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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.173 – How To Make Real Male Friends

How To Get Male Friends

  • David Tian Ph.D. describes the modern man’s life and why he has less friends.

  • David Tian Ph.D. enumerate the steps in connecting with potential friends.

  • We have feminine and masculine bonding, David Tian Ph.D. explains the difference.

  • You can take friendship to another level, David Tian Ph.D. tells us how we can do this.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. also discuss when we should continue the friendship or not.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. I’m David Tian, PhD. And in this video I answer the question: How to make real male friends? Welcome to Man Up Episode 173.

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, PhD., and this is Man Up!

Hey. I’m David Tian, PhD. and for over the past 10 years, I have been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness, and fulfillment in life and love. And welcome to Man Up Episode 173. Happy Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year to all of those who celebrate it.

It is in fact on the day of this shooting, Lunar New Year Day. I’m in Singapore. I don’t know if you can tell, but this is the famous Orchard Road. This particular mall is ION, one of the glitziest malls. This is Orchard Road I’m showing you here.

Let’s see if you can get a view. That’s more shopping. This is the famous shopping road, and that road there – this is Orchard Road – extends for about two or three subway stops over down that way, and it’s all shopping, entertainment, non-stop.

The other direction is about one more subway length down. It’s more shopping. So, I’m in the middle of it, more or less. I got a question here from Shane. I’m going to answer it, here we go. So, I wrote it down on a piece of paper because I can’t see it because I’m using my phone.

“I’m looking for and interested in making and having real friendships. Not just the surface-level, online BS. How does one get Facebook friends to commit to meeting for coffee or lunch? How does one get past the surface-level pleasantries and actually form real friendships, the kind where you can tell them anything.”Alright, Shane, great question. So, this is a common question.

There’s a lot of research showing that the modern man is quite alienated from other men, from making friendships with other guys, especially when he is past college age. College, university, when you finish your formal schooling, is the last time you are forced to meet new people on a regular basis.

Every time you are in a new classroom, there are new people there that you haven’t met. And to get along there, you might need to do group activities.

But in any case, you’re forced to be in that room with them for that period of time. And so, you normally will start to meet new people in those settings – especially the first week of school or something.

And then you have your first job in a bigger company, and you’re going to meet people there. But that’s pretty much it.And then you get into a relationship, hopefully, and then all of your male friendships start to fall away because that’s how the inertia of relationships tend to be.

Once you are in a guy-girl relationship, you have to take special effort to actually meet up with your friends.

You have to schedule them in and actually do it proactively. That’s something that most people don’t do, and most guys don’t do. And so, as they get older, they get married, and then they have kids. And at each stage, they lose male friends. Not on purpose, but that’s just the way things are.

Unless you’re focusing on becoming an extraordinary individual in the sense of learning new things, pushing your comfort zone, acquiring new skills on a regular basis, you probably have settled into a comfortable strata or comfortable rhythm in your life, where you are not learning a lot of new things and meeting a lot of new people.

That’s the average guy’s life. So Shane, out of the biggest things is your lifestyle. If your lifestyle is such that you’re learning new skills in group settings, you’re taking group classes – and it could be anything.

It could be method acting, improv, it could be music, it could be sports, joining new sports teams, doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, martial arts or something, dance classes, learning a new language. Lots of new things.

If you are learning in group settings, you’re going to be meeting new people, and that’s an easy way to make friends, especially if they are male. Now, here’s a more proactive way.

I noticed in the question Shane is asking, beyond just lifestyle and the natural things that a great lifestyle will give you, he’s asking, “How do I get out of the surface-level online BS? How do I get Facebook friends to commit?”

He’s already got some people on Facebook and online that he wants to meet in person, but it seems like most of these guys who have settled into their 9 to 5 jobs basically just sit on the computer or their phone if they’re younger and are making friends and connecting with people that way. So, they want to meet in person, how do you do that?

There’s a three-step process to making friends that you can really connect with and tell them anything, who are going to be there for you, and so on in the modern world now with online connections. Online is not necessarily surface by the way, but I’ll leave that for a different topic.

Here’s the three-step process, really simple. The first step is ask them out to some activity. Have some kind of activity that you can ask them to. That means you have to have a lifestyle.

If you ask the guy to, “Hey, you want to meet up for lunch?” That’s okay. You could ask them to meet up for coffee. That’s okay. But if it sounds a little bit too, like for guys like Shane, he’s asking this because it’s unusual for him to do these sorts of things.

