A relationship is an investment from both parties. When these investments tip to one side or another, it plants the seeds of resentment and destruction.

This is why nice guys and people pleasers who bend over backwards for their partners find themselves cheated on and heartbroken. While bad guys get the girl (even though it may not blossom into true love).

The best way to ensure a relationship is growth-oriented and fulfilling is by balancing the investment scales. But how do you do this in a non-manipulative way?

That’s what we discuss in today’s episode. Besides discovering how to balance a relationship’s mutual investments, you’ll also learn common pitfalls men make that tank their attractiveness, how to improve your self-worth, and why setting boundaries allows love to blossom.

Listen now.

 Show highlights include:

  • How men unknowingly plant seeds of resentment in their relationships when they commit this mistake… (1:15)Why buying your girlfriend the most expensive ring in your budget may cause her to get cold feet (5:54)
  • The counterintuitive reason only aiming for sex in a relationship ensures you don’t have it nor a deeper connection with women (17:17)
  • A few ways to increase your girlfriend’s investment in your relationship and strengthen your connection (17:47)
  • The “Trading Technique” to use on your first few dates that makes your date dream about you when she falls asleep (21:34)
  • Why endless pampering ruins almost as many relationships as cheating (24:51)
  • The single most effective “Attraction Amplifier” that most men are afraid to use (27:44)
  • How you plummet your perceived value after a date goes well (29:21)

    Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I’ve helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I’m therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to take this quick quiz to access my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at  https://dtphd.com/quiz now.

For more about David Tian, go here: https://www.davidtianphd.com/about/

    Emotional Mastery is David Tian’s step-by-step system to transform, regulate, and control your emotions… so that you can master yourself, your interactions with others, and your relationships… and live a life worth living. Learn more here:


Listen to the episode on your favorite podcast platform:

Apple Podcast:

Google Podcast:




Tune In


Note: Scroll Below for Transcription

Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in relationships, attraction, success, and fulfillment. Now, here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.

David: Welcome to the Masculine Psychology podcast. I’m David Tian, your host. In this episode, I’ll be getting into how to create a dating relationship in which both partners are equally invested, and how to build a relationship where you and your partner help each other grow together.

Nobody wants to be in a relationship, where they feel taken for granted, where they’re pouring in effort without reciprocation, or worse, where they feel like they have to constantly work for attention, affection, or even sexual intimacy. That’s not a partnership. That’s a one-sided ordeal. [00:53.2]

Let’s start by busting a big pervasive myth, the idea that the more time, the more energy, the more money that you pour into her, the more she will be attracted to you. Unintentionally, you end up treating her like a social escort or even a prostitute, but it’s worse because you don’t have a transparent contract. It’s a harsh truth, but it needs to be said, don’t treat your girlfriend or wife like a free escort or prostitute, and then expect her to be grateful and reward you with sex and submission. That’s not how a healthy relationship functions, especially in the modern world.

A relationship of mutual respect and growth has to be about balance. It’s got to be about both partners, investing in each other, contributing equally to the relationship’s wellbeing. It’s about moving away from transactional dynamics to a more profound mutual connection. This isn’t about keeping score. It’s about creating a partnership where both people feel valued, appreciated, and equally committed to each other’s growth. In this episode, we’re going to be diving into how you can foster this kind of balanced, growth oriented relationship. It’s not just about avoiding being taken for granted. It’s about building something that elevates both of you. [02:11.6]

Now, a lot of guys grasp the importance of their value in the dating world. How much she values you shapes how willing she is to meet you, how ready she is to respond to your messages, and ultimately, how much she wants to be a part of your life. But it’s important to recognize that value is almost entirely based on perception. Society might tell you that value is in your salary or how much money you’ve got, the car you drive or the brand on your wrist, but even that value, it’s still in the eyes of the beholder. It’s subjective and relative.

