Here’s a true story: James was at a party with his girlfriend. There was a hilarious, tall, and handsome dude who kept making her laugh — obnoxiously loud.

She was giving him attention and practically ignoring James. And the jokes he made? They fell flat on their face — she didn’t laugh at all.

At first, he started to think, “Damn, I suck.” But after a while, his mind began to race with questions:

Is he actually funny, or is she laughing way too hard to get his attention? Should I bring this up with her? Should I work on my own humor and social competence? Should I let go of my jealousy somehow? Or maybe I should just hit the gym and become a 21st-century Arnold?


There are 3 big issues with this type of thinking. These issues potentially lead to you being emotionally manipulative — and sabotaging your relationship because of it.

On today’s episode, you’ll uncover why sharing your insecurities is actually a subtle form of emotional manipulation. You’ll also discover how falling madly in love with an ugly French bulldog matures your attitude towards women (and magnetizes unconditional love.)

Listen now!

 Show highlights include:

  • An exclusive Facebook group where you’ll uncover the biggest sexual complaints women have about men (1:41)
  • Discover the 23 “telltale signs” required for a passionate and loving relationship full of steamy lovemaking (and avoid countless years in a dead end and lifeless relationship) (3:40)
  • When is it just a lack of physical attraction or just your jealousy? (not knowing could leave you blind to potential cheating and flirting with other men behind your back) (5:34)
  • The harmful vulnerability mindset 95% of men possess that sabotages your relationship by forcing her to “do all the dirty work” (11:34)
  • Adopt the “Marlboro Man” attitude to unlock a sensuous bond with your girlfriend (and why seeking praise, approval, and motivation is a surefire way to ruin to a relationship) (13:56)
  • How drinking “old wine” may result in a 50-year marriage with 2 kids and 4 grandchildren (14:42)
  • Why looking like Brad Pitt and owning multiple Ferraris betrays your loved ones for momentary pleasures (17:00)
  • The insidious way trying to be funny creates relationships cursed to fail from the very beginning (22:42)
  • Insecure about your attractiveness? Here’s how to flip the narrative on its head — in your favor — by asking her “are you slutty enough?…” (31:23)

   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 now.

For more about David Tian, go here:

    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 this new episode of the Masculine Psychology Podcast. I’m David Tian, your host. What I cover in this episode could easily make or break your relationships and, by extension, your life. The distinctions I’m covering in this episode are required for a successful relationship and for a happy life.

Unfortunately, most people don’t understand it and they don’t even realize they don’t understand it, and those who figure it out, generally, only figure it out too late, if ever, and many people go to their death beds not understanding why they were unable to find happiness or fulfillment in their lives on a consistent, lasting basis. [01:06.5]

If you get this wrong, that is if you misinterpret or misunderstand, or are blind to these distinctions, your long-term intimate relationships will fail, but understanding these distinctions are a necessary prerequisite to succeeding, not only in long-term relationships, but in getting hold of your own happiness and fulfillment in the long term. 

I’m going to do something a little unusual. I’m going to set it up by reading and responding to a question that was posted in my Man Up Facebook group. If you didn’t know about it, I have a Facebook group. It’s got almost 25,000 people in it and it’s called “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man”. It’s the name of one of my old video podcasts.

In the group, somebody named James posted this question: [01:58.4]

“You all helped me about a year and a half ago when I started dating this girl and, frankly, we have a relationship that I’m really happy with. I could use some advice about a recent incident that has made me doubt myself. My girlfriend has very close friends that she really loves. One of these friends is a guy who’s naturally very funny and good at telling stories.

“Last night, I was talking in a group with my girlfriend, the funny guy, and two other friends of hers. I felt that she was giving him more attention than me and laughing harder at what he said. Socially, I felt that I was just not performing as well, and the attention she gave to him instead of to me made me feel jealous.

