Show highlights include:
- The weird way being “good with women” actually makes it harder to find a loving relationship (0:23)
- How red pill culture brainwashes you into repulsing women away (5:42)
- Why simply having fun is the single best way to attract more women (and how to have fun if you’re socially awkward) (9:28)
- The insidious “Fetishizing Masculinity” trap men fall into which wrecks their relationships (12:29)
- How to save a marriage from the brink of divorce by becoming selfish (18:35)*****
For more about David Tian, go here: https://www.davidtianphd.com/about/
Get access to all my current and future online coaching courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership program today at:
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Note: Scroll Below for Transcription
Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in dating, relationships, success, and fulfillment, and explore the psychology of masculinity. Now here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.
Welcome to the Masculine Psychology podcast. I’m David Tian, your host.
In this episode, I’ll be addressing a huge mistake that I see men making all around the world and I want to keep you from making that mistake, and the mistake is thinking that you need to be a good pickup artist or even just good with women, in general, or even just good with people, in general, in order to find happiness and fulfillment and, more importantly, love in life. [00:46.0]
There was a time when, on internet forums, guys were saying that, because of their fetish about evolutionary psychology and their deep insecurity about their own masculinity, there was this idea going around that part of an important or central or essential part of being a man was being good at dating and being good with women, like picking up chicks, flirting, seduction, maybe even the sexual act itself, and that this was definitive of being a good man.
A lot of pickup artists back in the day, like over a decade ago, when I was in the pickup world, which was over a decade ago, back then, it was also a common idea or a common view that what they were doing, getting good at pickup, was an extension of being a good man, of owning their masculinity, of developing their masculinity.
From what I can see, on the internet anyway nowadays, and I think has been the case for the past, say, five or six years, what has been more definitive of a man, especially in the Western world and especially in America, is more of the survival skills and hand-to-hand combat and firearms skills. These are more obviously closer to what the evolutionary drives would dictate. [02:10.8]
That’s about pure literal survival, and as a man, insofar as it is the man’s role as the physically bigger or stronger, or the size advantage, his job is to protect his wife and family, then that would seem to be the kind of thing that would fall much more squarely in what the definition of being masculine is.
So, it’s actually a big lie that the pickup artists and Red Pill, and all of the guys who are incredibly insecure about their dating skills and their social skills, it’s a big lie that they’re telling you that you need to have these skills and have them at a high level in order to be a man, in order to be masculine. That’s clearly not the truth. [02:57.4]
I mean, it’s not even part of the Hollywood stereotypes of the strong, silent type of the protector and the provider, and this has been the masculine’s role for thousands of years, if not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years through evolution of survival and protecting your genetic heritage, your children and your loved ones.
Having these skills of flirting and dating and socializing are actually more in line with feminine, the feminine domain. If anything at all, these are skills that you should pursue because you enjoy them and, of course, there’s obviously nothing wrong, because there’s so many guys with so much sexual shame that even just the mere mention of anything having to do with male-female dynamics of dating is already sinful and is all painted with the same brush of sin or evil, or bad or naughtiness, or as if being naughty as bad in some way. [03:58.1]
No, that’s totally wrong. You could enjoy socializing. You could enjoy it, just like you would enjoy dancing, right? But don’t think that those are masculine skills in and of themselves, and you can be a manly man, you can be the most masculine man and not be good at flirting or talking with people, or hobnobbing or networking, or any of those people skills.
So, it’s a big lie that the pickup artist world and all of that surrounding it, Red Pill, whatever it is nowadays, whatever it’s called nowadays, because these guys are obsessed with how good they are with women. It’s a big lie that they’re telling you that this is part of the package of being masculine. It’s not and it’s never been in history actually.
In history, the men who are considered masculine were the warriors and the Kings, the Don Juans, the Casanovas, and in Asian literature, in Dream of the Red Chamber, the main character who was like a playboy and the playboy at the center of The Pillow Book and The Tale of Genji. These are 1,000-year-old famous texts of world literature, and all of those characters who were ladies men, were considered effeminate, and, of course, also rogues, immoral, rake. [05:11.8]
The term of the rake, which if you don’t understand, that used to be my old moniker, the Asian Rake, the rake, probably the most effective character type at seducing women. The rake was so called because he was going to be condemned to hell and raking the coals of hell.