Now, remember, in the last episode, I went into the cost–worth connection. The cost–worth connection highlights a critical point. Investment creates upward pressure on value. In simple terms, the more she invests her time and energy into something or someone, the more she will naturally and unconsciously come to value it. [03:09.3]

You usually see it in one way, investment is directly proportional to value. If you’re seen as high value, you attract more investment. For example, if you see her as high value, you’re inclined to invest more in her and it takes a strong will to resist that natural inclination. Now, it’s true that raising your value can result in more investment from the other person, but don’t forget that the reverse is also true. Increasing her investment in you also raises your value in her eyes. That’s the cost–worth connection. It’s a two-way street, and understanding this gives you a powerful insight into human behavior and attraction. [03:49.6]

Now, let’s get a little more practical. If you want to raise your value during an interaction or on a date, your smartest move is to get better at getting her to invest more time and energy into you, the interaction or the date—and let’s be clear, this isn’t about manipulation. It’s about engaging with her in a way that is genuine and encourages a reciprocal investment in your time together. It’s about creating moments and experiences that she contributes to and that doesn’t just require her to show up and look pretty, because, otherwise, she won’t cherish it. She won’t value it, and as a result, she won’t enjoy that time together.

Now let’s dive a bit deeper into the investment scales and how they differ from men and for women. Well-established findings in evolutionary psychology suggest that men seek investment based on what’s known as replication value. Basically, men are often looking for a woman’s sexual value. They’re drawn to the physical intimacy of a relationship. Women, on the other hand, historically have been inclined towards investment that indicates survival value through often looking for signs of protection, stability, financial support. This is a really old dance between replication and survival that’s been playing out for millennia. [05:05.4]

Picture this. If we had to represent this with two bars, one bar for men and one for women in a bar graph, with two bars side by side showing the different kinds of investment that men and women seek, you’d end up seeing a fascinating picture. Both bars stand at equal height, let’s say, signifying that both men and women have equal intrinsic value, but the investments that they seek are different. These will be markedly different along these bars.

For the man, the top most investment that, let’s say, on traditional investment scales, a man might seek from a woman could be sexual intimacy. For the woman, it might be commitment, something like marriage. [05:45.8]

Now, this graph that I’m describing where sex is equal in height on the bar to marriage for the woman might actually be a bit generous. In reality, societal norms from traditional times have further complicated this by introducing ideas like the need for a man to win over a woman with a diamond ring, for instance, to secure a marriage. It’s a narrative that, if taken at face value, diminishes the man’s perceived value, reducing him to just the size of his wallet or the carats in the ring he can afford.

But here’s the takeaway: a man’s value isn’t and shouldn’t be rooted in what he can give materially and a woman’s value isn’t just in what she can offer sexually. We’ve evolved, hopefully. Our societies have progressed and our understanding of value in relationships should reflect this growth.

In the dance of dating, there’s a natural rhythm to how men and women invest in each other. It’s a sequence of actions and reactions that can either build up or break down the potential for something real and genuine. Let’s look at a typical scenario, though keep in mind, this is far from the ideal one. [06:53.7]

Okay, so in this scenario, that’s along traditional lines, a man meets a woman. Sparks fly, and they start this back and forth exchange. He approaches. She engages. He asks. She answers. He compliments. She says thank you. He invites her to dinner. She accepts. This dance of traditional investments keeps escalating with each step.

But here’s where many guys trip up, who follow this traditional investment pattern. They lay down their full investment way too soon, believing the myth that this will somehow increase her attraction to him and force her to reciprocate. This is a common pitfall among, quote-unquote, nice guys or pleasers. They think that the more they give, the more they’ll naturally get in return. However, in this all too common scenario, most men never reach full investment from a woman, but they end up giving theirs away too readily. These men try to trade economic or social value for sexual value.

This approach doesn’t just miss the mark in today’s world, it can actually decrease that man’s value in the woman’s eyes, even just the attempt at it. Why? Because this is a mismanagement of mutual time and effort, in other words, mismanagement of investment. [08:09.0]

Women today are more empowered and often equally or more successful than their male counterparts, except at the very extremes, they don’t necessarily follow this old-school tradeoff anymore. They may withhold sexual investment despite receiving economic or social investment from the man. This leaves many traditionally-minded men feeling shortchanged, fostering bitterness and resentment, leading to manosphere-type movements like red pill and MGTOW, when they’ve realized that they’re not receiving the reciprocation they had been expecting.

