Ask your private questions and get access to exclusive bonuses and coaching through our private Facebook Group. Join now:

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.

Connect with David Tian here:

Man Up Show Facebook Group:
DTPHD Podcast Facebook Group:
Apple Podcast:
Google Podcast:
Google Podcast:
DTPHD Podcast:
Tune In:
Invincible Reviews:

“The Man Up Show” Ep.96 – How Do You Get Your Ex Back?

How Do You Get Your Ex Back?

  • David Tian Ph.D. describes the common thought patterns of a needy guy.
  • Most men don’t understand how relationships work. David Tian Ph.D. explains why men need to understand why their relationships failed in the first place.
  • You have to earn your self-esteem going forward, David Tian Ph.D. tells us how this can be achieved.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In episode 98 of Man Up, I answer the question of how do you get your ex back?


Masculinity for the intelligent man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!Hi, this is David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Episode 96 of Man Up. I have been at birthday parties past couple of nights so I’m a little bit…lower voice, a little bit hoarse, a little bit hungover but I wanted to do this episode because you know I had to absolutely keep on schedule.

Anyway, so I’m at the Conrad. Beautiful view, let me show you this view. See here and if you know Singapore you’d recognize that fountain. That is Suntec and this is what it looks like from above, Suntec, and there you go across the marina – I think that’s the stadium. Anyway there, some Singapore for you.

So, episode 96. Answering your question from the private Facebook group and this is a really long question from Jason. Really long question from Jason. When I clicked on “see more”, it opened up a new page or new tab. So obviously, I’m not going to be able to read it out.

He says, “Firstly, I would like to really thank you for your inspirational, insightful videos.” So he just turned 30 and basically, he says he’s hit a midlife crisis. I think what he means by that is actually after reading this long post is he’s finally come to realize that he doesn’t understand women or attraction or psychology or like romantic psychology; so he’s having a midlife crisis he thought.

Like most people in the world, they think if you’d just obey what society tells you to do and what you’re school system tells you to do then everything should be fine, you should be taken care of and it’s like the world owes you a happy life because you did everything that they said to do and that’s total bullshit as you all are finding out now. Going to university does not guarantee you a job or any of that stuff. Obeying your parents and obeying society definitely does not give you as successful life at all. At best it gives you a mediocre office life where you’re stuck in an office awhile.

He’s in a nontraditional career though, so it’s less about the career and it’s more about understanding, “Holy shit! There’s this whole gigantic area of life called relationships that I’ve never been prepared for that. I’ve never been taught and all the stuff” and he’s like, “What?” So yeah, I guess it’s a midlife crisis when you realize the bullshit that the school system and education system doesn’t prepare for arguably the most important area of life, relationship, psychology.

So hey, welcome to it and I think maybe in about 20 to 40 years from now there will be more formalized instruction in this area at least in the area of social intelligence and if the school is not preparing you for social intelligence then fucking get out of school.

You’re wasting your time there. you can learn technical skills anywhere, anytime for free on the internet now and in any case, the skills that you’ll learn will be obsolete in like five years or something, the platform you always have to renew whereas, for psychology as long as human beings don’t evolve drastically in their psychology like in their brains in your lifetime, what you learn in this area will carry through for life. You learning C++ computer programming language back in the day is not going to help you very much right now.

Anyway, so he calls it a midlife crisis. So to make the long story short, in 2013 which is three years ago he got into a relationship with this girl. They broke up after a year. He says, “The reasons are I believe the same as any failed relationships – selfish, changed behavior, being needy, clingy.

You get the idea. To put it simply when our relationship reaches the stage…” I think he says there’s a pattern. He sees the same pattern in his past seven relationships which have all failed. He mentions that, “Out of my seven failed relationships I thought I finally found the One.” Just because of that phrasing I want to refer you to an earlier video where I breakdown the myth of the one and done myth, The Search for the One out of Seven Billion, and if you find the One then everything is taken care of and you found the One and it’s a very dangerous myth and very pervasive.

“So to put it simply when our relationship reaches the stage we didn’t know how to navigate properly thus tempers flare, words thrown carelessly, etc. This took a huge toll on me as a result my health suffered, lack of sleep, emotionally unstable, depression, lost, confused. I became overweight, uninspired, lack of focus, sad, etc. On a side note, I still managed to maintain my focus on my career.”