“I can’t tell if this is something I should bring up to her that it would be nice if she made me feel more included or valued when talking to her friends, or, if, instead, I should just work on my own social competence and funniness, and that the problem is more on my side, or perhaps I should just let go of the jealousy somehow. Thank you in advance for any comments.” [02:57.6]

Okay, I’ve got three major points in response to James’ question and scenario, and the same scenario of being jealous because you feel like you’re not good enough or you can’t keep up, or some other guy is better than you and you’re afraid you’re going to lose the girl if you’re not attractive enough or if you don’t perform as well, is super common.

The bigger issue rests on his blurring of a very important set of distinctions between short-term dating and long-term relationships between love versus attraction, but just before I get to that, I want to address the simplest issue, which is that James’ intuition that there might be something more to it than his mere insecurity is valid.

If your girlfriend or your date, or the girl that you’ve been flirting with or have invested a bunch of time in when you first met or at any point, really, is interacting with another man, or if your love interest or your romantic target is interacting with a potential competitor of yours for her or his affections, it’s important that you know what to look for. [04:07.6]

You have to know the signs of whether somebody likes somebody else, and if you’re clueless to that, you’ve got to learn those, because you have to be able to learn to read the human cues of whether somebody likes you. I know that a lot of guys who have trouble with women also have, as part of it, trouble or just ignorance in knowing what are the telltale signs that she likes you.

If you don’t know what these are, you can just google, how to know whether she likes you, and it should pull up an infographic that my team made that’s entitled “23 Signs She Likes You.” This is so that you can tell whether there’s actual chemistry between them and whether she’s actively encouraging it or acting on it so that the flirting communication between the two of them is escalating consciously. [05:04.0]

It’s important to have a list in your mind of objective measures for telling, to a higher degree of probability or not, whether they like each other and whether she is flirting with him. If she’s just sitting there and being quite passive and maybe just laughing and responding to somebody who’s entertaining, but she’s not encouraging any kind of flirting or she’s not doing any preening, or any of the 23 signs that she likes you like on the infographic—those are, by the way, just suggestions. They’re not an exhaustive list—but the more of them there are, the more likely she actually is physically, sexually attracted to him.

But if there aren’t very many or any of those signs and you’re still feeling jealous, then you can know, more likely, that it is more like, for sure, that it is you and your insecurities are getting the better of you or whether you’re reading into it, or whether there’s really something there that you really need to pay attention to, because, usually, by the time you’re able to see it and she’s openly flirting, this is just the tip of the iceberg and she’s probably done a lot more other stepping out on you that you’re not aware of. [06:17.0]

So, this is something that’s really important to at least have that information so that you can make a more objective determination of whether there’s actually something else going on here that you should pay attention to, because, obviously, or hopefully obviously, this is a red flag.

Now, I’m proud to say that in the group, the very first question from Stevenson is a big question here, “Was he being flirty or just funny?” an important distinction, and the answer from James is not flirting, just being funny. So, that’s taken care of. We’ll take James at his word that he’s able to read the social cues and that he’s jealous because he’s insecure, and it’s not that he’s jealous because there’s actually something else going on there where she’s flirting with another guy. [07:02.5]

That’s the first point to pay attention to. Women can cheat just like men can cheat and you might have been blind to it all along, and by the time you start to feel this jealousy, you might have been so used to brainwashing yourself into thinking it’s your fault that you are insecure and it’s not because she’s flirty or she’s encouraging this behavior, or she’s sending out signals and has chemistry with other guys and is acting on that.

These are potential red flags and you’ll need to know the objective measures to be able to determine whether there is something more going on there or not, so you can actually learn that to be able to read body language, eye contact and other signs that she actually is sexually or physically attracted to this man and not just being entertained. But we’ll take James’ word for it and we’ll just move on to the next point. He’s actually just insecure about whether he’s attractive enough for her and whether he’s more attractive than this other guy, this funny guy. [08:07.2]

Now, this question, in and of itself, is quite common and I’ve already addressed it at the surface level. I’ve already addressed the question itself in other Man Up episodes from many years ago. Why I’m pulling it out now is some of the other comments in the group to this point that made it clear to me that there’s a lot of guys who don’t understand the more important bigger issues at play here.

