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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.42 – The biggest mistake guys make when they’re pursuing women

The biggest mistake guys make when they’re pursuing women

  • David Tian Ph.D. tells men to set their own standards and have the boundaries around those standards.

  • If men can’t find a girl who doesn’t meets their standards, David Tian Ph.D. reveals what men should do in this situation.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. explains polarization and how is it related to dating women.

David Tian: Boom! Stop! In episode 42 of Man Up, I’m going to be talking about the biggest mistake guys make when they’re pursuing women.

[Intro music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!

[Fade music]

Hey, I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is episode 42 of Man Up. And here I am in Seoul, Korea in the hotel suite’s rooftop balcony, pretty cool. So I’m giving some props to the hotel here in Gangnam. And episode 42 question is – I’m going to be answering a whole series of questions I’ve gotten from guys on email, in person, in the Facebook group. This is a common theme, a common problem among all the questions.

So I’m going to just lump them all together. Here’s the question – any question that asks: How do I get this girl? I’ve gone on a few dates with her or I’ve been texting her or they’ll start off by saying, “I’ve been dating this girl.” So my follow-up question to get more information is always going to be: How far into the relationship are you?

Like how many times have you met, how many dates are you in? Almost always, I’d say 93% of the time, the guy says, “Well, we haven’t slept together. We’ve just had dinners together.” Or if he’s just giving me a texting question, “Oh, we’ve just met that one time and we’ve been texting.” Or, “We’ve only been meeting in group settings and we’ve been texting. She hasn’t been replying.”

So it’s basically a guy, hardly knows the girl, really, and is wondering why – like he’s fantasizing about her, obsessing over her and it’s really like, “What do you know about her?” Or like the guy will meet a girl in a bar or club and then ask me questions about how to get her.

Questions where he’s willing to go way out of his way to pursue her, chase her, whatever. Any question along those lines. Where a guy hardly knows her or when I ask him, “What do you like about her? What is it about her that really appeals to you?” And he only says physical things – she’s really hot or whatever – and he can’t even tell me any non-physical traits or any non-physical qualities of her like what’s her personality like, what’s she into, what are her thoughts and beliefs and feelings about certain things.

Here’s the problem – it’s that they’re not willing to take a stand on their own standards.

They’re not selective, they’re not screening. Or another term for it – a friend of mine, Mark Manson’s got a good way of putting it. It’s called “Polarization”. They’re not willing to “Polarize”. I’m just going to use that term, Polarization to Polarize.

I’ve done a whole two-hour – separate two-hour course – just on setting your own standards and having the boundaries around those standards. And also, being able to select out or select for the right partners based on your standards and being really clear of why you have those standards.

Most guys, when they go through the basic exercises on what are your standards, what are you looking for – it’s just bullshit. They just hear me say stuff like I like girls who travel or whatever, and they just start parroting it. Unknowingly, they don’t mean to, but they don’t have standards. So they’re just like, “Oh, yeah. I like a girl who travels and likes art.” And then I ask them, “Where have you traveled?” “Oh, not really anywhere.” “Where are you living?” “Oh, the same country I was born and raised in.” Bullshit.

You don’t really love travel; you don’t love girls who love to travel because you don’t even travel. It’s just bullshit, right, because they don’t have standards.

They don’t have values. They don’t even know what they stand for. And part of it is they’ve maybe never taken a course in values, in philosophy, or whatever. They’ve been deprived of humanities education, I don’t know.

This problem occurs all around the world. How do I know? Thousands of clients – tens of thousands at this point – and the majority of them obsess over some girl they’ve just met and they don’t even know anything else about her. Just what she looks like, that’s it.

So Polarization means you take a stance on who you are, what you’re looking for in a woman and you go heavy into that. You invest yourself in that. You know what you’re about. For instance, I’ve got a cool necklace – I think it’s cool – now, if you happen to not think this is cool, I get it.

You’re entitled to your opinion and all that. But if you don’t think it’s cool, and you’re not just joking and flirting with me, but you really don’t think it’s cool – like you’ve got a problem, let’s say, with my beanie. You don’t like guys who wear beanies or leather coats or something or you’re going to judge based on that.

Naturally, I’m pretty intellectual. I like to debate and do intellectual stuff. You know I spent the majority of my life in universities and stuff. But I like to dress, I don’t know what the word would be like more I don’t know, just put an edge into it, like more badass. I like it when people judge me as being not intellectual because of the way I dress.

It’s really cool because that just weeds them out. I weed them out just based on that. My appearance will do the job for me. I don’t want to waste time with people like that. I don’t want to talk to people like that. It’s great because then it saves me time.

I don’t have to waste time talking to them and then finding out later, down the road, how prejudicial they are. Sometimes I try not to show how much money I have. I tell my really rich clients, you really don’t want to be showing off their bling-bling. It’s going to be making it much harder for you down the road to screen out the right people and to screen in the right people.