So all that means is that he managed to find some significance, he went to that, his job to make himself like not be suicidally depressed but he was depressed, nevertheless, in every other area of his life. So he tried to get back together with her. They had one date where everything went fine and she wanted to relive that memory sort of like when you reminisce about an old movie and you watched the old movie that you really liked many years ago and watch it once.

You don’t really want to watch it again and again because you’ve seen it a billion times but it’s nice to revisit that movie once after not having seen it for a few years but he was of course led on because all of those emotions she treated him as the VHS movie tape. He got played.

So he got all those emotions back and now he becomes super needy, tracks her down. He says that he tried not to text her too often because he didn’t want her to know he’s needy. Dude, neediness is not a behavior. There are needy behaviors but neediness itself is not a behavior. Neediness is an emotion. So if you’re feeling it, you cannot hide it. It will come out no matter what. If you’re needy, you’re needy.

And I was told by some Singaporeans that when you use the word needy very much so they said to use the word desperate. So let’s go with that if you’re Singaporean. I’m not sure where you are Jason but in case you are. Well, yes, you’re in Singapore based on the places you mentioned here.

So if you’re desperate, you’re desperate. There are desperate behaviors of course but if you’re feeling desperate that’s the root of it and don’t try to hide the fact that you’re desperate, if you’re desperate just put it out there. The best thing you can do is to own it. Just say, “I’m feeling fucking desperate right now.”

After that day, he’s hounding her. He thinks if he just stops texting her for awhile it will be okay but it’s not of course because then it’s like holding back like a boiling water and you put the lid on it and just about to explode, just a matter of time before you explode and he does. So then he finally can’t hold off any longer.

He says, “And I waited and I waited and I waited.” Then finally he just text, calls, text, calls and she’s not picking up and then he’s like, “Okay let’s meet up.” And she’s like, “Well I got to leave. I’m going to fly off back to my home country.” And he says, “Well let me meet you at the airport.” She says, “Actually I’m going to have my classmates or colleagues send me.” In other words, telling him not to come.

He doesn’t obey or doesn’t listen and goes anyway and then she’s freaking upset and uses the F word at him. So he’s taken aback. So these are stereotypical nice guy attitudes, you may not think that, I mean, like there are a lot of nice guys who are bad asses to men like on the outside they look tough and all that but being nice a guy has nothing to do with how you look or anything.

With the way I’ve been using the term nice guy – it’s a psychology. It’s a mindset. It’s a mentality and it’s all over this story that Jason is telling. So the guys who are in the Man Up group you’ll see it and these are common thought patterns of a needy guy, of a guy who’s like a fixer, a guy who has a fixer mentality, a White Knight Syndrome.

So she’s really angry and he’s like, “What was that, that date we had the other day?” And she’s like, “Well, I guess I was drunk.” And he’s like, “But we only had one beer. We weren’t drunk.” Dude, it’s an emotion. You have to understand to psychology. You have to understand how this shit works. It’s so sad how society has failed so many men especially technicians, just all of the school system, all of the society, all the fucking media has misled 90% of men out there that don’t understand how relationships work.

They don’t understand psychology basically and the power of the unconscious mind. They don’t understand emotions and the complexity of them and it’s sad. It’s like a whole area of life has just been stolen from you as a 30-year-old and I know what that’s like. I didn’t figure any of these stuff out until I was 29 or 30. Actually I hadn’t even figured it out then. I was just more of discovering that there was this whole other area of human knowledge that I didn’t have exposure to.

So we get to these questions, two questions – How can I determine whether it is worth pursuing her back and where do I start first should I choose to do so pursuing her back? Number two, should I choose not to pursue her back, what can I do to rebuild myself and all areas of my life [it is safe to say that I’m somewhat a broken man]?

Hey, that’s kind of cool the fact that you know that you’re somewhat a broken man. So it’s a good starting point. I’ve gotten this question so many times that I’ve decided the question being, how do I get my ex back? That I decided I would do it thoroughly. I’ve covered this already in our long term course as an elective class because it doesn’t apply to everyone. Well the lessons apply to everyone but the topic doesn’t speak to everyone because not everyone wants to get their ex back which is great but many people do.

So I’ve decided to create a free video course on this and it will be probably a 5-video sequence. We are in the process of creating it, so the team’s already working on infographics for it and I just got to sit down and shoot the videos themselves but there’s a lot of other work that has to go around on creating a course, so that’s already happening.

