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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.41 – Should you keep your standards high, when looking for a partner

Should you keep your standards high, when looking for a partner

  • David Tian Ph.D. tells us what happens when men lower their standards.

  • David Tian Ph.D. shares how men can find women they want to be with.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. tells men to think strategically, think smart and make their networks work for them.

David Tian: Boom! Stop! In episode 41, I’m going to be talking about whether you should keep your standards high when looking for a partner.

[Intro music]

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

[Fade music]

Hey, I’m David Tian, Ph.D., and this is episode 41 of Man Up. I’m actually here in Seoul, Korea in the hotel suite. I’m just going to show you this wicked balcony –wicked, I haven’t said that word in a while – out here on this rooftop balcony. It’s pretty cool. I’ll show you some of Gangnam. This is in Gangnam and you’re looking out over the river. There it is, there’s the view. Wake up to this view. Pretty cool view to wake up to. Sun’s setting soon. It’s just a little bit dark. There you go. See a little bit of Seoul, pretty baller. I’m just sitting on this chair here. Okay, cool. I’m going to do the first episode, episode 41, I mean, out here even if it’s a little bit chilly. I have to go in a bit later. Pulling out the phone so I can see the question.

So it’s a question from the Man Up Facebook group. And it’s rather long, even though he’s tried to keep it short. This is from Sufiyan. I hope I’m pronouncing that right. The question is – let me see if I can paraphrase: He’s 27 years old and started his own business early, at the age of 20, in network marketing. He says he’s done really well. He’s grown a lot. He says very much faster than most people.

He says he’s not arrogant but just saying that he took the business seriously. And he’s attended a lot of self-improvement conventions and read many books and working a lot on the field, going through challenges after challenges, making people grow a lot. Okay, cool. So he’s doing quite well.

Now his question is: He finds that there’s a huge bridge between himself and a lot of people. He’s talking about in the context of dating so this is including girls. He doesn’t want to fake emotions and he’s got my program called “The Desire System”, doesn’t want to fake emotions and wants to know – he’s got these high standards for women and a partner that he wants to have in life. He’s just asking should he compromise because he hasn’t been able to find anybody who meets his standards. He says when he sees successful couples, it looks like they share a lot, including the dream, the ambition and support each other.

And he’s 99% sure that this is what he wants but because most people don’t really want to grow and win big, “I feel lonely not finding a girl like that. And it looks like it reduces the possibility of finding a girl like I want.” So sometimes he has doubts and he wonders maybe he should calm down and just let it go, “But when I do that, I meet girls and I’m boring because I can’t fake having a good time when I don’t care about what she’s talking about, for instance, when she talks about TV shows, her routine jobs, her routine stuff.” And he thinks he should stay focused on girls who are “in his universe” even if it becomes harder to find one. “Is this true? What’s your opinion about that?”

A bit of a long question but I’m going to answer that, great question. So basically, the summarization – I should’ve just summarized it as this: He has high standards; he hasn’t been able to find a girl who meets the standards. Should he now lower his standards and date girls who like to talk about things he considers are boring like TV shows and routine stuff. So the answer is, I would say, no, pretty emphatically.

Don’t lower your standards. Then again, if you’re the type of guy who’s considering lowering your standards then you’ve already lowered your standards. So I don’t know who I’m talking to.

It really comes down to what your values are in life. That’s actually the problem with all guys who are trying to – he’s sort of young, 27 – who are trying to find their way in the world.

But the problem is, I think a big appeal of the pickup artist community and industry and all that is because guys haven’t been clear on their values and they’re just like animals. They just want sex and pleasure and to feel good.

They just want to feel good and they never thought about what the truth is. Like Truth, like even capital-T Truth. What are you willing to die for, what are you ready to die for, what’s worth dying for and instead they just try to fill their animal needs.