Let me just read a little bit of these other comments and I’ll start with the more obviously wrong ones. I’m not going to name names here, I’ll just read out the comments. Here’s Commenter No. 1: “Should you bring up your insecurities to her? Not if you want to keep her. Seriously, use this group or your friends to vent. Work on yourself in getting better in social settings, etc., but DO NOT,” in all caps, “discuss it with her. Nowhere has a woman ever said, ‘I’m so attracted when my man is insecure. It’s such a turn on.’” [09:05.5]

Commenter No. 2 says, “Absolutely not. Don’t say a thing and, quite frankly, stop being an insecure girl.”

Now, I actually don’t disagree with either of those sentiments or viewpoints, because they’re assuming that what he’s most after is attraction. However, he is in the relationship now for a year and a half and I assume he wants it to continue, and he’s not just after attraction on which you can only base a short-term relationship like a fling. If the main thing that your relationship is based on is attraction, then it will die. It will die, no matter what, as you age.

Now, here’s a comment that’s more subtly worrying, making a similar point, but in a way that’s more deeply mistaken. Those other two commenters, I assume, it looks like they just assumed that what James was most after was just continuing to have sex with this girl, and to that, I would just remind them of the difference between attraction and love, or attraction and connection, or attraction and real intimacy. [10:09.0]

But here, this third commenter, actually it looks like it’s a much more enlightened view, but in a sense, it’s a little bit more dangerous what the advice is. I’ll just read it out. “When the two of you are chilling or in a bar or a restaurant, at some point during their conversation, go ahead and say it, but don’t make it a big deal, just like this, say, ‘Hey, I remember the other day, so-and-so was very funny. Do you remember that joke? It was hilarious. It made me feel a little bit insecure, though, like I was not as funny as him and everyone was paying attention to him most of the time.’”

Then the commenter continues, “Be vulnerable. There’s nothing wrong with that.” By the way, a lot of guys still are very confused about it. I made a whole podcast episode on the right way to be vulnerable. Anyway, so be vulnerable. There’s nothing wrong with that. Okay, good, it sounds good so far. “Her healthy reaction, in my opinion,” says the commenter, “should be something along the lines of, ‘Hey, honey, don’t feel like that. You have your own humor. You are very funny in your own way and that’s what attracted me to you.’” [11:12.4]

“You should remember that we all have different skills, and while that guy might be good at being funny in a social gathering, he might not be as good as you in a different social situation. I’m sure you have other skills.” Then he’s got a P.S., which I want to just mention. “If he was being flirty and your girlfriend was reciprocating, that’s a different story.”

Totally agree with you on that one, for this commenter, but returning to the commenter’s main point, notice how subtly harmful this view actually is. Let me repeat the points that really stuck out at me here. First, in his suggestion of how he should bring it up, it sounds like he’s pleading for her or making a bid for her to assuage his ego, like basically saying, “Look, I was a little bit insecure. I felt bad, like I wasn’t as funny as him,” and then crickets, right? “Mm-hmm, okay.” [12:02.4]

Then, he’s saying, the commenter is saying, “Once you say that, then she ought to start mothering you. She ought to say, ‘Hey, no, you really are. Don’t feel like that already,’” making it so that some of his feelings are inappropriate, right? But, more importantly, she’s now affirming him. “You are funny. That’s what attracted me to you.” What stuck out is first the setup.

Like I covered in the whole other podcast episode on being vulnerable, when you’re being vulnerable, the right way to do it is to do it for yourself, not to do it to get some intended effect from the other person, because then that’s actually manipulative vulnerability and that feels yucky and icky. If you are going to bring it up, tell her this is what you felt, but you’re dealing with it, because healthy boundaries are when you do not need other people to take care of your emotions for you, but you can take care of it yourself.

But unlike the fearful response from those other commenters where they were like, Don’t tell her, she’s going to leave you, which, hey, if it’s just about sex and attraction and you’ve only known each other for like a few hours, that’s not bad advice, right? Because if she’s just down for a good hot sex time and you, too, then why do you need to get all these other emotions involved? [13:13.4]

But I’m assuming that James here wants a long-term relationship. He’s already been in it for a year and a half with her, so it’s different from just attraction. Now I’m assuming he wants connection as well and attraction is just one ingredient in there, and it’s definitely not going to be the dominant, it shouldn’t be the dominant ingredient, especially as time passes. That was the first thing that jumped out, the manipulative vulnerability there.