In previous episodes, I’ve detailed how this traditionally-minded man must shift his perspective to thrive in the modern world. But for now, let’s focus on this. His conduct based on outdated expectations isn’t just unfair. It’s also counterproductive. It erodes his perceived value, and over time, diminishes his overall attractiveness. He’s failing to realize that true attraction and long-term connection come from a balanced mutual investment, where both individuals strive to build each other up, not just exchange one form of value for another. [09:21.3]

Now let’s turn our attention to a scenario that often plays out in the dating world, a special case where the man is perceived to have lower value than the woman. This situation is like an uphill battle for the guy. No matter what he does, it seems like he can’t catch a break.

Imagine this. The guy is doing everything he can. He’s really putting himself out there, but it’s as if sex, to him, the ultimate compliance in this skewed dynamic is not just out of reach. It’s off the charts for him. It’s unattainable. Often, the woman might hit him with the “Let’s just be friends” line, and there he is, becoming one of her many orbiters, as I like to call them. An orbiter is basically a guy who’s always there, always circling around her, but never really landing, so to speak, never really reaching that sexual connection or close connection that he’s hoping for. [10:06.5]

Now, it’s crucial to understand that even as an orbiter, a man might occasionally receive some level of investment from the woman, even if it’s not the full intimacy that he’s seeking. It could be something as small as a kiss, just enough to keep him hanging on, hoping for more, stringing him along. But let’s get one thing straight: it’s not about the end goal of marriage or any such commitment to get that kiss. It’s about her knowing that she could have that if she wanted.

This is where understanding like the no-challenge switch becomes vital. These men are essentially at her beck and call for whatever she might need, whether it’s company, the odd date, some spending money, but when her husband or boyfriend isn’t around. Now, this setup is obviously not great for the man, because he’s obviously caught in a loop of unfulfilled hopes. But it’s also not great for the woman who is seeking a genuine, loving partnership. This is a dynamic that lacks balance, and without balance, it’s not enjoyable. It’s not fulfilling, and with a skewed investment dynamic, you’ll never build anything real, anything lasting out of it. [11:11.0]

So, if you find yourself orbiting, it’s time to break the pattern. It’s time to reassess your worth. Reassess your approach, and reassess the dynamics at play in the relationship that you want. Because the truth is, you deserve a relationship where investment is mutual, where the scales of perceived value are balanced, and where both partners are fully engaged.

Now let’s look at the opposite scenario so we can understand even more deeply how the investment dynamics work. For every five orbiters, you might find one man in this other scenario. There are guys out there who are the opposite of the orbiter. They’re not orbiting anyone. Instead, they’ve got the gravitational pole of their own and they’re the ones with women circling around them. [11:57.2]

In this other, maybe opposite dynamic, it’s the man who has the perceived or who is perceived to have higher value, at least in the eyes of the women who are doing the orbiting. For the women, marriage with him might seem as distant as a star in another galaxy. There’s little she can do to bridge that gap. Commitment from him seems off the table to them. Essentially, all he has to do is give her attention, spark some good emotions, and the physical intimacy follows.

This mirrors the earlier scenario that I’ve discussed, where the man invests in hopes of a deeper relationship, only to find himself stuck in the friend zone, but it’s the opposite. It’s important to recognize both of these patterns, not as moral judgments, but as reflections of the current dating landscape and, indeed, just how evolution has worked itself out so that there are these possibilities based on investment scales. Just like the male orbiter might get a kiss every now and then, in this other scenario, the woman might enjoy the occasional dinner date with this man, but that’s about the extent of it. [13:00.2]

Now, this isn’t a particularly favorable situation for either party. For the woman who desires a deeper, more committed relationship, obviously, this dynamic can be as frustrating as it is for the man who finds himself always giving, but never receiving. For the man who has got a lot of women that he perceives as lower value or that he gets a lot of investment from, these interactions and relationships are a lot less satisfying to him, and a big part of it is because they’re not requiring him or allowing him or encouraging him to invest more.

Now, let’s go a little bit deeper into this. You might have heard stories of women who pour their very souls into their relationships with their men, who stand by their man against all odds. These are tales that make you wonder about the heights of investment that some men achieve. There’s a raw, sometimes unsettling truth to the levels of commitments that are possible that you might hear about that you see, from the woman who keeps her man’s home and is a hundred percent supportive of all of these doing to the women who are driven by circumstances and maybe even exploitation end up on the streets, ensuring their man’s needs are met. The level of investment can be profound, complex, and certainly out of the ordinary. [14:10.4]

As men mature in the world and they grow in their understanding of the possibilities in relationships, they come to see that a woman’s investment isn’t always about sex or physical intimacy. We’re talking about acts that speak to a deeper investment, deeper devotion beyond what many men can fathom or have even imagined receiving.