What I want to say to you Jason and everyone else who wants to figure out how to get your ex back and whether that’s a good move for you and understanding all of that dynamic because the most important part, just one last thing, so I’m going to say to get the course when it’s ready hopefully it will be ready in a few weeks, maybe even sooner.

The most important thing is to understand why you failed in the first place because as you’ve seen Jason you’ve repeated this pattern in seven failed relationships, so even if I could just magically snap my fingers and she comes back to you, to keep that relationship and not have this happen again into a cycle that always repeat itself you have to understand why. Basically, you have to understand what attraction is and I think you know that neediness is bad, obviously you’ve been using the word a lot in the post but neediness isn’t just bad.

Neediness is the greatest contributor to being unattractive. So in other words, out of all the possible character traits and personality traits and feelings that you can have when it comes to sexual attraction neediness is the worst. It is the most repelling, most repulsive character trait that a man can have in terms of sexual attraction. A friend of mine put it most succinctly, “A man’s attractiveness is inversely proportional to his level of his neediness.” So the more needy you are, the less attractive you are and the less needy you are, the more attractive you are. Now, it’s fine to like to understand that, “Okay, I’m needy.

I have to stop being needy.” Great, now how do I do that? And that’s the journey, that’s the process and that’s what I’ve created a 55-hour video course. I used to think it was 45-hour then we had an independent reviewer come through and review it and he counted over 55 hours. So we’ve been adding as you can see quite a lot of video to the original Limitless. So we’re on 4.0 already.

Limitless is about that and it’s a 10-week journey that systematically especially in the early parts breaks down your neediness and then Invincible, a new course we’ve just released and it’s a shorter course but it’s more experiential. Experientially at the emotional unconscious level is eradicating your neediness but neediness eventually you have to do the work because in order for you to feel the opposite of neediness it’s like a self-esteem but it’s a special kind of self-esteem. That term itself self-esteem has been abused a lot but a special kind of self-esteem and this self-esteem is basically two parts, self-acceptance.

So accepting all of your history, all of your past, everything that brought you and led you to where you are now being grateful for that even the bad things because you can learn from them, not just because you can learn from them those bad things have created you into this unique person that you are now, accepting that. And then self-efficacy which is where you earn it.

You have to earn your self-esteem going forward and that’s through independence. So I’ve actually created a separate book length eBook on Independence and the five components of it and that’s almost ready to be released as well. So a lot going on, the team is super busy trying to release these longer pieces of content, of material, of lessons right for you guys. So look out for that coming up in the next couple of weeks.

There’s something else I was going to say but I can’t remember right now but it’s understanding neediness, understanding like the role of neediness understanding, it’s relation to attraction and attractiveness and then the long term like how do you get rid of this neediness then? How do I become attractive permanently in a long term and that’s a much more complex issue.

So I’m going to create a separate course on how to get your ex back (how to get a girl’s attention back) and walk you through the different steps and the different scenarios because not everyone is in the same scenario. There are a lot of different variables and conditions depending on what your relationship situation and history has been.

So that’s coming up just wanted to give you a heads up Jason and just saying right now you cannot salvage this relationship and it’s not in your best interest to do so. There’s so much baggage now in that relationship and the level of neediness you displayed on a lot like the peak end, this is a cognitive bias, the peak-end bias is really working against you here.

Her last memory of you is that blow up at the airport that is going to color her entire memory of you. At the moment, your best bet is to just let time have her forget that. If she hasn’t unfriended you on Facebook then you can passively show that you are more independent and she will see it if she comes up in a newsfeed but she might creep out your Facebook too but you shouldn’t be doing things with that in mind anyway.

So right now you want to move on from that and grow and maybe in another two or three years if fate brings your…as you paths cross again then maybe something can work out but at the moment you really need for her to forget that ending experience with you at the airport before you do anything further. So don’t bother texting or anything. She’s not going to reply to it.

I don’t think she’s going to give you the number in Korea anyway where she’s at. So Jason, look out for the new course I’m putting out and for the others, join the private Facebook group. Jason wrote a really long story and I took the time to read it and respond so I really care about this in helping guys out so do that and this is what the show feeds on, write your questions. So I’ll see you in the private Facebook group, until then Man Up.