Money, power, women. Popular dating advice tells you to chase these things until you’re happy. And while they make for entertaining YouTube videos, they lead to miserable relationships and crushing insecurities.
True happiness and love don’t come from shallow ideals. Chasing these obscures the real, attractive parts of you that women love. The parts that make you unique, empathetic, and loved.
But you don’t have to chase superficial goals. When you gain clarity around your values, you become your own authentic self and magnetically attract women to your true self.
Want to discover your authentic values and attract the women you desire? Listen now!
Show highlights include:
- Why you can have better chances of finding a relationship by sitting at home alone than partying at a singles bar. (2:10)
- How trying to build a business empire and getting rich can repel beautiful women from you. (8:57)
- Why most men are inherently needy — and the secret to eliminating you own neediness (14:35)
- Why following your role models can make you miserable — even if they’re married, happy, and rich. (23:43)
- How “living in the gray” gives you the opportunity to instantly change long-held limiting beliefs. (29:15)
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 check out my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at https://www.davidtianphd.com/masterclass/ now.
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.
David: Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast. I’m David Tian, your host, and I’m excited to get you into Episode 4.
In this episode, we’re going to be getting into why values are so important in your dating and relationships, why moral values and your moral principles and what you stand for, your ideals, are so important. They are a necessary key element in success in your love life.
I’ve got three points here to walk you through, but before we do that, I want to set the bigger context here, and the bigger context is that most people in this world have bought into this myth that happiness is natural. That is as if we were evolved to be happy and that’s just not true. [01:06.7]
This is important because, when it comes to your love life, a lot of people think it should just happen naturally, that we are evolved to just have happiness in our personal lives, and that’s not true because, in fact, we’ve only been evolved for survival and reproduction, and a lot of getting ahead in life means hard work and sacrifice and cutthroat society or cutthroat competition, and that actually often precludes happiness and it especially precludes love.
If what you’re after is actually love and unconditional love, and happiness and fulfillment and joy, in a relationship of intimacy, of acceptance of your vulnerability, of connection, then that’s something that you’re going to have to take active steps to create in your life. The myth is that all of that should just happen naturally and there’s the frustration around it not happening naturally. [02:09.0]
One of the reasons it doesn’t happen naturally for a lot of people is that they haven’t stopped to think about what their values are, what their actual moral values are, what their ethics are, what they think of goodness or the moral good and what that would actually mean in their lives, and whether they are trying to live up to some standard that they have decided for themselves of what goodness would be or whether they even care whether there is such a thing as goodness, let alone what it is, and whether they believe that such a thing exists.
Most people walk around this planet, not having thought about any of those questions in any meaningful way, and that’s one of the main reasons they are not able to find happiness or love in their relationships and why they get frustrated in their dating lives when they want something more than just physicality—they want intimacy—and their lack of clarity around their values blocks their ability and potential to find happiness and love. [03:15.0]
These three points that we’re about to dive into are super important. They’re essential. They’re necessary. We are not evolved for happiness and love. We are adapted for survival and reproduction. Those are two different things, and if what you’re after is happiness and love, you’ve got to create that.
Okay, so let’s dive into the first point. The first point is answering the very basic and natural question of, especially for men, why is it that so many of us men don’t realize this? And why is it that so many of us don’t think in terms of happiness and love and are, instead, focused on these surface-level goals or the superficial goals of just getting girls? [03:59.0]
On the surface of it, it’s just obvious. We went through puberty when we were younger and there we were focused on just sex and hot girls, and body parts and physical gratification, and then as we get older, some of us stayed immature and continued to look for those, or because we never got those fulfilled, we might still have this curiosity that an adolescent teenager would have about them and that gets carried forward.
Okay, so that’s an obvious one, but I’m not generally focusing on men who are just teenagers or have a teenage state of mind.
There’s something actually deeper than that when it comes to men in their thirties and forties who are still stuck on not being able to focus on the happiness and love that they’re really after and they think that all they really want is money, power, women, or these superficial goals. Where is that coming from? [04:55.0]
One of the theses I’m proposing here, one of the underlying assumptions so far that I’ve been inferring, is that what guys are actually really after isn’t just physical gratification or sexual gratification. It’s actually something deeper and that could be connection, love, unconditional love, acceptance, a kind of security to feel worthy or significant or enough, and you can use the big catch-all term of happiness or the more academic term of subjective well-being or whatever it is. These are feelings.