Think of this, a scale, a spectrum of investment stretching beyond the physical, beyond the sexual into the very essence of devotion. At its peak, it’s about life-altering commitment, the willingness to stand by a man through thick and thin, and even giving her life for him or his cause. [14:50.3]

Now, this bar graph that we’re discussing, just imagine, again, the initial bar graphs that I had started with, one bar being the man’s investment, the other bar being the woman’s investment, and they’re side by side of equal height. Now, this bar graph that I’ve just been laying out shows a range of investments. It starts with the basics like buying dinner or buying clothing for the person, or perhaps buying a new car for that person. But then it stretches further into areas that many might find extreme, like the life of a pimp game, so to speak, which isn’t where our focus lies here, of course.

Yet between these extremes of pimp game and a more traditional investment in the other person, there’s fertile ground for understanding the deeper potential of human connection. Acknowledging these levels diminishes the singular focus on sex that many nice guys and pleasers have. If you aim higher, if you seek more profound investments, sex becomes just one of many expressions of commitment. The value of anything, after all, is in the perception. If your requests speak to larger ambitions or if your asks, if your compliance hoops speak to larger ambitions, you elevate your perceived value in that person’s eyes. [16:03.7]

In other words, if all you want is sex, the best way to get it is to simply set your sights well beyond it. For example, in a survey in a major women’s magazine, the survey found that only 14% of women were willing to lend their boyfriends their car for the day, but almost all the women surveyed were sexually active with their boyfriends. In other words, get her to lend you her car and sex with you will become an afterthought.

This is even more true in the modern world. Many men decry the fact that women no longer cherish the sexual act as much as in their grandparents’ day, and yes, most sexually-active young women would rather hook up with a guy and have sexual pleasure with him than give him her car keys for the day. [16:49.6]

The smart guys who are gaming for the car keys already know that if she’s at that level of investment in him, then the willingness to have sex is almost assumed, except under the most extreme of circumstances, like maybe this guy is such an orbiter or maybe so in the friend zone that she’s lending him her car keys so that he will go and do her chores for her and get her groceries, and so on, in which case, it’s not really like she’s lending you her car. It’s more like she’s hiring you as a free delivery man.

Coming back to the main point, aim higher. Aim well beyond mere sex, and I’ll tell you what, most women are aiming naturally well beyond sex when it comes to a relationship with a man. [17:29.8]

No matter their physical strength, for many men, emotions are too much for them to handle. It’s why they can’t give women the deeper levels of emotional intimacy and connection that they crave. It’s why they fail to be the man that modern women desire most: a man with inner strength, a man who has mastered his emotions.

Find out how to master your emotions through David Tian’s “Emotional Mastery” program. The Emotional Mastery program is a step-by-step system that integrates the best of empirically-verified psychotherapy methods and reveals how to master your internal state and develop the inner strength that makes you naturally attractive, happy, and fulfilled.

Learn more about this transformational program by going to DavidTianPhD.com/EmotionalMastery.

That’s D-A-V-I-D-T-I-A-N-P-H-D [dot] com [slash] emotional mastery.

Here’s some examples. I’m going to just give a few investments that are higher up on most adult women’s investment scales than mere sex. I’ll give a few simple examples from different categories that are just intended to get you thinking and these are examples that almost everyone could use if you had the balls to do it. Again, this is a huge paradigm shift for almost all men. [18:08.7]

You could ask her to paint you a picture or you could ask her to write you a series of poems. Basically you’re getting her to engage her artistic side for you. You could encourage her to prepare a grand meal. If she has club connections, you could get her to get you exclusive VIP access or the exclusive VIP experience.

If you know she likes to sing or dance, you can get her to give you a private song or give you a lap dance. This is intimate, personal and builds a unique bond, and it’s a really fun way to have her invest in you in a way that she enjoys. You can have her treat you to a fine dinner, let her plan it out, let her pick the place. The act of her taking the lead can be very empowering for her, and these are really fun and engaging ways of allowing her to invest in you. [19:00.0]

Remember, it’s not about taking value from someone else. You’re creating a dynamic where she’s investing in the relationship, which naturally increases how much she values and enjoys your time together. It’s like when a show involves the audience. Audience participation has been proven to make the experience more engaging and more memorable for those who participated.

