43, like I’ll say later, but 44 of Man Up – I’m going to be talking about how to avoid the nice guy trap.

[Intro music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!

[Fade music]

Hi, I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is episode 44 of Man Up. And I’m here in Seoul, Korea. Got some nice flowers in the background I just noticed. It’s kind of interesting because this is Man Up, right? Okay, cool, so here we go. We got a question and it’s a question from the private Facebook group. Really, it’s about paying for women, again. But it’s interesting because what happened in here is the guy, he paid for this girl on this date – took this girl out on a date – and she decided she doesn’t want to see him again. Just kind of told him it’s over. They just went out on a date before that where he paid $50 for dinner and he’s like, “I want my refund. How can I get my refund from this girl?” And I thought he was joking but he’s serious. He really wants his 50 bucks back because he felt like he got ripped off because she didn’t want to see him after that – after he paid for the date, for the dinner and drinks.

This is the nice guy problem. We’re going back to the nice guy problem, right? Stop paying for women. One of the reasons, probably, she didn’t want to see you anymore is because she picked up on the vibe that you’re emanating here that you’re basically only being nice in order to get her. Like sex or a relationship – probably sex first and then maybe a relationship, right? Women have been used to this dynamic for millennia and they’re on to you, man. Fake nice guys – there’s a lot of pseudo nice guys out there.

Fake nice guys do this all the time and they don’t even know it. They think it’s a good thing. To treat a woman like a prostitute, they feel like – first of all, they would bristle at that. Like, “No, I’m not. I’m just paying for dinner.” Well then, if you’re really giving sincerely, you wouldn’t ask for your money back. You would’ve been paying not to get something back.

Here’s the deal. Real giving – like when you do somebody a favor or you do a friend a favor, you do things for people. A real giving heart isn’t going to be looking for a return. In an earlier video on nice guys, I talked about the different levels of love. And one of the lowest levels is the need love, a level just above that is the trading love – you’re like trading – and the third level is when you’re giving without expecting anything in return. Like a kind of unconditional love. It applies here, too. Unconditional giving, that’s what really, truly nice people, kind people, compassionate people will do.

And guys who think they’re nice actually are not giving unconditionally. They’re giving in order to get a return. It’s like a transactional giving. And when it’s transactional, you’re just basically treating her like a whore without knowing it. She feels it, though, and it turns her off, first of all. But she might still go through with it because depending on how much you’re offering you know, she might just slut herself up. But she’s not going to like you for it. She’s going to hate you for the feeling you’re giving her and she’ll hate herself, at some level, for doing it just for the material benefits.

Anyway, a $50 date – if you’re in Singapore, where the cocktails average 20, 25 bucks per cocktail for a little shot – that’s like two drinks. So first of all, you’re a cheap-ass guy, from where I come from. But even then, if it’s too expensive for you, you shouldn’t have done it. Here’s a little tip to keep this dynamic from happening to you, unconsciously.

Because I know these guys have never thought about this because you don’t have any good advice unless you have found this show and been following it. All of your other friends are paying expensive things for girls they’ve just met because that’s how they’ve seen it and because they have nothing else to offer, they have no standards, they have no values. So they just buy women’s attention and affection, buying them drinks when they first meet. Stop that. In general, just stop paying for stuff for girls you’ve just met.

Let me make this even stronger. Stop – paying – for shit – for girls you’ve just met. Just stop it. Just stop paying for stuff for girls you’ve just met. Can I say this any stronger? I don’t know. Start telling all your friends to stop paying for girls they’ve just met. Stop paying for stuff for them when you’ve just met them. I can’t say that any stronger.

I’m used to it in group coaching, guys falling asleep because they’re not – I can’t emphasize this enough. Press rewind on this tape to see me say this another hundred times. Stop paying for shit for girls you’ve just met.

Why are you doing that? Because you don’t realize your own value, you don’t see that your own presence has value. You lack self-confidence and try to make up for it using material things. And then because this comes out of your low self-esteem, you’re looking for a return. Because you feel like you’re putting out all of this stuff and it’s not just who you are. You’re actually putting out effort and time or money and you’re expecting a return and she doesn’t give you a return.

In other words, she doesn’t give you sex or a relationship, you feel ripped off. You feel cheated in some way. Then you’re not a nice guy. You’re not a very nice guy, at all. You’re just a John dressed up in hypocritical clothing.

Why should she respect that? They don’t – women don’t respect that. You’re just crying – I thought it was a joke but this guy really wanted his refund – you’re crying because you didn’t get your money’s worth out of it. Then actually go to a prostitute because at least then the conditions are clear of the exchange. But a lot of guys are treating women like prostitutes, unknowingly, by buying things for them and expecting a return. So stop being the fake nice guy. Be sincere. Be real. Be true. And stop paying for shit for girls you just met.

Man up. This is David Tian, Ph.D. Join the Facebook group, ask me your private questions and interact with me there personally. If you want to escape the nice guy trap, sign up for one of our free video courses – Limitless or Invincible, those are my marquee courses online. And if you’re in Singapore come to one of my preview events to meet me and I’d love to meet you. So, until next time – man up.