No, this was not considered a masculine pursuit. It was not considered an essential part of being a man. Being able to bed many women was not considered in history to be an essential part of masculinity and I don’t think it is even now. I think it’s a lie that they brainwashed you and your online friends and your Reddit forums, wherever the heck you’re hanging out on the internet. They’re brainwashing you into thinking, into buying into their own insecurity and feeding your insecurity that you’re not good enough, and yet here’s yet another place that you’re not good enough, and to compound it and make it even worse, it also calls into question your very manhood. [06:04.7]
It’s all a big line. If you can free yourself from this lie, your life will become so much better and easier, and you’ll be able to access more fulfillment and joy and happiness on a more consistent basis. Keep on listening. I’m just going to share with you a few examples of how this could be true for you.
The first example is a client named Jim and Jim is a guy that I had been working with in person when I used to live in Singapore, and this was way back over eight years ago when I was running an annual in-person program in Singapore that was mostly focused and marketed as a dating skills program.
Jim came in looking to get better with women and part of what I was doing during these in-person annual coaching programs—annual, as in they lasted for a whole 12 months—was to also not only give them the knowledge and the information, and the experience and going out into the bars and clubs and talking with women there, and I know that the guys who have a lot of sexual shame already see just even the institution of bars and clubs, the very places themselves, are full of sin, but they’re not. [07:16.2]
They’re just places that people who aren’t skeezy or whatever are just going to have a good time, because they like the music, because they like the ambiance, they like the drinks. Okay, so normal people go to these things, and just taking these guys who are socially awkward to these places and watching them interact with not just women, but with men as well, just people, in general, and giving them little tips and little pointers, and then just giving them encouragement and guidance, because just like with any skills, you’re going to suck at it at first, and then, over time, as you get more experience and guidance, especially on-the-spot guidance, you’ll get better over time.
In addition to all of these practical skills from the beginning and increasingly more over time, so I was running these in-person annual programs 10 years ago and, over time, they morphed into a therapeutic process as reflecting my own journey and transformation and growth. [08:08.7]
Jim, like many of the students at that time, really took to the therapeutic processes that I was leading them through, a lot of guided-meditative experiences and exercises that helped them access their true self and uncover the purpose of their lives, and to teach them how to do that so that, as their lives evolved into different directions, they’d be able to check in again and discover the new purposes of their lives, because at each major stage of your life, you discover there’s deeper meaning to it and deeper purpose, so it’s an important skill to be able to access for yourself because there’s not just one purpose that you have, and so much more than that. I mean, just accessing the parts of themselves that they had exiled into the shadows and helping them unburden those parts and so forth. Jim really took to this process and he finished his year. [09:00.0]
Then, of course, because it’s an in-person program, all of us really got to know each other quite well over the course of that year, and during that year, he became a lot more social. His social circle increased quite a lot, made a lot more friends more easily. He was a lot more at ease in social settings and so forth. But, more importantly, he didn’t get really good with women in the sense of becoming a player, or even a super networker or super connector, or anything like that. He just became comfortable in social settings.
It wasn’t like he was marking his progress by how many women he could approach and close. It wasn’t like back in the pickup days, you are checking to see if you’re monitoring the metrics of out of X number of women, out of 10 women I approach, am I able to get the numbers of seven or eight of them or whatever it is. He wasn’t doing any of that, thankfully, and I encouraged all of the guys not to track those types of metrics, but instead track the metrics of, are you having fun? That is the most important metric when you’re out in the field, as they called it, but just out socializing. Are you enjoying yourself? [10:06.3]
If you’re able to say yes to that, you’ve already won, and from there, once you’re able to enjoy yourself and have fun, if you can answer yes to that, then it’s about making others have fun or helping others to enjoy themselves. Then, once you’re doing that, it’s about making connections with people, and that’s it. There’s no pickup stuff. You’re not tracking percentages of closes and all that creepy stuff, as if the human beings that you’re meeting, aren’t intrinsically valuable and interesting, and instead you’re just treating them like they’re non-playing characters in a game that you’re trying to rack up your metrics.