But staying on the theme here of love versus attraction, short term versus long term, the line that he, that this commenter said you should expect coming from her in response is “Don’t feel like that. You have your own humor and that’s what attracted me to you.” [13:55.0]

Okay, this was actually really dangerous. What he’s asking for is “Make me feel good. Encourage me. I’m feeling down, make me feel good.” That’s manipulative vulnerability. But even more worrying is this view of the place of attraction in a relationship. For young guys, often aren’t even in relationships or aren’t married, so they haven’t been past three to five years in a relationship and they’re not used to thinking about relationships as anything more than super-long dating relationships, right? You liked each other. You were attracted to each other. You hooked up. You had sex and then you just keep going for one year or two or three or five years, 10 years, 20 years and then 50, you have kids along the way and die.

That’s how they view relationships. They don’t understand the life cycle of a successful long-term relationship, so they just assume that whatever you’re feeling on Day 1 is what you’re supposed to be just basically extending all the way through, right? They don’t understand the ripening of the grape. They don’t understand the aging of the wine, so to speak. They’re just drinking young wine. They don’t even understand the concept of aged wine. [14:57.8]

Of course, there’s tons of attraction insecurity that runs through all of those comments, because, for them, it’s all about attraction, because all they care about is whether she’s having sex with him and not some other guy. And that’s the young guy’s concern, right? Here it is just focused on attraction. They have no concept of love or a real connection, or commitments or integrity, or any of what I always recommend in all my other podcast episodes on what to look for in a long-term relationship partner, which is, obviously, not going to be just chemistry and physical attractiveness, which you can get on the first second when you see her. 

No, what you’re really looking for, in addition to physical attractiveness, which I take is just a given, are the more enduring traits, like, is she a morally good person? Does she display integrity? Is she somebody who can follow through on her commitments? Does she have enough self-control over her desires, as she can say no? Just because you want to eat the Krispy Kreme donut, hopefully, you don’t do it just because you want it. Hopefully, you have the self-control and discipline and willpower enough to say no to some of the things that you want but you know are bad for you. [16:07.4]

That is required for a long-term relationship, because, obviously, as you both age, in terms of just pure physical attractiveness, there are going to be new entrants into the market that are going to age in. For every dude, as you get older, there are going to be new whatever ages acceptable for you, new 21-year-olds, new 18-year-olds, who age into the dating market now for you. Either you or her, if you lack integrity, if you lack willpower, self-discipline, commitment, a moral conscience, if you lack those things, then you’ll naturally just trade up. You’ll get the new model of iPhone, so to speak, right?

This is the big fear of the Red Pill and the MGTOW, and all of those other more toxic, the incel toxic stuff online that’s so afraid of hypergamy. They call it hypergamous short-term dating and mating strategies, specifically, for women who just trade up. [17:00.3]

Now, men who continue to build their status over time can also trade up, and if you’re an attractive man, not just physically, but overall in your lifestyle and in your personality and so forth, if you lack that self-control and the willpower and discipline, and more importantly, the moral conscience to do the right thing, even when you might be tempted to take the easy route to give into the hedonism, to betray your loved ones for some momentary pleasures, if, in other words, you are not a good person, then, of course, you wouldn’t trust others to be a good person because you can’t even imagine how that could possibly be so.

Even worse, all the good people will be able to spot you from a mile away or after they talk with you and interact with you for a short time, and they will stay away from you and you won’t even realize that they’re doing that. So, in your world, as a person who doesn’t have that self-control and the moral conscience, it would be natural for you to think that other people, especially women, who to you probably seem incredibly dramatic or they have big emotional swings, can’t be counted on to stick with their word, to exercise enough self-control to turn down momentary pleasures and the temptations that would lead to negative, morally-negative results. [18:18.2]

It’d be too hard for you to even imagine that, so it would be natural for you to think that women, given these temptations, would just give in, and so your only recourse to create a long-term successful relationship is attraction. That’s all you got, because it literally is all you’re banking on, because you’re not thinking about and you don’t even understand love, connection, commitment, compassion, and moral goodness.