Okay, now, those are some examples. You might be asking, “Okay, how do I do that? How do I escalate this investment?” The basic principle is to always start small and then build step by step. Most attractive adult women are already habituated to doing this. It’s like breathing air for them. Asking a man to open the door or just invest time and effort in her comes almost naturally. They’ve been experimenting and practicing this since they grew breasts and had to deal with older men with hidden agendas. An evening out to the investment scale so both parties can enjoy the relationship or interaction equally, take a page from their books. [20:02.5]

Once you’ve established a little rapport is when you can start paying more attention to ramping up investment. You can start small by asking her to come a little closer so you can hear her better. If she’s wearing a pretty dress, you can ask her to turn around and allow you to see it all. I once told a high-class trust-fund girl at a bar that I had tailored this shirt and I was quite proud of the design, and she told me, “Stand up and turn around, and let me see it.” As I was doing, I was realizing, Oh, wow, she’s just invited me to invest a little bit more in the interaction.

If she has any unique accessories or special designs on her nails, you can tell her, “What’s that you’ve got there? Let me see.” Ask her to hold your drink while you tip the bartender. After you’ve chatted for a while, you can tell her to wave to your friends on the other side of the bar. The examples are almost endless. These are just ones I’ve thought up off the top of my head. [20:55.8]

I give a lot more detail on these and many other examples in my bigger dating skills courses, like Limitless and Invincible, and I include more advanced levels of investments, implied investment, imaginary investments, dirty investment, long-term investment. These are just examples of light investment that you can start with in your first meeting or on your first date.

Notice that money is usually a proxy for time and effort, because it takes, generally speaking, time and effort to make money, so it’s a handy way of gauging approximate investment though it’s important to remember it’s not the only nor even the most accurate measure of investment. On your first date or meeting, you can offer to get the next round if she gets this one. This is what I call trading and it’s one of the easiest ways to do it.

A caveat: if you know or suspect that you have a lot more disposable income than her, offer to get the more expensive round. For example, after dinner, you can say, “I’ll get this one, if you get the next one,” implying she’ll get dessert. Or if you start at a cocktail bar with an aperitif before moving to the restaurant for dinner, then you can get her to get the cocktails and then you’ll get the more expensive dinner, so you can just say, “I’ll get the next place if you get this one.” This is preferable to even going Dutch, because with trading, it’s implied that there will be another place or another time, which keeps things moving forward. [22:16.3]

I first learned this is just part of Asian culture, because it’s bad form to split the bill in Asian cultures. There’s usually one person who gets the whole bill, but then everyone else owes him back, so they’re continually owing each other, which means that they’ll keep having to meet for meals and it’s a great way to continue that relationship.

When it comes to building mutual investment in each other, we’re not just talking like a few dates. Escalating investment in each other should take months and can continue for years. And don’t forget to make it fun, make it part of your identity, so if you’re a chef, get her to help you do the prep work for your meal or get her to do the grocery shopping for your meal. If you’re an artist, get her to collect all of the paints and the brushes and so on and involve her in your creative process. This isn’t just about dates or individual events. It’s about crafting a lifestyle together, a world where both of you can contribute into and cherish. [23:12.6]

Okay, so it’s time for a big caveat here. The cost–worth connection is a solid fact of human psychology, deeply embedded in our evolutionary history. But it’s important not to fall prey to the is–ought fallacy here. Just because we are hardwired to value where we put our time and energy doesn’t mean that we should base our relationships on it. Remember, real love is unconditional. If your relationship feels like a series of transactions, then let’s face it, it’s not love. It’s something else, and you deserve to have your eyes wide open to that fact.

That said, if you find yourself in a long-term relationship, where you’re the only one investing, pouring in time and effort, and she’s just showing up and looking pretty, don’t be shocked when the fire starts to dim. The person who isn’t given the chance to invest, to contribute, naturally starts to value and enjoy the connection less, and that’s not pleasant for anyone. [24:10.3]

This is where it’s critical for the other person to step in and mix up the dynamic. Imagine she insists, “Let me cover this dinner,” where she goes out of her way to treat you. That initiative signals a healthy discomfort with being perpetually on the receiving end. Even more self-aware, she might say, “I love that you want to take care of me, but I don’t want you to undersell yourself. It’s better for both of us if I contribute, too.”