No, the most important metric, by far, is “Are you having a good time? Are you enjoying yourself while you’re out socializing?” and, consistently, he was able to answer yes to that because he was only going to events or parties or venues that he enjoys and that he’d only stay if he was enjoying himself, so he was already winning. [11:02.8]
As a result of that, if you’re doing that consistently, if you’re going out at least once a week into a venue that you enjoy that happens to have other people and you’re being social, connecting with others, of course, naturally your social life will exponentially improve and that’s what happened for him. But he didn’t become a pickup artist, okay? He didn’t become a guy who could pick up any chick or attract any woman, or any of that kind of stuff.
I just want to make that really clear. He became happy. He had a lot more friends and he was able to enjoy himself a lot more easily, and he was a lot happier and fulfilled as a result of making these connections and being able to have the skills to form connections when he wants to, but he did not become a pickup artist and he did not become the type of guy who could walk up to any woman and attract her, blah, blah, blah, whatever the goals of these pickup artists are. [11:52.3]
If those are one of your goals to be able to walk up to women and have a high conversion rate or whatever that is, have a high close rate or whatever that is, just realize I’m not about that and the material I’m putting out is not for that purpose and it has not been for several years. All right, so this is really more about you finding your happiness, because you do not require being a good pickup artist or having good pickup skills, including “close rate on dates” skills, in order to find happiness, fulfillment, meaning, and power in your life, and it is not required for you to be a masculine man.
In fact, it might even be, in some ways, diametrically opposed to the masculinity part of it, though it’s also a fetish that these guys who are insecure about their masculinity make about needing to be masculine, because I don’t really give a damn whether I’m considered to be masculine or not. I’m doing what will fulfill me and bring me joy and love, and happiness and peace. I don’t even think about the happiness quotient, and that’s part of it, right? If the masculine man is not asking himself if he’s masculine, just like the confident man is not asking himself if he’s confident. The very fact that you’re fetishizing your masculinity is just demonstrating and broadcasting to the world and to all those in the know that you are insecure about your masculinity. [13:02.3]
This is one of those cases, where if you’re working with me in the therapeutic process, you drop these insecurities over time because you actually love yourself and all of those parts of yourself that, when you started the therapeutic process, you were ashamed of and thought were weak, and you wanted to get rid of and exile. Instead, you can turn to them and give them love and compassion and understanding, and don’t require them to be different from how they are in order for you to accept them and love them.
As a result, you find within yourself, natural happiness and fulfillment and joy, and peace and calm, and power, not requiring anybody to treat you a certain way for you to experience that. What was very gratifying for me was just seeing Jim finding this consistent happiness and joy, and meaning in his life, as a result of the therapeutic process—and, again, not being a pickup artist as a result, but the main thing that he was getting out of it was happiness, right? Then a couple years later, getting engaged. [14:00.8]
Now I’m seeing this as a common thing. I’m just picking out Jim so I have him in my mind, but the majority of our clients who started out looking for dating success and instead finding happiness, which they were hoping originally dating success would give them, but you can just get happiness right off the bat and then you don’t need dating success.
Instead, you just do whatever the heck makes you happy and that might mean making friends. It might mean having fewer friends because you’ve been making the wrong type of friends, or maybe you’re an introvert and you don’t need a whole lot of friends. Whatever the case is, you’re happier as a result of the therapeutic process.
Then you can find a woman, one out of the 8 billion people in the world, one person, one human being that you really connect with deeply and that you love unconditionally and loves you unconditionally, and that’s something that you grow into and that’s a really complex, very difficult concept for almost all men who are insecure about their masculinity and their dating skills and all that to even comprehend what unconditional love can be. I’m still struggling to find a way that’s accessible for them to understand. [15:08.2]
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But anyway, if you go through the therapeutic process, you understand what unconditional love is because, first of all, you’re giving it to yourself, the parts of you that are exiled that are in the shadows, so you already are experiencing unconditional love from the very fact that you’re giving it to yourself. [16:02.7]
Now Jim is happily married and has two children. This is several years after he started his dating skills program, the in-person annual program with me, and it’s not just Jim. It’s over 100 guys who have gone through this annual program in person with me in Singapore who are now happily married, have children, and they’ve found this happiness and this love and this deeper meaning in life without needing to become pickup artists, without needing to track their close rate from day time—what do you call it? Daygame cold approaches. Blah, right?