Those don’t enter into the picture for you, so it’s just really about attraction, and now it’s like, Hey, woman– This commenter is hoping that the girlfriend will come back, because he’s saying, “I’m going to be vulnerable and what I’m really [saying], the subtext is, ‘Hey, girlfriend, make me feel like I’m attractive and more attractive than this other guy to you’” and he’s hoping the woman will say “Yes, you are more attractive to me than the other guy.” End of story, that’s it, and that’s what you need to hear. [19:08.0]

That is really dangerous for a long-term relationship. This is like building a castle on sand, right? It’s not going to last, and when the tide comes in, it’ll just be washed out.

Do you struggle in your interactions with women or in your intimate relationship? Are fear, shame, or neediness sabotaging your relationships or attractiveness? In my Platinum Partnership Program, you’ll discover how to transform your psychological issues, improve your success with women, and uncover your true self.

Get access to all my current and future online courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership today at

That’s the difference between love and attraction. That’s the difference between short-term mating strategies or just hooking up, which are based on attraction, and the shorter the courtship period—which on Tinder and stupid-ass apps like that is just mere seconds, when she looks at the first photo—when it’s just short, the shorter it is, the more it’s based on just the physical, and then the longer it is, the less it is based on the physical and the more it’s based on personality and connection.

Then if you take it even longer and you get into love now, because the average person in the world is using the word “love” in a really loose, incorrect way almost ninety-nine percent of the time. What they really mean is neediness or need love, or romance or something like that, like love at first sight, that kind of stuff. For them, this love is all conditional, and in this case, to these commenters, and it seems like, to the poster, love or whatever he’s basing this relationship on is conditional on your attractiveness. But that can never be the case for love. [21:06.3]

I want to point that out here. I would need to have a whole other podcast episode to unpack again what unconditional love or just love [is]. That’s a tautology, right? There’s no point in saying “unconditional love” since there’s no such thing as “conditional love”, but we’re just emphasizing the unconditionality of real love.

But I want to focus more here on, in this case, for young people who are just in this dating relationship for a year or two, is that you’ve got to recognize that, at some point in your life, you will be more sexually attracted to other women than to your girlfriend inevitably. Physically attracted I mean, just in terms of grading your girlfriend or wife in terms of physical or sexual attractiveness, objectively speaking, where it’s as objective as it can get for you. It’s inevitable that there will be more physically or sexually attractive women in the world that you see, unless it’s just the two of you on a deserted island, okay? [22:04.4]

Same for her. It is inevitable that just in terms of physical, sexual, or in this case, the humor, attractiveness to it as a kind of sexual attractiveness. The issue can’t be that she just finds him funnier. It’s that the fear is because she finds him funnier, she’s going to want to get with him more. He’s assuming, and rightfully so, that if somebody, especially a man, is more humorous, that he’ll also be more sexually attractive. He’s not jealous of this guy’s typing skills because he’s a more accurate or faster typer or something, right?

These are skills that he’s connected somehow to being physically or sexually attractive, and he’s right, humor is an attractive trait. But this achiever’s mindset of having to earn it because you have a bunch of skills and so your resume is better than this other guy’s, and therefore her vagina is going to be more wet for you because of your resume of skills is a typical achiever approach. [22:59.3]

This commenter was saying this thing about skills. He says, “You should remember we all have different skills, and while that guy might be good at being funny, he might not be as good as you in some other skill. I’m sure you have other skills.” He says a little earlier, “Yes, you can practice at being funny. That’s a skill that can be developed,” so there’s this view that you can base an entire long-term relationship on your skills and your level with these skills, and if this isn’t an achiever’s curse, I don’t know what is, right? This is so baked into this otherwise nice-seeming comment where he is like healthy mental health, this sort of thing, healthy reaction or not, but it’s deeply contaminated with this assumption about having to earn and achieve attraction to make a long-term relationship work.