Now, I know some guys doubt that such rare, generous women even exist in the world, but trust me, they’re out there. Like attracts like. Maybe they’ve been steering clear of you because they haven’t seen that same self-awareness in you. You might think being pampered endlessly is the dream scenario, but the science tells us it’s quite the opposite. For the health of your relationship and to ignite the spark at the very beginning, it’s key to encourage and allow the other person to put in their share of time, effort and energy. [25:10.2]

Having said this caveat, let’s lay down some ground rules for the road that I’m recommending. This method, these insights into investment and value, they’re powerful, and as Spider Man’s uncle has said, with great power comes great responsibility. The women in our lives, they would be doing these things out of love, out of care. The cost–worth connection and investment aren’t the tools to take advantage of someone, especially not to manipulate someone who is in a tough spot, like a student just scraping by, and it’s certainly not to be used to play games with someone if you’re not ready to offer honesty and real commitment in return. Handle these principles with respect to build and enrich the life that you share with your partner.

Here’s another thing. Stand on your own two feet. This isn’t about offloading your responsibilities onto someone else. It’s a partnership, not a free ride. If there ever comes a time when you can’t manage your own finances or keep your own living space tidy without her, then you’ve got to take a step back. Stay self-sufficient. Stay in control of your own life, because that’s what a true partner deserves. A relationship is a shared adventure, not a one-way street. [26:18.3]

Okay, now let’s go back to looking at how to do this, and let’s look at something that really defines the caliber of your relationships, maintaining high standards for yourself. Your true value in any interaction doesn’t just come from what you’re willing to give, but even more importantly, from what you expect in return.

I see so many guys out there bending over backwards, going out of their way, sacrificing their own time, their own interests, just to get a sliver of attention from a woman. But here’s the truth straight up: don’t be the guy who drives hours out of his way for a maybe, the guy who ditches his friends at the drop of a hat for a woman, or who’s quick to foot the bill for a dinner with someone he just met. It’s crucial to hold women to the same high standards of respect and treatment that you expect for yourself, and this is assuming that you have high standards for what you expect from yourself. [27:12.3]

If you’re handing out compliments, do it with the expectation of a positive or at least a polite response. I’ve seen countless guys throw compliments into the void, so to speak, getting nothing in return, and then they still stick around like little puppies. That’s not right. Here’s what you do: when you’re in a conversation with a woman, be it face to face, on a phone call or even texting, expect her full attention, and if that attention wavers, if she’s not meeting you at the level of respect and engagement that you bring, be ready to step back or walk away.

Remember, there are women out there who will meet your high standards. Often your willingness to walk away isn’t a loss. It’s an attraction amplifier for you. It draws them in closer because it shows you value yourself. [27:57.1]

Now, if you encounter bad behavior, what’s the best response? Indifference. Any other reaction just feeds into it, showing that you’re emotionally over invested, and if you feel the need to address it, do so assertively and calmly, without anger. Make your point, then return to indifference. Carrying high standards is not about ego. It’s about self-respect. It’s about knowing what you bring to the table and not settling for less than what you deserve.

Okay, so staying on the practical, let’s dive back into the idea of value flux. It’s a situation that we’ve all found ourselves in, though most people don’t realize it, and it’s a situation where we’re facing an investment decision and the ball is in our court. We talked about this in our last episode, but let’s add another layer to it here in this episode.

You find yourself in value flux during those moments when there’s an opportunity to respond to an investment request from her and she’s gauging your reaction. It’s also when you’ve put out an investment request and you’re waiting to see how she will react. [29:00.7]

Now consider a situation where she’s showing you good behavior. She might return your call quickly or follow your lead seamlessly at a club, or she surprises you with a new pair of shoes. These actions are signals of a higher level of investment from where she was before. And here’s a nonnegotiable rule. Always reward good behavior. If you like what you’re seeing and you want more of it, then reinforce it.