So, I’m assuming there’s a little bit of like, “Oh, I don’t mean to be gay or anything, but hey, as a totally straight guy, you want to meet for lunch?” And that’s totally cool.

Now, another way that’s going to be more interesting to people to actually say yes and come out and meet you in person is if you invite them out to an activity where other people are going to be as well. You’re probably not going clubbing if you’re asking this question, but that’s an easy one to do.

If you’re going on a night out, ask the guy, “Hey man, we’re going to be going at XYZ Club. Wanna hang out and come along?” That’s great. “We’re going to hit up this new bar, my friends and I” or even just you. “I’m thinking about grabbing a beer at such and such place. Stop by, let me know if you are free to grab a beer.”

Or you know, “My workplace is near this really great bar, and if you want to grab a drink any time, just let me know.” Something like that. Of course, you can ask them for lunch, especially if you work nearby.

If you find out he works within walking distance of your workplace, say, “Hey, man. I usually grab lunch at this place. Why don’t we meet for lunch and catch up?” Or something like that, right?

Coffee is of course an easy one. So, just invite him out. But it’s even easier if there’s an actual activity. As I was saying that, I just realized that probably if you’re asking this question, you don’t have group activities to ask him out to. That’s why you are alone and having trouble with getting guy friends.

But whatever friends you have right now, if you can organize a group outing, it could be something as simple as laser tag.

Or knowing the way American guys roll, it could be like firing rifles or hunting, or some shit like that. You can invite him out to something like that. And then that’s an easy way to get to know them.

Now, if that’s your first in-person meeting, great. Get that out of the way. See if you guys really click. If you guys get along, if you guys have fun, if you have some laughs, if you feel like – “This is a cool guy. I wouldn’t mind hanging out with him again, invite him out to the next thing” kind of thing, then that’s great. Invite him out to the next activity.

And then you have a regular consistency of inviting him to activities. Now, if you’re on the receiving end of this, you got to show up. A person will only ask you out maybe two or three times, a guy friend, before he gives up and gets frustrated.

So, accept the invitation. That’s a really important part of it. When you accept the invitation, you get to know them and now they know that you’re going to show up if they ask you.

So, especially with some of these group activities – especially if you’re going alone, like, “Hey man, I’m going to grab a beer at this place. Want to come along?” And you stand the guy up, that’s very annoying.

You don’t want to get stood up by a dude. Show up, be consistent, show up. But after like two or three meetings, and you think that, “Okay, we’re clicking. This is a guy I might want to hang out with a bit more, and invite to more stuff.”

And make sure that you have a lifestyle that is more than just sitting around and drinking beer, and more than just sitting around eating or coffee. Otherwise, it turns into like a feminine energy gossip fest, and that’s not a great masculine energy. Do something. Here’s how girls connect.

Women connect, feminine energy, feminine females connect by talking to each other and sharing secrets. When they gossip and share secrets, that’s a bonding effect for the feminine energy.

For men, men bond over shared experiences. So, here is an example of how men – guys bond. If it is two guy friends, they are side-by-side facing some kind of activity.

So, they could be side-by-side fishing, and they’re talking. But it’s very rare for a guy to turn to another guy and go face-to-face and having that as being a bonding, masculine bonding time. That’s feminine bonding time, that’s not masculine bonding time. Men bond by going through shit together, by facing adversity, going through it together.

Men bond by playing on the same football team. Men bond by going through war together, and they’re side-by-side. That’s lifelong friendship right there. And men bond by doing something together, an activity, a shared activity. So, it’s not so much like sit around and talk and share secrets. That’s a feminine bonding experience.

So, invite him out to activities. That’s what I’m talking about. Activities where you are doing something besides just sitting around and talking. And that will help you get to know them. That will actually speed up the bonding process for both of you. And then most importantly – that’s the third.

The first is, invite him out to the activity. Second is, do the activity together. And then the third is, the third step is the most important step – you got to go first in opening up.

The last part of the thing you said, “I want to be able to meet a guy that I can share anything with.” How did you put it? “The kind when you can tell them anything.” So, in order for that to happen, because there are a lot of guys with the surface-level friendships. Like, a lot of clubbing, and bar friendships are like that.

You only see each other at the club or bar and you’re like, “Hey man, what’s up?” And you drink, and you pick up chicks together. That’s not going to be a very strong masculine friendship where you can tell them anything. So, for the guys who meet guy friends in bars and clubs, you want to get them out of that setting into a different setting.