As long as you have that mindset, you are going to end up creating relationships that will inevitably fail, because now these relationships aren’t actually built on love because they’re all conditional, conditional on your skills and your skill set and all that, but also more deeply conditional on your attractiveness, your sexual attractiveness to which you’re always going to be vulnerable. [24:07.5]

All of these comments completely ignore the moral aspect of it, which I keep harping on. I mean, I’ve spent so many episodes on this and I don’t know why it’s not sinking in. Maybe you guys can suggest some reasons why it’s not sinking in. But what you should be looking for is a morally good woman and part of being morally good is sticking with your word.

I know for a fact that one of the reasons why the Red Pill or some of the more toxic men’s movements don’t think that women can be moral is because they themselves don’t act or behave morally, and most of them, and maybe most people, don’t have a clear sense of what moral goodness is. They don’t know how to tell whether something is good or evil, right or wrong.

They have no basis for understanding that, so those categories don’t even exist in their minds and they’re just stuck at this point of where you’re always on the attraction treadmill. You always have to keep attracting her over and over and over, like it’s your first hookup with her, like it’s your first hour with her where you’re just trying to turn her on, and you have to keep doing that and that’s the basis of your entire relationship. [25:10.0]

That’s the basis of your family that you’re going to have a child or you’re going to have children and build a family with someone, and where the whole relationship and the marriage is just based on your attractiveness? Hopefully, you’re mature enough to see how dangerous that proposition is.

What you’re looking for to evaluate whether she’s good enough for you to commit to, invest time and effort into building a life together, is whether she can be trusted in those moments when she might feel some attraction, and just like somebody who’s on a diet, can say no to the Krispy Kreme donuts as you walk by and not having to like mind fuck yourself into thinking, No, those Krispy Kreme donuts, they’re disgusting, blah, blah, blah. No, they’re not.

I mean, if you’re tempted by them, they look good. Maybe it’s some KFC or maybe it’s some pizza. I don’t know, whatever your Achilles’ heel is when it comes to the diet. You don’t have to pretend like they’re not attractive to you, like you don’t want to eat them. But you can say, “They’re attractive, but I choose not to do that, because I have better reasons.” [26:11.3]

Of course, hopefully, since you’re not in an arranged marriage, hopefully, when you first met each other, you had enough, the minimum level at least, if not a lot more physical attractiveness to each other, and at some point you’ve decided to go over the edge into deeper emotional connection, and then even greater than that, you grow that into love.

I know, for a lot of immature people, when I bring up that love can’t be earned—real love can’t be earned. It can’t be based on anything, because, otherwise, it’ll be conditional—but they’ve never actually experienced real love, and the closest analogies I can give to young people, people under 40, is like my goddaughter. I’m not bringing up my own kids because then you can always argue that they share my genes, and so it’s like inbred into me built into me to love them. [26:59.5]

My goddaughter and I have no genetic relationships whatsoever and I don’t love her because of, I don’t know, any trait of hers and I know this is going to seem so crazy to people who have never actually experienced love, and I think that’s 90 percent of people under 35. I know that until I was about 35 and I held my goddaughter in my arms when she was not even a year old yet, I had not yet experienced love, real love, flowing out of me.

I experienced all kinds, I experienced horniness, I experienced romance, I experienced neediness, and all of those things that youngsters in pop media and whatever mistake for love, but I didn’t understand or I didn’t ever experience real love.

Here’s another example. My wife picked out our second dog, and when we went to the breeder, there was this other dog that was going crazy to get my attention and it was so cute. Kind of in my mind, I didn’t even want to get a second dog actually, but she wanted to, so I’m like, All right. [27:58.2]

I thought, Okay, if we’re going to get a second dog, I’d like to get this one, but I didn’t say it out loud because I didn’t want to have to take responsibility for taking care of this dog. I really wanted her to be the main person because she’s the one who wanted it. She picked this other dog that was very cute, but to me, it was just not as cute as this other one, but that’s okay. It’s her choice and she’s the one who’s going to be training this dog and all of that.