But let’s talk about the how. How do you do it, or how is the best way to do it? Imagine she has kissed you and you’re pleased with that. It’s positive behavior in your books. But your response to this, the way you reward it is going to solidify your value in her eyes for the near future. Let’s play with a scenario where following the kiss, you jumped straight to exclusivity, or heaven forbid, you start talking about marriage or you pull out your diamond ring and propose to her. [29:55.0]

Obviously, guys, this is where you would shoot yourself in the foot with a modern woman who is just looking for someone who values himself as much as she values her own self. If you match up the investment level of exclusivity or marriage to a mere kiss from her, you’ve drastically underestimated your own worth. You’ve essentially communicated to her that you’re ready to give up everything for just a taste of what she’s offering, and that will plummet whatever perceived value you had in her eyes.

So, this is about calibration. It’s about ensuring that the rewards you offer are proportional to the investment made. It’s not about playing games. It’s about understanding the unspoken rules of the value exchange happening between you two. Remember, the aim here isn’t to manipulate, but to navigate these moments with a sense of fairness and self-respect.

Okay, so let’s play out a different scenario, so picture this. She leans in and kisses you, and you’ve got the split second decision on how to respond. Now, instead of jumping to exclusivity as boyfriend-girlfriend or showering her with gifts, maybe you give her a compliment. Why does this work better? By matching a simple kiss with a simple compliment, you’re valuing yourself correctly. You’re not overplaying your hand. [31:08.7]

This sets a strong precedent. It establishes that you recognize the kiss for what it is, a nice moment, sure, but not something that has you ready to hand over the keys to the kingdom. This approach elevates your perceived value in her eyes. The woman realizes her efforts are appreciated and she’s motivated by the engaging challenge of winning even more of your interest.

Okay, let’s zoom out now. Don’t get fixated on the goal of sex. There’s a much bigger picture here with more enriching possibilities for both of you. Consider the various ways she can truly enrich your life, how she can contribute to your happiness beyond the bedroom. Encourage her to bring her excitement, her energy into your life. Imagine a partnership where she’s not just there for the ride, but she’s co navigating, contributing to your shared journey, bolstering your purpose. [32:00.3]

Create space for her to be a part of your story in meaningful ways, ways that resonate with who you are in what you’re about. When she invests time and effort in you, whether it’s supporting your goals, stoking your passions, or being that rock when you need it, she’s not just investing time or effort. She’s investing in your shared future in the story you’re writing together. It’s crucial to keep sight of what real investment looks like. It’s two people building something greater than the sum of its parts.

Alright, let’s wrap things up and go over what we’ve unpacked today. This episode has been all about investment, understanding it, reversing outdated models, and finding a balance that respects both you and her. We started by examining those traditional investment skills that often undervalue a man’s contribution, guys bending over backwards only to end up feeling shortchanged because the scale was skewed from the get-go. [32:54.6]

Then we talked about flipping the script, reversing those scales. We discussed how to set investment levels that recognize your worth and avoid selling yourself short. This isn’t about demanding more. It’s about expecting respect for what you bring to the table and ensuring the scales aren’t tipped against you.

We moved on to the importance of keeping your own standards high. Remember, when you respect yourself, it sets the tone for how others will treat you. Don’t be that guy who drops everything for a shot at attention. Stand firm, value your time and choose to invest it wisely.

Correct reward calibration was up next. We covered the value flux, that moment when your response to her positive actions can either boost your value or undermine it. It’s about responding in a way that maintains your value without over committing.

And, of course, we can’t overlook the caveat on ethics. This isn’t about manipulation or exploiting psychological principles. We talked about the is–ought fallacy and the need to use these insights ethically to foster authentic connections, not transactional exchanges or transactional relationships. [34:03.4]

Finally, we touched on the bigger point of building mutual investment. We aim for a sum that’s greater than its parts, a relationship where both partners are actively contributing, growing and creating something unique together.

So, there you have it. We’ve taken a deep dive into the world of investment and value within relationships and interactions. Apply these concepts with care. Keep those standards high and always strive for a balanced exchange. Remember, the strongest relationships are built on mutual investment, where both individuals play an active role in their shared narrative and shared life together.

Thank you so much for listening. Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment, send a message. If you liked this podcast, leave a good rating on whatever platform you’re listening to this on, and hit a like or subscribe or follow. And if this has helped you in any way, please send it to anyone else that you think could benefit from it.

Thank you so much for listening, again. I look forward to welcoming you to the next episode. Until then, David Tian, signing out. [35:01.1]

This is ThePodcastFactory.com