These are emotions and that’s what men are really after. They’re really after these emotions, not the actual sexual gratification, though, of course, if you’re really immature, that might be the case like if you’re a teenager.
Why is it that most guys aren’t aware of this? Because it seems like most guys are just focused on the outward goals of just getting women for sexual gratification, and even the guys for whom love and connection is their primary motive or motivation, even for them, they’re not even aware of that. [06:09.0]
That’s one of the big reasons in something we explored in the first episode, why so many millions of people are Google searching and YouTube searching for tips and these are tips with headlines that are couched in such a way as to be focused on just the superficial goals, how to get women to chase you, how to control women, how to control your dating life, and how to get girls attracted to you.
I propose, from my own experience, that there are a lot of men for whom that’s not their main motivation. They’re hoping that if they get that, if they get the physical, the sex, if they get her attracted to him or enough women attracted to him, that then, therefore, that will lead to him being happy or feeling enough, and he’s also hoping in the back of his mind that that will lead to the thing he really wants, which is love and an unconditional love. [07:06.0]
That’s the thesis. I’m going to be showing why that’s the case. I’m going to be arguing for that over the course of many episodes, but I just want to put that out there, and then as point number one, why is it that so many men are blind to their own motivations? Okay, working hypothesis, that’s actually what’s happening. If it’s not happening for you, I totally understand and that’s a very real possibility.
I’m not saying that all men who are Googling dating tips are actually focused or actually really driven by their need for love or other needs, or their emotional needs. Some of them might just need to get off and, instead of looking at porn, they go look for tips.
Okay, I get that. There’s a minority, I think, of men, especially as you move into the thirties and forties, who are like that. This podcast is not for them. If so, if that’s you, you should probably just go, get some porn or dating tips or whatever. You’re probably not listening to this. [08:02.3]
For most of my clientele or all of my clientele, most of my audience, there’s something deeper and the first point is about why there’s this blind spot and one of the most obvious ones, because it’s one of the most easy-to-examine what factors, is toxic masculinity.
Okay, so I’m not going to do a whole episode on toxic masculinity though I could easily do that, because generally my audience isn’t too concerned about toxic masculinity because they’re quite aware that they are not exhibiting toxic masculinity, so that’s a problem for somebody else.
However, even if you think you’re free from toxic masculinity, you should be aware that there’s a toxicity in many types of masculinity in the culture that you’re embedded in. Okay, so this can be in the form of machoism or some kind of repression, and here’s an easy example—do you believe, consciously or unconsciously, that success will lead to happiness? [09:03.8]
This belief, this false belief and this limiting belief, that if you were just successful enough, then finally you will be happy, which cash that out, really, for guys, which means happy in the sense of you’ll feel like you’re enough, you’ll feel like you’re worthy of love and, hopefully, you will actually feel unconditional love through achieving success in whatever area.
This drives achievers really hard, and the most hard-driving achievers, the ones who work seven days a week for five to 10 years and work from 8:00 a.m. to 12 midnight, non-stop, seven days a week for five to 10 years.
I have clients who have done that and are driven by this underlying belief, this background belief, this assumption that they think everyone buys into, they just think this is how the world is because it was something that they discovered for themselves early on in their lives when they were a year and a half, three years old, five years old, and that is that if you work hard enough and you achieve success, then you will be happy. [10:06.3]
In fact, let’s even take what achievers think about the hard work component, but a lot of the world doesn’t buy into that. Take out the hard work component, you can still have success leads to happiness, and it’s just not true. Now, I know maybe this is already triggering a bunch of you achievers and, for you, if you’re triggered now, that’s not true. Of course, success leads to happiness,
David: Okay, let’s put this out there as a working hypothesis and I will be exploring this over the course of episodes further down the road, so you can table this and just consider this as a working hypothesis. I’m not asking you to buy into it yet, but for some of you who have done enough research around happiness, this will be a no-brainer.