Over time, I was just won over by this dog that my wife chose, even though it wasn’t “the” cutest dog to me in the breeder’s shop there, and I can’t think of anything, pinpoint any point or any features which this new dog earned my love. You don’t love a dog because it’s got the cutest ears or the cutest nose or something like that. It might even be an ugly dog, but if you actually love it and aren’t just using this dog to prop up your ego or to prevent yourself from being like you’re not just using the dog, but you actually intrinsically love, like you see the dog as intrinsically valuable. [28:59.0]

Then you realize that if somebody came along and said, “Hey, I’ll swap out a cuter dog for this one you’ve got now, how about that?” whatever features that you value, that you think you value in this dog that you think you love, and somebody came along and said, “I’ll just swap it out with a brand new model. It’s a newer one. It’ll last longer and it’s even cuter. Let’s just improve these ears or whatever, and here, switch it out.” if you’re going like, “Oh, no way. You might have found a cuter dog and all that, but this is my dog. I love this dog and there’s nothing this dog has done to earn it. I just love this dog.” It’s so difficult to explain to people who haven’t experienced it, but that’s what love is like when there’s real love.

By the way, a long-term relationship that’s successful can only be built on the foundation of love. That’s the only way it will last for decades. Even if you’re forced to be together by the law or some kind of arranged marriage kind of relationship, it’ll just turn into a life of quiet desperation where you’re just having to cohabitate, but there’s no love, there’s no passion or whatever. [30:02.1]

At some point in your relationship, for it to become successful and last, to have the ingredients to last, it has to evolve from short-term passion and attraction, which is really important, only really important in the beginning and it should still be there, so you’re going to have to learn how to turn your wife on and all that, but these are fleeting things. If you’re in your sixties and you’re still counting on your six pack to turn your wife on, you’re screwed, right? At the beginning, this might be the case, this physical attractiveness kind of thing, and then it moves into emotional connection layered now on top of the physical attractiveness, right?

Then, over time, emotional connection becomes more important than the physical attractiveness, and then the connection will grow into unconditional love. It needs to move into that phase where if somebody came along and offered to swap out a new model that would be identical, but improved, like it would have all the things that you currently value, but on top of that, it would be a new and improved, but it would not be the same one and you’d have to swap those out. You’d have to kill off the original and you’d get the clone, so to speak. [31:06.6]

Because these people have this conditional view of their relationships and, even worse, in these cases here with James’ post and the commenters, they base it on attractiveness as the thing you’re counting on, the condition that you’re counting on to keep you two together, it’s already doomed. It’s already a done deal.

Quickly, the third point, I’ve already brought it up, is are you evaluating her or is everything within the frame of her evaluating you? Because the reason why these insecurities for James are coming up is because he’s answering the frame of her evaluating him or “Am I attractive enough? Am I funny enough?” He’s not reciprocating and evaluating her, and the evaluation should really be, “Are you slutty enough to just go with a funnier guy?” Right? “Because if you are, then you’re not ready to be in a relationship, not just with me, but with any man, period. But you’re definitely down for some short-term flings. Go for it. Go find another funny guy.” [32:07.0]

There’ll always be another funny guy, a funnier guy, just like no matter how good-looking you are, there will always be a more good-looking guy. Just wait, it’s a matter of time. The same with the woman that you’re with. You may think you have the most beautiful woman in all the land. Just wait, because every year, every day, new women are born into this world or age into your dating market and it’s just a matter of time. You’re always going to be susceptible to the bigger better deal. It’s just a matter of time, and time is the thing that makes the difference between a short-term and a long-term relationship, right? It’s time.

