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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.125 – What To Do In A Complicated Ex Situation with Nick Sparks

Complicated Relationship With Ex

  • David Tian Ph.D. and Nick Sparks discuss why you need to completely cut off from your ex in this situation.
  • David Tian Ph.D. and Nick Sparks reveal that you and your partner may not be ready to handle a relationship.
  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D and Nick Sparks tell us that we should learn to avoid certain characteristics that can lead to toxic type of relationships.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In Episode 125 of Man Up, Nick Sparks and I answer the question of: what to do in a complicated ex situation.


Masculinity for the intelligent man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!

Welcome to Episode 125 of Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D, and for the past ten years, we’ve been helping tens of thousands of people all over the world, 87 countries, attain success in life and love. And I’m here with my good friend, a longtime friend, Nick Sparks, in Orlando here for The 21 Convention. So Nick, we go way back. I remember hanging out with Nick when I was just starting out… I’m getting to the point where I was giving people advice. And I remember I met you – I don’t know if you remember this – the first time I met you, Jonathan, Christian Hudson, told me to go find you at a party or something like that.

And like, “Check this guy out. See if he’s the real deal.” And I go there and you were like… There’s this two-floor party, you’re at the top. I walk up there and like, “I think this is the guy.” And you’re talking to some girls, four girls over, you’re talking over them. These girls are looking at you, so you’re basically holding court. Not in like a group like this because I think it was a stairwell on the way to a toilet or something. And you’re just talking to the whole row of people. I’m like, “I think this is guy.”
Nick Sparks: I had no idea you were spying at me.

David Tian: Yeah, I was like [GESTURE].

Nick Sparks: That’s a funny story. You were like – Christian, he was just hiding in the bathroom crying the whole time, “I found your guy.”

David Tian: [INAUDIBLE] But yeah, for the guys who don’t know you on the video here, why don’t you give them a quick rundown of what you’re doing now and where you came from?

Nick Sparks: Yeah. My name is Nick Sparks. I’ve been doing this for over a decade now. Started off much, very similar to David in the early days of The Social Man with Christian Hudson, those are some good days. I did a lot of coaching, worked with hundreds of guys over the years, got pretty decent at it I think, a lot of people would say. And yeah, I wrote a book on everything that I learned.

David Tian: Actually, I wanted to ask you about that. As You Are. You guys can find that on Amazon. We’ll put a link under the video. Tell us what it’s about.

Nick Sparks: Gosh… How deep and nerdy can we go, right?

David Tian: What’s a good synopsis for it?

Nick Sparks: In a nutshell, it’s looking at all the different ways that guys can get in their head and sabotage themselves with these self-defeating thoughts. And what happens when your body’s taking its natural course and things are working the way they’re supposed to – which we’ve all experienced, which we all have times and points and flashes of it. But learning how to – not get kind of sidetracked with a lot of these negative thoughts in your head – but learning how to be in that place and be that person as much, as time, as you possibly can.

David Tian: Yeah, so a big theme in it is being present, being inflow and… Yeah.

Nick Sparks: Yeah.

David Tian: Yeah, go get it. Go get the book. So, question here from…

Nick Sparks: Operating from your right brain instead of your left brain in conversations, being creative; having the courage to face a lot of those challenges.

David Tian: Yeah, so that’s not just with women, this is life: interacting with people.

Nick Sparks: Absolutely. I mean, it’s all the same. If you’re not interacting, if you’re not… Don’t want to put pretty women on a pedestal, you want to interact with everybody, treat them all the same. And that involves being present, connecting with other people as well, developing this life skill.

David Tian: So like, how to win friends and influence people for 2016?

Nick Sparks: I would like to think so. It’s a big influencing factor, my work, yeah.

David Tian: You go, get it. So, I’m going to answer a question from the private Facebook group. This one’s from Bilal. It’s a long question. I’m going to try to summarize it. So, he ran into his ex but his ex now has a boyfriend and they ended up hooking up. And then the ex says, “I feel guilty cheating on my boyfriend.”

Nick Sparks: She’s coming down on him, “You’re the worst person in the universe, you ruined my life.”

David Tian: And then he’s like, “Why? Why would you not want to see me again?” And then he pushes her and then she pushes back saying, blaming him for… “You destroyed my life. You’re a bad guy.”

Nick Sparks: Like, “This can’t work out. We just can’t be friends”, she’s crying.

David Tian: “She’s blaming me for everything, although she was the one who said that she could never get over me.” Missed everything especially the sensual and sexual chemistry.

Nick Sparks: Just a sad story. And then at the end the question is, “So, should I contact her or should I get away?”

David Tian: It’s always, “So, what should I say next?” [LAUGHS]

Nick Sparks: “How do I get her back?

David Tian: Oh, yeah. So despite all that I’ve told you…

Nick Sparks: I mean, that’s totally natural. I mean, when you have a connection with somebody that you’ve been dating, then you got really serious, you fell in love, all that, you’ve built your life up around this person, they gave you this emotional release that nothing else in the world can do and then suddenly break up.

You get that taken away from you; it’s so alluring, you just want that feeling back in any way you can get it, and that’s completely natural to go through in a break up; that you would both be lured back into that situation.

I mean, yes, you could easily say, “Well, she has a boyfriend. Don’t do that.” But it’s also understandable why we make these mistakes. We’re human beings, and for her to come down and just blame you, “It’s all your fault”, that’s a common defense mechanism. That’s a common way people don’t look at their own actions because it’s too overwhelming at that point and lash out on other people. So, try not to take that seriously.