However, you might notice that there are parts of you that don’t believe that. There are parts of you that actually believe that success will lead to happiness, and if you can just get success, then the love, the joy, the feeling of significance will come naturally as a result of that success—and this is an ingrained part of toxic masculinity. [11:05.7]
You might not believe it. You might have heard of toxic masculinity mostly talked about in terms of sexual harassment or something, but that’s just the manifestation way down the line. That’s like one of the high branches of it. We’re getting to the root of it. Okay, so this belief of if I can just achieve more and get the success, whether it’s money, power, whatever it is, then I’ll get the women and then I will be happy, and then I’ll feel like I’m enough and then I’ll get love. Okay, so that’s the faulty logic that’s happening and that’s part of the toxicity of that type of masculinity.
There’s also the kind of straight run-of-the-mill machoism, which I’m sure we’re all familiar with, which basically says it’s not acceptable for a man to feel emotions that are vulnerable. I mean, there’s a small range of acceptable emotions for toxic masculinity. There would be something like anger, happiness, feeling powerful and confident, these sort of power emotions. [12:04.5]
But then, the real power emotions of vulnerability, of sadness, and sometimes even of anger—there are some types of toxic masculinity where even feeling anger is unacceptable—but, especially, very commonly, sadness, anything that would make you cry, those are considered to be negative and weak. Because of that, men who are raised in or bought into a toxic-masculinity culture or society are unable to grow and mature, and they end up getting stuck there and this is sort of like the glass ceiling of toxic masculinity. They end up with very emotionally-stunted lives and then they wonder why they don’t understand or are able to get or control their own emotions, let alone happiness and love.
The big picture here is, and I’m going to get to this in Point 3, values, your moral values, your ethical principles, your ideals, your moral ideals. These will guide you to the happiness and love that you’re really looking for, the emotions, and that’s one way that’s acceptable for toxic masculinity to get there. [13:15.6]
I’m going to be pursuing that angle and that is that, no matter whether it’s from the perspective of toxic masculinity or not, you’re going to have to think about your moral values and get clear on those and get the clarity on that, but I’m choosing this because it’s an especially powerful avenue or approach for those who are living with toxic masculinity, because it is manly to do ethics, to philosophize about morality.
Just philosophizing itself is just the opening of the door. You’re going to need to do the emotional processing around it, and then the training and cultivation of it, but just getting your foot in the door with just thinking about these moral issues or just moral principles, or just morality in general, is a good start. That’s just a foot in the door. [14:03.7]
Okay, so back to Point 1 about toxic masculinity being a limiting factor that’s preventing men from understanding why their dating and relationships are stagnant or that they’re not able to get control or not able to experience love, acceptance, appreciation, connection, worthiness, and that security that comes from an unconditional love relationship or that intimacy that they crave.
Okay, so toxic masculinity prevents men from understanding their own emotional needs and it prevents them, therefore, because if you don’t understand your emotional needs, you’re not going to be able to learn how to meet them yourself, so it’s naturally going to lead to neediness, right? [14:50.4]
A lot of the energy around success of trying to succeed in order to be happy is a kind of desperation, and you may not feel it for the first decade, but after a while, that burnt-out energy of those parts being so tired because they’ve been working so hard to try to get emotional goods of happiness and love and so on through just hard work, because they think that if they succeed, then they’ll get those emotions that they’re craving.
Then when they don’t get them, they just, instead, work harder and they just entrench back into the same faulty strategy of trying to get happiness that way through success and it doesn’t work, and they get more and more frustrated and they have this blindness of their own needs. If they don’t understand their own needs, they’re definitely not going to be able to learn how to meet in themselves.
Then, of course, the ultimate need of unconditional love is so far removed from the man who’s living under a toxic masculinity, because in order to get to love, you’re going to have to get to your vulnerability. You’re not going to be able to find courage in love or intimacy without coming to those vulnerable parts of you because those are the parts that are afraid of being hurt or rejected, and that requires you to be able to access that courage of your higher self. That requires confronting your vulnerability head on and toxic masculinity represses that. It’s a limiting factor. [16:13.8]
It’s like this. It’s not even a glass ceiling or glass wall. It’s more like a cement thing because it’s not transparent. It’s opaque. You can’t even see what’s underneath or what’s on the other side. Toxic masculinity is a limiting factor. It is a big obstacle, a stumbling block. It’s getting in the way. That’s the first point.