They go around unthinkingly about that. Just getting more moneybecause if they had more money then they could feel good about themselves, because then they could eat more, eat better, stay in better hotels, I guess, more luxuries, soft, soft, soft, pampering, luxury lifestyle and think that means anything. It doesn’t mean shit.

People who live like that are always going to be unhappy. They’re just going to be chasing the next ephemeral high and it’s not going to last. What I say is the answer to all of happiness and fulfillment in life is thinking really hard and deeply about what you want, about what you stand for and if you can’t come up with it then just keep – that’s the beauty of philosophy.

I taught as a professor of philosophy for many years and I still do read quite a lot of philosophy, do a lot of philosophizing. I think people who don’t, I just don’t really understand them. I kind of understand where they’re coming from; they’re still in the animal stage. But you’re never going to be happy if you stay at that stage.

So you have to think about what are your values? What’s important to you? And guess what, the higher up you climb in life, the fewer people that you’ll find up there with you. I have friends all around the world but I can’t see them a lot because I’ve chosen to live a life where I’m on the road and I’m living here.

It’s funny, I don’t even know where I’m going to be two weeks from now, for instance, or a month from now. There aren’t a lot of people who I can travel with at this level. That’s just one of those things. And the higher up you go, in any field, the lonelier – lonely is the wrong word – the more isolated it gets. And that’s just part of being excellent. And does that mean it’s harder to find somebody that you want, that matches where you’re at? Of course. Yeah, you can either lower your standards and be a lower person or keep looking. Just be more strategic.

So here’s a how-to.

The how-to is to be more strategic about it. Make sure that you’re surrounding yourself – you’re able to connect or you’re connecting with those people who are at the level that you’re looking for or at the stage in life or whatever that you’re looking for. That means that you’re plugged in to the right networks, the conventions where the people that you’re interested in will be going. This is true for everybody, by the way.

So if you’re a conservative Christian or something and you want to meet other conservative Christians then go to places that conservative Christians hang out. Why would you be going to hang out at night clubs – I guess in Singapore you might find Christians who hang out at night clubs – but around the rest of the world, just in general, that’s not the best place to meet them because that’s generally not where they would be attracted to going. You’d go to where the people that you’re looking for would be.

Dude, if you’re in network marketing, you’re supposed to be surrounded by people because your whole business model depends on people, right, referrals. So get on that. I don’t know what area of network marketing you’re in but if you were in, let’s say, health and fitness.

Health and fitness network marketing has some really physically attractive people. Because part of selling fitness is that you have to represent your own brand. I know plenty of people who do network marketing in health and fitness and they’re hot. Everyone’s in really good shape and there are a lot models, like fashion models and fitness models who are attracted to that business model because they’re social people and they look good and so it’s easier for them to flip it and make some money.

I don’t know what area of network marketing you’re in but obviously your own network’s a great place to tap your network. So just think strategically and keep putting yourself in those positions. Like if you have very high intellectual standards, you probably shouldn’t be hanging out in the slums or something. Though that’s prejudicial – I’m sure there are very intelligent people in the slums; they just haven’t been given a chance.

But I mean you should just go and hang out at Harvard or Stanford or something. Because obviously those universities have done the job for you of selecting out from the world intellectual or intelligent people and you just go there. If you’re into fashion models, you should own your own agency. That’s one way to go. Some of my friends have done that. Just think strategically, think smart and make the networks work for you.

Some great resources by the way on making these networks and getting these connections is a book by Keith Ferrazzi called Never Eat Alone. It’s really, really good. Obviously, everything else in socializing applies here, too. As far back as Dale Carnegie and even earlier. Just think strategically. I wouldn’t compromise your standards; you’re not going to be happy doing that anyway. So that’s episode 41 and I’m signing out from Seoul, Korea. Make sure that you sign up for the Facebook group. Join the Facebook group. I think, under the video, click the link, join the Facebook group. That’s where you can ask me your personal questions and that’s where I’ll be prioritizing all the questions I answer. Okay, man, so until next time – man up.