One of the most important messages I put out from the very first video when you opt into my email list and if you indicate that you’re a single man looking to get better with casual dating, one of the first videos I give you is “Never Approach Again”. The idea is that you never have to think about cold approaching as a separate skill that you need to do and train at and get experience at, because instead you will naturally enjoy your life and meeting women will become a natural, organic part of your life. It’s not something that you need to don your cape and purposely head out in the world to do. It just becomes a natural part of your life. It’s an organic extension of the way you live your lifestyle. [17:19.1]
Here’s another example. That’s Example 1, Jim, but it’s really the kind of broad strokes story of over 100 guys that I’ve worked with in person in an annual program. Then there’s another example, Harry.
Harry worked with me over Zoom calls, one on one, and Harry was in his forties when he started and was married twice and divorced twice, and had kids with both women. His kids were now in middle school and high school and just starting college. It’s a broad age range. He was unhappy because he was not in a good relationship. The girlfriend that he was with was not treating him well. [18:02.0]
When we just worked, we weren’t working with how to become a pickup artist or anything with him, and instead we did the therapeutic process, which involved, again, finding his life purpose getting clear on his values, helping him to access his true self, helping him to discover his exiled parts and love them, and help integrate unburdened parts into his overall internal system and so forth—the therapeutic process that I outlined in multiple episodes, including the last one I just did on the seven-step process.
As a result, Harry was able to actually influence the girlfriend that he was with and she shifted dramatically, and a big part of it was that he didn’t understand how much he was triggering her and she didn’t see how she was triggering him. Once they were able to let go of those triggers, they were able to actually not just create the chemistry that got them together in their first place, which is a really exciting thing to be able to maintain that, but also to be able to grow into being able to take care of the parts of themselves that were getting triggered by their partner and not requiring their partner to take care of their triggered parts. [19:15.0]
As a result, they were both able to grow into a loving, mature relationship and that’s what they’re now in and a new marriage with a baby on the way, and it’s just this beautiful process where now Harry is able to also more deeply understand his own children and his ex-wives and to provide a loving family structure of co-parenting with his ex-wives and for his children, as well as for his new family. That’s really exciting because there’s no question about tracking his masculinity or his pickup skills or any of that, because he doesn’t need any of that because he is already happy.
When you can find happiness independently of requiring pickup skills or making sure that you are masculine, if you could just be happy and find fulfillment and meaning, and purpose and love and life, you don’t need all of that other crap that these online forums full of insecure men tell you that you need, and these overcompensating men. [20:18.4]
You can tell when they’re insecure by how much they overcompensate by showing off the external trappings of what they consider to be success or masculinity. The more they’re relying on these superficial or external trappings to reinforce or overcompensate for their deep insecurities, the more of a tell that these should be for you, because now, if you’ve been following the masculine psychology podcast, you know what these are really communicating.
The final example is Ian, and when Ian first started working with us, he took an online course called “Invincible” and that totally transformed his life. His social circle exploded. He was going on lots of dates. But when he started the course, he was hoping as many guys, I suppose, do, finding a girlfriend after he plays the field. [21:09.6]
He was hoping to get really good at pickup skills, get good at cold approaching and all this, and it just still boggles my mind why those types of guys respond to the messaging I do for it, the course “Invincible”, because the entire time I’m saying you never approach again, but they’re like, Oh, I hope this course will help you with cold approaching.
But the beautiful thing is he actually applied himself through the “Invincible” course, which is a pretty involved course. It’s eight weeks, plus a bonus week, and he did all of it. As a result, it actually takes you through a therapeutic process, not the full therapeutic process because most guys who are single and looking to get better at casual dating are not yet ready for that, so that process continues in the course “Rock Solid Relationships”, and then continues in the course “Lifestyle Mastery” and then continues in “Freedom U”. If you’re looking to do the whole deluxe version of the therapeutic process, it’s in all of the courses I recommend you to take, or join the Platinum Partnership to get access to all of them. [22:05.4]
But in any case, Ian started off with “Invincible”, and as a result of the therapeutic process he underwent “Invincible”, his old goals of getting good at conversions, like closing, closing percentages on opening and then what percentage of women can he successfully open, and then he tracks. Pickup artists track that all the way through, right, including how many dates end in sex and that sort of thing, and how many dates can you get out of your cold approach openers and all that stuff.