The second point is you can see this, whether you’re operating under toxic masculinity, by looking at your role models and this is something that I’ve kind of traced backwards, traced the breadcrumbs backwards. It’s like this, the tippy tip of some of the higher branches, tracing that back to more of the roots, we’re getting into the trunk of toxic masculinity. You can see this in the branches of the wrong role models, and if you’re wondering, Am I laboring under toxic masculinity? you can just check out your role models. Who are you looking to as examples of how you want to live? [17:09.2]
A lot of dudes, especially the younger they get, so I’m going to cap it at 21 years old, let’s say, but I work with a lot of guys in their thirties and even there we’re getting guys who are looking up to other men who have money, power or women, or all of those. It’s sort of like the Scarface role models, right? Get the money. Then you get the power and then you’ll get the women, right? That kind of thing. So many dudes are so bought into that and then they’re wondering, Why am I not happy? Why am I not experiencing love? Right?
If your value system is such that you prioritizes money, power, and women or something along those lines—that’s what I’ve been referring to as the superficial goals—it is actually taking you the opposite direction from the road that will lead you to happiness, fulfillment, acceptance, appreciation, love, and all the good emotions that you’re hoping will come as a result of money, power and women. [18:01.2]
So many men are laboring under the Scarface ethics and they’re wondering why they’re not experiencing goodness in life, and everywhere they turn, women are evil vampires out to get them and cheat and lie, and you can see this in the turn towards this kind of bitterness and anger that has been happening in the world of single men in the past five to 10 years. It wasn’t happening in the heyday of the pickup artists. It was sort of more of a naïve optimism around what women can do, the emotions they will give to you if you get enough of them or whatever, if you get enough attraction, and then hopefully find the right one.
You notice that the normal pickup artist’s story was that he dates lots of women, and then one of them stumps him. He’s not able to or his game doesn’t work on her or whatever, and that emotional vampire becomes his love interest and they hook up and he thinks he finds happiness, and then, of course, they don’t because that’s an emotional-vampire pairing and I’ve done tons of other content on that, how that’s doomed. [19:05.5]
But you notice that there’s this kind of naïve optimism around it, like, I’m going to date lots of women and then pick the one that I like the most and then settle down with her. There’s always, in the background, this assumption that this player phase is just a stage on the way to eventual happiness in a relationship “when I find the right woman.”
Nowadays, it seems like the dominant narrative in the Western world for men in their twenties and thirties is different—and, heck, maybe in their forties, fifties, single men or divorced men—is that there are no women that you can trust that the nature of woman is whatever, some evil thing, right? They haven’t really thought, though, about or thought through a real moral view, like a view of morality. What’s your theory? What’s your theory on what goodness is? What constitutes goodness? What are considered virtues?
Early on, I used to be a professor of moral philosophy and moral psychology was my main field, and after a while when you’re specialized in something long enough, you forget that everyone else doesn’t know what you know. You kind of take it for granted. [20:13.0]
When I was coaching, especially when the internet blew up and I had to respond to comments, so you notice responding to comments is nothing compared to in-person coaching or even an in-person event where you can see the person in front of you and you can get the background of why this is so important for them and so on. Instead, you’re answering somebody’s two sentences and what he’s asking basically is a question [for which] a full answer would require a book, right? I get frustrated or parts of me get frustrated with the comments because we can’t give a full answer.
But, anyway, I’m in the comments and I’m just wondering, Why? You haven’t thought about [virtue]. You’re telling the world that this woman is basically the opposite of virtue, right? She’s an evil slut and she has all these vices, moral vices, and she has bad moral character, but then you haven’t thought about what virtue means or what would be considered virtuous, and you don’t have a robust theory about virtue and yet you’re condemning others. [21:07.6]
I notice that this is a very common thing, so that we buy into whatever moral systems were passed down to us, uncritically, unthinkingly, unreflectively, and then we wonder why we’re not in control of our own happiness, and I’ll tell you—this is the whole point of this episode—it’s because you haven’t thought through your own moral values in any deep sense.
A lot of dudes have just bought into the money-power-women thing, which I can understand coming out of puberty. Right? You’re just still driven by sexual gratification and you think that’s all you want. In some cases, that is. You’re just horny and you want to get off, okay, so that might be for a 13-year-old or something, but you’re now 35.