That’s why I often recommend at least two activities together. Invite them out on Sunday afternoon to the beach, or to the park, and play football together or something like that. You can bond over a new activity, where there is actually sober conversation that is possible in that context, and getting to know the person.

And then about the third or fourth meeting, what you should do is, if you’re dying to tell them anything, there’s probably something that you’ve been wanting to get off your chest. You want somebody to listen to you and give you his opinion. So, do that. Go first. Number three, third step, go first.

In other words, you got to open up. Go there, just spit it out, say it. Myself, one thing that I like to do is to screen whether somebody’s cool, to select out people who aren’t cool, and to select the people who are cool, is by simply opening up in a way that – people might consider… Definitely not surface-level pleasantry anymore.

So, we can be sitting around, having beer and pizza with a group of people, and it can be females and males. And I remember I recall a moment not too long ago when it was a group setting, and they were pretty decent friends, but not like really deep friends yet. I just opened up with the difficulty I was having with something personal.

And then everybody in the table was really supportive. They opened up. They started telling about, “Wow, when this happened in their lives”, and this took everything down to a much deeper level for everybody. It just takes that first person to break the ice and to just put it out there.

That will change everybody’s dynamic. Everybody is just waiting for permission to open up. You be the first, you be the man, you be the leader and just do it. Get used to doing this early on in a friendship or relationship.

If you want to take it to the next level, whether it is with women, and you want to get sexual or take you to the next level, or with dudes, non-sexual but takes it to the next level in a friendship, you got to go first.

You got to be willing to be vulnerable and put it out there and blurt it out. Say the thing that you want to say, and put yourself out there. And yes, it could be a little scary because the person could be like, “Whoa, now that I know that about you, let’s not hang out anymore.” You don’t want to get some douchebag who says that shit.

Great, you’ve saved yourself all this time. That’s why I recommend that you do it early on. Your second or third meeting. Go out there and put it out there, the thing that you want to talk about, the thing that you want to share anything with. Share it now. Share it early. Don’t waste your time making surface-level pleasantries with somebody who is not mature enough to handle it, not mature enough to be vulnerable.

Those three steps: invite them out to an activity, enjoy the activity and get to know them to see whether you guys click. You want to hang out with them some more. And third, open up. Go first. Blurt it out there, state it out there. Don’t stay – you’re responsible for staying surface-level, by the way.

Online is just a platform, it’s got nothing to do with actual… Just being online, you can use the online platform just as you would in person. By the time we get to VR, it’ll be 99% the same as in-person. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a fucking platform. You are the one who is preventing that, who is keeping it on the surface. You are not willing to go up, to the deeper stuff, to go up to telling them whatever it is that you want to tell them.

You are the one keeping it as surface-level. You don’t have to ever keep it at surface-level if you don’t want to. For the average guy, the third meeting, the third time you’re hanging out, that’s usually enough that you can just blurt it out there, like, “Oh man, something about work. It’s been tough.” That’s an invitation that guy to see whether it is a test for that guy, to see whether he’s mature enough to step up and handle it and be vulnerable together, so that you can be real friends.

You can talk about your relationship, girl situation, this and that. I will do it on my first meeting. I’ll do it on my first and second meeting. I don’t got a lot of time. I don’t give a fuck what they think. I’m putting it out there. If you want to hang, if you want to be real with me, if you want to be authentic, then you got to go there with me. Otherwise, let’s not waste our time and see you later, man, cool.

Cool hanging out with you, but I’m not going to invite you out again. That’s it, right? But if you do connect, if he does step up, that’s the beginning of a friendship. And then you just keep rinse and repeat. Just keep doing it. Invite them to the next thing. You show up to his invites. Simple as that.

Three-step method, really simple. Get out there and make some guy friends. Alright, Man Up. Make some masculine friends. Get that masculine support and energy, and community going. I got a whole bunch of chores to run in this beautiful mall here. Personally though, I like the Bangkok malls better, but it’s a tight competition, man. But Singapore is pretty badass.

Alright guys, it’s David Tian, signing out. Join the private Facebook group. You can interact with the community there.

You can make a lot of male friends through it using that three-step process.I will see you inside the private Man Up Facebook group.

Click the link. Join the group. We approve requests every day.

Until then, it’s David Tian signing out, Man Up!