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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

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“The Man Up Show” Ep.110 – How Long Does It Take To Master Women And Relationships?

How Long Does It Take To Master Women And Relationships?

  • David Tian Ph.D. talks about why some people think it’s easy to be a master of any craft.

  • Quick fixes aren’t the solution, David Tian Ph.D. explains why.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. reveals what it takes and how long one can master relationships.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In Episode 110 of Man Up, I answer the question of: How long does it take to master women and relationships?


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

Hey, this is David Tian, Ph.D. and welcome to Episode 110 of Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. And for the past ten years, I’ve been coaching and helping tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries achieve success in life and love. And here I am in Gold Coast, Australia, for a special event. You can see behind me, I just snuck out of the conference hotel.

It’s pretty nice out here. Very sunny, beautiful day, good weather, good late-spring weather. I’m here for a Tony Robbins event. A six day event called Date with Destiny. The days were like 10:00AM going to like 2:00AM. It’s pretty intense. So, this is day four and here I am. So, I’m only travelling with my phone here, so you’re going to have to excuse this iPhone 6 camera. I think it’s 1.2 megapixels on this side, but I figured it’s better to do it now than to put it off for the whole week because this is a week-long conference.

Okay, I got a question from John. I won’t be able to see it because I’m filming with my phone, but the question itself was, “How long does it take to master women and relationships?” And I know it sounds kind of funny when you say it like that. He doesn’t mean master as in like dominate them but get that handled. The longer email was explaining the context of it. So, the context was he’s reading about getting different coaching, reading about different programs, and he’s wondering, “What’s a realistic timeline for just getting this handled and getting it done?” So, John, I’ll try to keep this under seven minutes so hopefully I can do it this time.

So, John, there’s a much longer answer to do this, actually, that’s why I’m reminding myself to keep it under seven minutes. I could speak for hours on this theme of mastery and the length of time and dedication it takes. John’s background is that he’s in his early 20s. And I’ve noticed that in Western countries especially, people in their early 20s are very impatient now for change, for a transformation, for mastering. There isn’t this old attention to the mastery of a craft, I think because the internet and various devices like this mobile phone, and they’re just seeing around them in the pop culture maybe seven or eight startups that have grown into billion dollar companies really quickly with founders in their 20s. And they think, “Oh, it’s easy.”

Or they might have read a book like the Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. The beginning of that book is awesome. It’s about the philosophy and the idea of creating financial freedom now rather than waiting until you’re retired, but some people got the impression that it’s easy to make a five/six-figure business in a matter of months. So, that you could just work for four hours a week and retire on a beach the rest of the other hours of the week, and that’s total bullshit.

But anyway, I think a lot of people like John have bought into that, so they’re looking for the quick fix all the time. It used to just be guys who would ask for quick fixes because they’re lazy, and I would just generally not even bother taking those clients on at all. I would just kick them out if I found out that they were like that, because I don’t want to work with people like that. But I’ve noticed that it’s now the norm among guys in their 20s, especially early 20s, to be basically impatient, lazy fucks.

And they’re not so much lazy. They’ll work hard, but only for a short time. They’re like sprinters. They don’t realize that life is your whole life. Life is forever until you die. They don’t understand the idea of investing in themselves and investing in their success. This is a great example: I’m investing six days of my life, 10:00AM to 2:00AM, plus I’m getting workouts in before is insane in terms of the time commitment for this, but it’s an investment in myself. I’ve been to the same training events multiple times if they’re awesome training events, and you know I might even come back to another one of these. It’s been amazing so far.

So, taking the long perspective of mastering a craft and understanding how long it takes. I was benefitted from my strict Asian-Canadian upbringing because I had to start playing piano, learning piano, when I was five years old. I had to start learning martial arts. I didn’t have to, I chose to. I really wanted to start learning martial arts when I was eight years old, and then the second martial art when I was 11, and understanding that there’s this humility to it. There’s an intellectual and physical humility.

I think what John and many of these young guys need is intellectual humility to understand how long it takes to actually master something. Plus, by the way, mastery is relative. You’ve got to be in the top percentage. I mean, as everybody else gets better, you’re going to have to step up your game. So, that’s a general overall message I want to put out there, but here’s the more important thing: is that all successful people, every successful person I’ve ever known, heard of, read about, learned about, invested in himself or herself.

Successful people invest in themselves and they take the long-term view, because investments only pay off in the long term. They don’t pay off in a few months. They don’t pay off in a year. You do some angel investing or something like that, which I think about doing, and you’re not going to expect a return for like seven, eight, nine years. I mean, it could be much longer than that. But a lot of people are used to quick returns with a sprinting effort. Maybe they’re willing to give up weekends and evenings for three months, but they don’t realize that this is life; it’s a life decision that they’re going to make.