Okay, so there’s something deeper here and what you’re really looking for in the working hypothesis that you might even give assent to right away, just reflecting on your own life. Is that what you really want, love and connection, not just sex? We’re not just money and not just power, and maybe a lot of guys don’t even think about power, which is great, right? I’m not saying you should. [22:09.5]
Just in case this is not clear, in case anyone gets triggered by any phrase I use and it gets taken out of context, I’m making it clear, money-power-women is not my value system and I’m not proposing it. I’m not supporting it. This is an example of what not to have, and if you have that, that’s not going to lead you to happiness and love. It’s the opposite.
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You’ll notice and you can see what your moral values are by looking at the role models you’ve chosen, maybe unconsciously for yourself. Who do you look up to and go to for advice? [23:19.0]
Now, look, if I have a money issue, I will go to a guy who has made a lot of money and I won’t look at and it’s not that important to me how his personal life is and all that, just like if I hire a plumber to fix my plumbing, I’m not going to quiz him or grill him on his marriage because he’s here to do a job, so I’m not talking about role models in that sense.
I’m talking about the fact that many guys look to certain role models as models for how they should live life, not just in specific areas, especially in the areas of personal relationships. A lot of guys are looking at, okay, this guy has money or power, then I will follow his dictums and his examples, and his moral values and his principles, when it comes to happiness and love in his personal life, and that’s generally a disaster. [24:13.3]
Then you look at who you’re looking up to in terms of role models when it comes to success with women and, you see, notice a lot of guys will have these conflicting parts and they’ll have a part that really looks up to Hugh Hefner types, Bilzerian type of guy, and they’re complicated people as all people are, but they’re looking at that like, Oh, this guy has got tons of women and I’m going to replicate that, and then they’re wondering why they’re not finding happiness and love, because there’s another part that one’s happiness and love, and intimacy and acceptance and connection, and the way that some of these role models are pursuing it won’t lead to that and these guys don’t know why.
They haven’t thought or stopped to think about that, that your moral system will lead you or kind of dictate how your life will go emotionally. [25:07.8]
Okay, so look at your role models. That’s the second point. Then, as a sub point, why do you even need role models? I get that it’s natural for people to look to a role model or a mentor, or a teacher or coach, or an older brother or somebody like that, as an example of how they can live their lives better and that’s great. You might have even taken me as a role model and, if so, I’m very flattered. But, look, in order for you to decide whether the advice or example of that person is worth following, you would have had to judge for yourself.
Then, at some point, role models turn into gurus where their advice or their example is taken uncritically. That happened for us. For most men under toxic masculinity and just in pop culture, that has happened early on in our lives when we have taken the examples uncritically, because we don’t trust ourselves. We don’t trust our own judgment. [26:04.8]
Then we start buying into their unspoken, implicit value system, and then, because it’s an unspoken, implicit, unconscious, we don’t get an opportunity to query it, to question it, to criticize or evaluated it, and that’s part of the reason why so many people around the world are having difficulty finding happiness and intimacy and love.
It’s because their moral systems or their values are preventing that—the sub point being that maybe you don’t need any role models, because in order to decide whether to this person’s advice, you would have to evaluate it yourself, which means you already have your own inner role model, some part of you or maybe it’s something in you that is not a part that has the answers to all of these interpersonal questions, all of these emotional issues. Already, it’s a part of you where there’s something inside you that already knows what to do and that something inside you I’ve been referring to as your higher self, or at least in the last episode I did. [27:13.6]
Just think about that possibility. Maybe you don’t need any role models. I don’t mean by that that you don’t need any advice or help, or obviously that’s where we go from role model to guru where we start to take uncritically the advice, where we don’t evaluate the advice but trust the advice because it comes from that person, and then we kind of check our brains at the door. Don’t let that and for you.
Then just wonder, Why do I even need role models? I can get people who are experts in certain areas and get their advice in the domain in which they are an expert or specialist? But I don’t need an all-encompassing role model where I’m saying, I will be exactly like this person. [27:52.8]
Just as another aside, a very common client profile for me, and I see it among guys who have trouble with dating and relationships, is that the neediness in them that’s kind of codependent fixer parts of them naturally enter into guru-type of idealization relationships with other men and with the women that they get attached to, where it’s this idealization where that person, the role model or guru cannot do any wrong. The woman, the love interest, the crush, whatever, she’s this perfect human being. That guy is just perfect.