Then what are the things you’re actually supposed to be looking for? It’s not just mere physical attractiveness, and so you can’t be banking on that to succeed in a long-term relationship. You’ve got to be looking for integrity, a moral conscience, a sense of compassion and deeper emotional connection, and valuing greater values and valuing virtues beyond just getting laid, just getting off or just having a good time. Those are all fun and fine, for the short term, but they only play a minor role for success in the long term. [33:16.2]

The third point is, are you evaluating her as well at these early stages? He’s still early, still only a year and a half in that relationship. It’s very much early days. Are you evaluating her? The reason a lot of guys aren’t is because they don’t even know what to look for, so the question doesn’t even enter their minds. They’re just in a continual audition mode. They’re always feeling like they have to go out and earn it, not just one time, not just on the first date. They have to earn it every day, just like James here, always continually wondering, “Am I good enough for her? Am I good enough for her? Am I the best guy for her?” and that is hell and that is also no recipe for a healthy long-term relationship. [33:59.4]

Of course, these insecurities and the lack of the natural tendency to evaluate her rather than to just always jump through hoops for her, the reason why is because you’re needy, and so I have so many other podcast episodes on neediness. You’re needy because you’re unable to meet your own needs and, in this case, for significance, for certainty, for love, and you’re making her do it, and as a result, she’s the one who makes you feel certain. When she likes you, then, in this relationship, you feel certain. You’re not able to give it yourself.

As a result, you’re always going to be needy. The question is whether you can tell whether you’re needy at that moment, whether you’re conscious of it, whether you’re conscious of it or whether you’ve repressed it, or whether, for the moment, your needs are being met by her, and so you don’t notice it. But that underlying neediness, if unaddressed, will come back to sabotage it, sabotage that relationship, sabotage your happiness, and block you from experiencing real love.

To recap, in response to James’ post and I read out three comments, and I want to thank the poster and the commenter so that we have this fodder for discussion, and I encourage you to join the Man Up group. Even though this is a different podcast, it’s a great way to post your questions, and it’s a big group so you should get some good feedback in there. [35:14.3]

Just to recap, the first point was about red flags and being able to tell whether a girl likes you so that you can tell whether we girl likes a guy, so you can tell whether there’s anything objectively there so that you can have a better determination of it rather than just you just living out your jealousies, right?

The second point being the distinction, the all-important distinction between love and attraction, and between short-term and long-term mating success, and then link to that is the importance of morality and importance of self-control, integrity, moral virtue, and being able to not just see those in others. The prerequisite to being able to spot those in others is whether you are doing it yourself, whether you are practicing them yourself. [35:59.7]

Then, finally, noticing who’s evaluating whom, because, again, it goes back to this knowing what to look for, and if you know what to look for, then you’ll naturally evaluate her. The questions that came up here were like he wasn’t evaluating her, and, instead, he was just jumping through hoops on a continual audition and every day is uncertain, and the deeper reason is because of his fundamental neediness.

Those core insecurities lead to this fundamental neediness, and what that means is that he’s unable to meet his own needs for certainty, significance, love, and connection in the relationship, and I know for many immature guys, they have no idea. I mean, if it’s the first time you heard me say that, you’d have no idea. “How would you do that, David? How can anyone possibly do that, David?” That’s actually the requirement for a successful long-term relationship and I’ve spent many other podcast episodes explaining how to meet your own needs in yourself, because, of course, that is the way to eradicate your neediness that makes you so unattractive fundamentally. [36:58.3]

You definitely do not want to be stuck in a situation in which you’re just counting on staying and being attractive to her in order for that relationship to stay together to thrive, because that is a total trap. That is actually hell. That’s the experience of hell. You can never relax. You’re always having to earn it every moment. You’re always on an audition and you’re always wondering, “Do you like me? Do you still like me? Are you still attracted to me? Are you still attracted to me? Do you like me more than that other guy?” over and over and over, and this is actually hell.

Don’t stay in hell. Don’t create the conditions for your own hell. Invest in learning and going through the therapeutic process so that you can learn how to meet your own needs yourself and discover the number one most enjoyable thing, which is unconditional love flowing from you, and how to meet your own needs for love, connection, significance, certainty, and so forth. I have some online courses that can help you go a long way through the therapeutic process. You can get access to those through the Platinum Partnership.

If you have any thoughts whatsoever about this episode, I’d love to hear them. I love reading feedback, so please comment, and like it wherever you are seeing or hearing this. Please, if this helped you in any way, please share it with anyone that you think could benefit from it. [38:12.4]

Thanks so much for listening. I look forward to welcoming you to the next episode. David Tian, signing out.

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