So my point is this: If you take the view of, “How long does it take master women?” You are never going to master it. Why? Because if you want to have a relationship, you’re going to be in those relationship for life. No one enters a relationship, a real relationship, not just a sexual one but a romantic relationship, an emotional relationship, no one enters that thinking, “Okay, it’ll be over in three years so I’ll just enjoy it.” Not many people, I can imagine maybe theoretically. But most people want a relationship that will last, and you can’t just…

I mean, the view that you just learn it from one book or something or one video course and it’s done forever is just stupid. I mean, nobody believes that about anything in life, anything worth learning. I mean, this is relationships and women for a man. Those are going to be, relationships especially, will be one of the most important things in life. If you have everything else you want, you have money, you have the fancy cars, the airplanes and whatever your fucking materialistic goals are. Let’s say you have all of that but nobody fucking loves you. I mean, as a 20 year old, you don’t fucking care, right? You can be on your own just hanging out with your buddies and shit. That’s great, yeah.

I mean, if all you’re thinking of is pick-up and you’re writing to me… When you say ‘master women and relationships’, you have that bullshit… By the way, a lot of these companies that are on the internet that are selling you PUA shit, they’ve been forced to over the past several years, to clean up their language so that Google and Facebook and other places like that won’t ban them. So, they use a term like ‘dating coach’. They were never fucking dating coaches man. They didn’t even fucking care about dates. They did not even want you to go out on a date. These are pick-up artists.

And so, there are guys who are like, “How long does it take to master pick-up?” And that’s a different question, totally different question from, “How long does it take to master relationships or women? How long does it take to master women and dating?” That’s a euphemism for the shit that most of these guys use. It’s not euphemism from what we do. That’s why it was frustrating and that’s why I didn’t start… It just occurred to me as I’m saying this now, that maybe John was referring to pick-up shit.

And if it’s pick-up, yeah, you can master how to walk up to a girl and start a conversation, flirt with her and take her home, have a good chance of taking her home and making out with her, you know, having sex with her. You know, you can master that in a year or two. It really depends on where your starting point is and what your other natural advantages are. If you’re tall, good-looking, it can be a lot faster, or if you’re intelligent it can be a lot faster. Then it would be a lot faster than two years.

And if you have amazing coaching, that will speed up everything in life in any endeavor, any skill. But when it comes to mastering relationships, I don’t think anybody in this entire universe, in human history, has to my definition of mastery, mastered relationships. So, there aren’t even enough test cases for yourself to experience them. I mean, because you don’t live long enough. I suppose if you had a vampire who lived 1,000 years, maybe they might be able to have the experience. Not just in themselves, but also experience coaching others in mastering relationships. My fucking bar is really high.

Now, here’s the other thing: Like I was saying about successful people: they invest in themselves, and they see that training never stops. I’m going to pull this line right out of Tony Robbins, training never stops when you want to lead an extraordinary life. And I found that to be true for myself. As soon as I stopped training, as soon as I stopped looking for the next level, I don’t just maintain. I stagnate. It’s like guys who suck at fitness. Most of the guys who suck at fitness… What I mean is they don’t have great bodies and their fitness level is bad. They usually think, “Okay, David, show me how, in two months, how to get a six-pack and whatever kind of body.” And then they think, “Okay, then I’ll just do that workout and I’ll just maintain it for the rest of my life.”

Those guys will never get that. I mean, you have to realize that just like anything that is an important part of your life like fitness, and especially relationships, it’s going to be with you for the rest of your life. And if you don’t improve continually, get better, learn more, and have more knowledge, and more experience, and facility, and skill and so on. You’re not just going to maintain. You can’t maintain. You might maintain for like two weeks or something like that, maybe a month or two months. But as soon as that short period of maintenance, which is just really momentum, the momentum can carry you for a while… When some momentum goes away, you’re just going to dip.

And it’s just going to go down. And so, if you’re not continually getting better and getting better, learning new things, improving, keeping it fresh, then you’re going to stagnate. If you’re not keeping it fresh, you’re going to stagnate. So, there’s a lot more things I could say about this, but I realized that it’s 11 minutes, so I’m going to stop there.

The easy answer is, “How long does it take?” Your whole fucking life. That’s the truth. And if you’re just talking about pick-up, talk to somebody else, I don’t fucking care about that shit. But if you want to master relationships… And it’s not just with your wife, but a lot of those skills and understanding, and the psychology of it and the experience will carry over into your other deeply emotional relationships like with your children, with your other loved ones. So, don’t you think that that’s something worth investing in? It’s something that you will never stop learning if you can…

I mean, there’s never an end to that learning. And that’s good news, man. For learners, for intelligent men, that’s awesome news. So there you go, signing out from Gold Coast. Got to head back in. Got a bunch of messages from my friends in there saying you better head back in soon. Alright, I got to go in. Don’t want to miss the good stuff. Join the private Facebook group, join the private Facebook group. I answer all the questions in there, and I will see you there. Until next time, Man Up![MUSIC]