Then, as soon as there’s a chink in the armor or that person maybe makes them feel less than, then, boom, that person is the devil and the mortal enemy. Then we have this phase of idealization devaluation in very extreme ways where this person has all the answers and this person then has none of the answers and needs to be completely destroyed out of my life.
Notice that if you have trouble living in the gray, and take me as an example—you might disagree with five percent of what I say, or maybe it’s 20 percent of what I say, that’s fine. There’s no one in this world that I agree with a hundred percent on that I know well, okay, and that’s fine. [29:09.4]
It’s part of being a philosopher, which is that you are a professional disagree. That’s part of your job. You look for things to disagree with, and if you can’t find anything, then just look for counterarguments against your own arguments and that’s totally fine. This is part of life and you have the option of changing your mind to the next second if you find better arguments that you hadn’t considered or maybe you see the thing you had rejected before and now you see the merit in it. Live in the gray because that’s life. Life is all in the gray. The extremes actually aren’t instantiated. They don’t exist in real life.
But people who cling on to gurus and role models live in the extreme and that’s part of the neurotic nature of those parts and this is a sign that you should take that therapeutic process really seriously and, ideally, also, along the way, get a good therapist and commit to that course of therapy on a weekly basis for a while. [30:01.3]
Okay, so that’s the second point, wrong role models. You can check to see your role models to see what your value systems might be, because I know for a lot of people, and I have done this teaching and I’ve gone into this issue or this topic of moral values in the area of dating and relationships, which is really surprising for a lot of people like, Oh, I didn’t think I’d be thinking about goodness and good and evil and that sort of thing, and I know that most people have not thought about that. So, they have no idea what their moral values are because they haven’t stopped to seriously ask themselves about it.
If that’s you and you want to get a head start or a quick hack into “What are your moral values?” look at your role models, and then for a lot of guys, it’s that Scarface trio money-power-women. Maybe it’s different for you, which is great, and what are they? What are the moral values that your role models have? Very likely you’ve imbibed the same values and that’s part of why you are attracted to them unconsciously, in the first place.
Then, the third point is about the fact that we are not evolved for happiness and love. These moral values, there’s an evolutionary edge to them. There’s an evolutionary advantage to them, which I’ll get to in another episode, but here just pointing out, we are evolved for survival and reproduction, not for happiness and love. [31:18.8]
These good emotions have adaptive value. They help us to thrive as a species, but they are not necessary for survival and replication. You could survive just by implementing a fight-flight-freeze type of life, and then you could reproduce by raping or something like that if you think back to caveman days. You don’t need to have love in that situation to just survive and reproduce.
So many men recently, in the recent five years or so, with this manosphere, the men’s rights movements that are so focused on red pill, MGTOW that have this kind of anger and bitterness about that and resentment that they’re driven by this view of life that brings its own set of moral values that they’re not even aware they’ve imbibed or that have infiltrated their lives. [32:16.8]
They’re wondering why. Because of their moral views, it makes it impossible for there to be the kind of vulnerability required for love, and then they wonder why they don’t have any happiness and love in their lives. That’s a life of red in tooth and claw—life is brutish and short, and you just get yours. Just go out and get whatever you can because no one is actually going to love you the way you want and, in fact, love does not exist—the whole thing, the whole macho toxic masculinity. All of that lends itself very well to this moral view that comes out of this particular view of evolution of simply survival and replication, and because this is the way the world is, then that’s the way things ought to be. [33:01.8]
That’s the sub point here that it’s one thing to say this is a particular view of evolution, and even if you grant that—and I don’t think that’s the whole story obviously, but we can grant that because there is, like I said, an evolutionary adaptive value to love and all those feel-good feelings, but let’s just take that, okay. Survival replication, that’s the main thing, okay—but that’s just how things are. That’s the “is.” That doesn’t mean that that’s how things should be. In philosophy, this is considered the is-ought fallacy that just because things are a certain way does not mean that they ought to be that way.