Instead of that, he dropped all of that and he just focused on his own happiness by loving himself, which is in the therapeutic parts of the “Invincible” course. The beautiful thing that he shared with us was that, as a result of the therapeutic work that happens in the odd modules of “Invincible” and focusing on that and assimilating that, integrating that into his mindset, into his lifestyle, the material in the even part or the even modules of the course, which are highly practical and give lots of practical advice on what to do on the date, how to get a date, how to talk to women, etc., that after he went through the therapeutic parts of “Invincible” and then came back to the practical parts, the practical parts were so easy. [23:21.4]
He stopped tracking the pickupy type of metrics and instead was just having fun, enjoying himself, making connections with other people, being interested in women who met his standards, and was actually interested in them as human beings and wanting to know more about them, even just to become friends if nothing happened sexually or intimately with them, and he was happy with all of that. Now that travel has opened up as a result of COVID restrictions being lifted, he’s now traveling all over the place and all over the world, really, and enjoying meeting new people and getting to know new women. [24:00.5]
But his original goal of finding a girlfriend and becoming a pickup artist all dropped by the wayside because he actually became happy already. He was hoping that getting the girlfriend and becoming a pickup artist would lead to happiness, but, instead, as a result of the therapeutic process, he just found happiness directly. Then all of the other intermediary goals that he was mistakenly thinking would lead to happiness were just naturally dropped off and he started with the end.
As a result, his life now is fulfilling and meaningful and he’s doing what he enjoys, and he’s still in his twenties, so he’s got plenty of time if he ever wants to settle down into a relationship, and he knows that. He’s just enjoying himself and has dropped the old need to be a pickup artist in order to compensate or really overcompensate for his insecurities about his masculinity. Instead, he’s able to just find happiness, fulfillment, love, and joy, and to continue to give love to himself and to the parts of himself that he used to be ashamed of or thought as weak or judged, as not good enough. [25:00.8]
That’s Ian’s story, and it was also Jim’s story and Harry’s story that I shared, and, hopefully, seeing these three stories or hearing about them will help you to understand that it’s not necessary and it can be, in fact, a major impediment to your happiness to try to aim for these superficial, overcompensating goals of being a pickup artist or being masculine, or thinking that that is required for your happiness. It’s not and there are plenty of counterexamples as I’ve just given you of men who have found meaning in life, happiness, fulfillment, and love, enjoying their lives without getting those other goals or wasting their lives on those other things.
That’s actually what my material has been about and I just want to make it clear that I’m not making this podcast or creating this material so that you can increase your close rate on your openers or something like that. It’s about finding your happiness, fulfillment, love, passion and joy, and purpose in life, and not needing to overcompensate for your insecurities with any of those other things that are just actually going to create false selves and encourage a narcissistic personality or going down the narcissistic route of a kind of compensating fantasy in order to further exile the parts of yourself that you’re ashamed of. [26:20.6]
If you continue to buy into the lies of these online forums that say in order for you to be enough, in order for you to be a man, you’ve got to XYZ, and if those XYZ doesn’t involve love yourself more, give yourself more compassion, give yourself more understanding, give yourself more acceptance, if it doesn’t involve those therapeutic goals, then they are just going to take you down the wrong road and make it harder for yourself to actually find real love, real fulfillment, and real happiness, so don’t buy into those lines.
Instead, invest in yourself through the therapeutic process, which is going to require, for some of you, courage in looking at the shadows in your psyche of facing what you may call demons, but then to discover as you do so that the shadow and the demons are equally parts of yourself that are worthy of love and that just actually need your love. [27:16.7]
This is something that sounds kooky if you haven’t experienced the therapeutic process for yourself. As I said, I have many courses that walk you through the different phases of the therapeutic process, and if that interests you, I highly recommend you apply for the Platinum Partnership.
Thanks so much for listening. Thanks so much for commenting. I would love to hear your comments on this episode, and please share this with anyone that you think would benefit. Thanks so much for listening again. I look forward to welcoming you to the next episode. David Tian, signing out. [27:45.8]
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