David Tian: Yeah, it’s always easier to blame other people than yourself.

Nick Sparks: Always, always.

David Tian: So, that’s one of her ways of dealing with the guilt of what she’s done. You didn’t say how long you guys have been exes, how long it’s been since the relationship, but it seems like, Bilal, you haven’t moved on emotionally yet if you can get sucked back in, so to speak. So, if it was a straight-up ex situation where you just broke up, she hooked up with a new guy, you want her back, then this would be ex advice. But it sounds like… It’s hard to say, but it sounds like there’s also another dynamic here where she’s cheating on another guy.

What advice you would give him in this context, of what to do next? I have some things to say, but I want to get…

Nick Sparks: Just stay away from this girl. I mean, again, it’s understanding why you would have that allure and why it can be so difficult to stay away from it, but it’s just a bad situation right now. Especially with her having another guy, this is just drama. Feeling is alluring, but overall, this is just going to make your life crappier if you continue to pursue it. The best way is to just make that emotional break, just go cold turkey, you have to get over this woman.

If there is going to be anything between the two of you in the future, let’s just say, it’s not going to come from this toxic place where it’s at right now. It’s going to come from you getting back, getting yourself as strong as possible, taking care of yourself, and that involves cutting out this unhealthy part right now.

David Tian: That was so eloquently said too.

Nick Sparks: Thanks, man.

David Tian: To add to that, I would just say that if you’re in this situation and you can’t see how immature she is at this point, then that means too that you’re emotionally compromised in a way. So, you’re not seeing clearly. In a way, I would say that neither of you are ready for a relationship, to handle a relationship.

Nick Sparks: With each other.

David Tian: With each other.

Nick Sparks: I mean, you can be another partner that’ll create a more stable union, but right now that’s not the case.

David Tian: I would even call that into question. If she’s going through this right now with the guy she’s with, I would tell that guy that she’s not ready to be…

Nick Sparks: That’s between them. I wouldn’t even get in between. If she came clean or whatever, that’s between them.

David Tian: Well, the fact that, if she’s not emotionally aware for herself enough so that she would blame the other party for what she’s done…

Nick Sparks: “He seduced me.”

David Tian: Yeah, right, “You’re the evil…” And then it’s so easy for guys to hate on each other. One of the comments further down, “You’re a jerk yourself. You don’t deserve a girl with such morals.”

Nick Sparks: Did he make a mistake? Yeah, but he’s also a human being and he without sin cast the first stone, bro.

David Tian: But here’s the one thing I want to point out: guys hate on each other so much. There are a lot of guys who take the white knight. They try to take the moral high ground to defend a woman. They’re just, “She’s a woman with morals.” They’re both culpable. She cheated on her boyfriend.

Nick Sparks: Mutual thing, yeah.

David Tian: But it’s so easy for guys to just swoop in and hate on the other guy.

Nick Sparks: It’s a really weak situation. If you’ve ever been through a breakup, you know how emotionally compromised you are and not making… I made some of the decisions that are the complete opposite of being in my self-interest when I was in those negative places.

David Tian: Everything that’s been done, it’s totally understandable. Everything is totally understandable.

Nick Sparks: I’m not proud of it. It’s not the way I want to live my life and I’m going to tell guys to strive by, it’s like you have to move forward.

David Tian: If you’re a mature person, you understand that this is life, what’s happening here, and this is very understandable. So, the advice would be get the heck out, work on becoming more mature, understand yourself.

Nick Sparks: Hit the gym, bro. No, seriously, hit the gym.

David Tian: And just learn more about your own psychology so that you can move forward in spotting girls who can’t handle that level of emotional… What you’re asking of them emotionally. But then, I also want to make the point that guys are hating on each other… There’s not a lot of solidarity between guys. Here’s an example. So many times, when a guy sees his girlfriend flirting with another guy or making out with some other guy, they go after the guy. They blame the other guy.

Nick Sparks: That’s a shame.

David Tian: They try to pick a fight with him. It’s the girl, first of all, who you should look to.

Nick Sparks: When you’re emotionally compromised, you’re emotionally compromised.

David Tian: Yeah, the point is they blame the dude, they don’t blame the girl. So many guys, they still have a princess complex about women. Women are just are morally culpable as men are. They’re just as sexual, they’re just as faulty.

Nick Sparks: And I’d like to say it too… I just want to add from my speech yesterday. These experiences suck. They’re painful, it’s not fun whatsoever, but we have these experiences because they are best opportunities to learn. Learn to avoid certain characteristics that led to this toxic type of relationship.

Avoid those in a future partner. You pick that up. Don’t go diving head-first into this hardcore emotional brain chemical field experience. Keep your eyes open. Slow things down so you’re not just losing yourself and not thinking clearly. You will be emotionally compromised, so recognize that when you’re going into these situations.

You know, it’s the best learning experience you could have. So, even though it sucks right now, it’s going to be painful right now, you’re definitely going to be stronger for it.

David Tian: Excellent, so eloquently said. Alright, so we’re going to wrap it up. This is Episode 125. Join the private Facebook group by clicking the link, join the group. I’ll see you in the group. You can interact with us there, and it’s great to have you on the show here, man.

Nick Sparks: Pleasure to be here, man. Glad we could do this.

David Tian: Yeah. Alright, see you guys in the group. Until then, Man Up![MUSIC]