But so many men, in their bitterness and resentment, make that mistake, that logical fallacy to commit that, of going from “what is” that leads to “that’s going to be the shoulds and my oughts in life,” and they draw their moral values from the fact that they believe in their belief that life is about surviving and reproducing, which leaves no room for moral goodness. [34:02.6]
In fact, they believe that moral goodness in the background. They may not assent to this explicitly, but there’s this background belief in that kind of toxic masculinity that moral goodness and compassion, and even perhaps sadness, is a weakness. That’s part of why they are not able to experience those emotions that they really want of love and connection, and that’s fueling their bitterness and resentment.
You might have seen this among some of your acquaintances or maybe in yourself. So, there is room for moral goodness and that’s why it’s so important to pay attention to that. What is the place of goodness then? Is there such a thing as good? Is there such a thing as love?
I will preview some of what I’ll be covering in the next episodes, which is that the evolutionary adaptive advantage of moral goodness is that, if you believe this, you will draw into your life others who believe it. A big part of it is trust. [35:00.7]
Without moral goodness, it is very difficult to relax and trust, so you can trust as long as you’ve got one eye looking behind your back, right, and you’ve got to always check your back? However, if you believe in moral goodness, for instance—this is just an example. I’m going to develop this in the following episodes—then one of the things that comes out of that is the ability to relax and trust.
Society, our societies, our advanced civilizations are built on this trust, and it might be that we have checks and balances, but every day that you drive down a road that doesn’t have a physical barrier, that’s just two painted lines, you are actually trusting that the other person is not a psychopath or suicidal and is going to take you out, because all they’ve got to do is vroom and you’re done. You already are living a life with trust.
Now, for how that comes about, do you have a well-worked-out theory? Maybe you’re a contractarian or there are different theories to account for that, and there is, I think, a superior theory that I’ll be getting to that will lead you more likely to find love and happiness and intimacy in your life. [36:10.5]
That’s for later, but I just want to point out, as an example, trust, because without trust, you’re not going to be able to tap into that or access the courage that is required for unconditional love. A reason most men are unable to love unconditionally or even discover unconditional love, whether it’s coming out of them or coming to them, is because they’re afraid. They don’t trust others. They don’t trust.
Especially the more that they are vulnerable, the more attached, the more they get the feels, the more entangled they are, the more that they are afraid, the more neediness arises, the more uncertainty comes up, the more fear is generated, and then there’s no courage. Courage decreases, the greater the attachment. [37:00.6]
So, they want a guarantee that she will not leave him or cheat on him or whatever, and if they can’t, then they won’t allow themselves to love, to open up and to have that love, and that’s because they can’t trust her. They can’t trust that she won’t stab him in the back. More, at a deeper level, they can’t trust that they’ll be okay if she does that, that they won’t recover from the hurt or that they won’t come out better from the hurt, and that’s because they don’t have trust in their own higher self or their own true self.
Your true self, our higher selves have all the courage that we need to experience and give unconditional love naturally and effortlessly, because our higher self and your true self is all you need to meet all of the needs of all of your parts that are in fear. But, instead of having that happen, instead of your higher self meeting the needs of your fearful parts, instead you’re being led by the fearful parts, where you, as in these men, are laboring under toxic masculinity who are too afraid to open up and are afraid of being vulnerable and see that as a weakness and so on. [38:05.0]
What they really need is their own true self to be able to come to the fore to meet the needs of their parts that are fearful, and to trust in your own true self and your own higher self, because your own true self and higher self has the courage required for unconditional love and then it all happens naturally. Then you’re not looking for it with fear to her to say, Don’t leave me or I’m going to fall apart in pieces and I don’t know what I’ll do with my life, or don’t cheat on me or don’t betray me or whatever. I won’t be able to handle it.
That’s the fear that’s driving so many men and part of it is because their own moral system would not give her a reason not to do that. Their own moral system. They complain about what they call hypergamy or hypergamy <alternate pronunciation>, which is hypergamous behavior among women, which is just getting the guy with more status or just the better catch. In their moral system, there’s no reason why she wouldn’t trade up because, in fact, he would do the same freaking thing and that’s why he’s so scared. [39:06.7]
Right, so he’s always on his toes. He can never relax because he’s always got to be better than the bigger, better deal that she could get. Then, in fact, there’s no love there. That’s just a transactional relationship that’s held together or by fear and neediness. I mean, that drives out love.
Okay, so a recap of these three points. I’m going to be expanding in the next episode, of course, because there’s so much. I could do a whole semester or a yearlong course on this easily. The first point is the reason it’s so hard for men especially to experience happiness and love and intimacy is because of toxic masculinity in their culture or society, or their environment growing up, and maybe not even growing up, but just now. Okay, toxic masculinity.
The second is, if you want to know what your values are, you look at your role models.
The third is we are evolved for survival and reproduction, and not for happiness and love, but that doesn’t mean that we need to give into the is-ought fallacy, or follow or commit the is-ought fallacy. In fact, we need to pay attention to the importance of moral goodness. I’m going to develop that final point about moral goodness in the next episodes. [40:18.0]
That’s a recap of those three points. This is super, super important. If you do not think clearly about your values and, especially, if you’re not currently experiencing unconditional love, I can imagine, theoretically, somebody sort of just stumbling into an unconditional love relationship, maybe with a super-mature partner who is sort of leading them through it. I can imagine that theoretically, hypothetically. I think that’s a really rare case.
But for everyone, so for everyone else, if you don’t think clearly about your own values, you will never be able to be the leader in the relationship. That’s for sure, but you will also never be in control of or even understand why it’s so hard for you to find happiness and love, and have the courage for unconditional love and intimacy. [41:00.7]
Okay, so this is super important what we just covered and I’ve experienced all of this myself. That’s why I can speak with this with total intimacy, but also I’ve seen this happen in hundreds of clients and thousands online, this very same thing of laboring under toxic masculinity, the macho repression, the false limiting belief of success leading to happiness, the denial of their own needs and their blindness of what their driving needs of love and connection are or even how to meet them or how to meet your own needs for love, or even what means or what good means. I can see this in their messed up role models that they follow in areas of life in which that role model is not an expert or a specialist, or buying into his value system.
Then, of course, I’ve dialogued with as many of these people as I can and discovered that a big part of their value system is committing is-ought fallacy and coming out of the sort of bare-bones survival-and-replication view of evolution, of survival of the fittest, of red in tooth and claw. [42:02.8]
I’ve experienced all of those stages myself. I’ve been in the red pill, in that despair and that anger and that bitterness for half a year and very angry towards women, womankind, feminism, the whole thing. I think I have a more balanced view of it now, but I’m very grateful that I had that period because I can understand those who are still in it and a big part of that is coming from living under toxic masculinity, having a particular value system uncritically.
That’s what we’re going to be looking at over the next few episodes to dig deep into that, because if you don’t figure that out, you get lost in that other red-in-tooth-and-claw value system of just survival and replication. You get yours, can’t trust anyone fully. You can’t be open and vulnerable because they’re just going to stab you in the back. Don’t make yourself vulnerable. [42:57.0]
The whole Machiavellian approach to life of The Art of War and Sun Tzu and all that. But I think if you look at Sun Tzu in the right way, then … But, anyway, just the more caricature version of The Prince of the Machiavelli, of Hobbes’ Leviathan, and all that—that is a recipe for unhappiness, for despair, for bitterness. Hey, this might keep you alive and you might end up reproducing with other emotional vampires, but it won’t lead you to happiness, that’s for sure, and it won’t lead you to peace of mind or calm, or love, especially.
If those are the things you’re looking for, come back to the next episode. We’re going to be going even deeper into the specific values. Which specific values are best for happiness and success in love, and in dating and relationships? Which specific values are best for success with women, with love and with relationships? That’s the next step. Come back for that one.
Thanks so much for listening. If you like this, share it with your friends. It means a lot to me if you do that. I hope to hear from you soon and I’d love to hear from you what you thought about this. [44:05.7]
I also want to throw out there to invest in yourself, so that you can actually experience how natural and effortless it can be to love unconditionally that, when you are able to access that courage in you, you’re not afraid of being hurt in an irreparable way, that you can meet your own needs for love and connection, and security and significance and so forth.
That unconditional love just flowing from you, it is just … that’s the meaning of life. Invest in yourself to create this for yourself. It is not a natural thing. It started with that myth that happiness is just natural. We are not evolved for that, so you’ve got to create it. Invest in yourself to do that.
Okay, share this link if you liked it, and I will see you in the next episode. David Tian, signing out. [44:51.0]
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