Polarizing means you take a stance and that means you’re going to turn off a lot of people fast but you’re also going to turn on the right people fast. Everybody who’s successful in life does that. I can’t think of a single exception. Everybody who’s middle of the road, mediocre, fits the mold and fits in with the society bullshit – average, mediocre, middle of the road, like everybody else. They’re just average. Like, you’re a B student. I guess passing the grade is successful. But if you want to be A or A+, you’ve got to be doing something that no one else is doing in the class.

I mean, that’s just like an analogy but it’s the same for everything in life. When you’re succeeding, there are going to be people who hate you and that’s a good thing. In fact, if there aren’t people who dislike you strongly, you’re not going strong enough. You’re not making a statement, strong enough.

And this is true as much in attraction, in presenting yourself, in presence, in identity, in image, in your career, in business – in every area of life I can think of. If you’re just middle of the road, trying to appeal to everybody, you’ll appeal to no one strongly. You’ll just be blah, meh – they don’t even notice you. You’ll fit in but no one’s going to care. No one’s going to be attracted to you.

Here’s the deal with polarization, with making a stand: It’s that you’re going to be turning off – it can even be 40% of people. But if you’re turning off strongly 40% of people, you might be turning on very strongly 20% – the 20% that you really want in your life. I guess a theme is – going back to the last episode I just shot – the theme in episode 41 was: should I lower my standards because I can’t find a girl who meets my standards.

Why would that thought ever cross your mind? You must be desperate. So, no – it’s great that you have high standards, keep them.

Here’s another interesting thing along the lines of screening out people. I’ve had plenty of girls who because I ignore them – like in Singapore; this is really only in Singapore, that I’ve been told this. I’m sure it happens all over the world, I just don’t notice. It’s because I don’t pander to them or I ignore them or something, they think I’m arrogant.

Because I don’t get on my knees and beg like all the other dudes that they’re used to, like buying stuff for girls. Here’s one of the things I notice a lot, guys are still buying girls drinks to talk to them. Stop that. Just stop that. If the women’s rights movement has said anything, if feminism has done anything for the world, it’s this: treat them equally. Don’t buy drinks for them just because they’re pretty in a dress.

That’s what they’re used to, I don’t do that. That’s just one thing I don’t do. I also don’t kiss their ass and stuff and I’m screening them.

I’m screening everybody because I have to decide how to use my time. And they might consider that arrogant, like, “How dare he! How dare he evaluate his time with me?” And then they think, “Oh, he’s so arrogant.” But really what they want is they just want power.

They’re offended that I don’t bend over backwards for them. And that’s great because it makes my life easier. I know as soon as I see that, they’re not worth my time. It’s great. No one wastes anybody’s time. Those types of people often keep circling me and come back into my life, even though I don’t want them to, because they get off on that power trip and I didn’t give them that power. But that’s just from polarization.

That’s from me screening with my lifestyle, with my mannerisms, with all the sub-communications and micro-expressions and everything. Because it’s starting from here, it’s the thoughts and beliefs and the feeling that you’re truly are, you know what you’re about, you know what your values are and you stick with those until someone can convince you otherwise – that all starts with philosophy, believe it or not.

In a lot of my programs I teach a lot of philosophy. I just make it every man’s philosophy because I don’t use all the jargon and obfuscating language that philosophers love. If you enroll in one of my programs like Limitless or Invincible, you’re going to get a lot of philosophy because you have to think clearly about your values and the different options. Taking you through exercises, step-by-step, of thinking about what your life purpose is at that time and the questions to ask about your life purpose as it changes over time.

It all comes down to – all of your problems like, “How do I get this girl to like me? How do I get her to reply to my texts? I’ve been dating her for three dinners and she’s still not interested in me, what should I do?” It all comes down to: you probably don’t know much about her. Why do you like her? And if you know why you like her then it should be a lot easier. If you’re stuck in the friendzone, that’s a totally different problem.

But if you’re just getting to know her, it’s only been one or two dates; you really don’t know her yet. There’s really no reason to be chasing her at that level, to be obsessed with her at that level. Withhold your judgment on her and just keep getting to know her and see if – that mindset alone will change everything for you. Okay, this video’s already pretty long. But, yeah, get some standards.

This is Man Up, episode 42. As always, join the Facebook group, click the link and join that group. We approve join requests everyday. You can ask your questions there, for me, personally and interact with me there personally. And if you’re interested in anything I’ve been telling you about; if you’re in Singapore, go to our preview events. I do those quite regularly.

You can find out more about those in our home site: and then just click on the events. But if you’re not in the area then consider doing Limitless or Invincible, get on the waiting list, when we open them you can join. Here is beautiful Seoul and I am David Tian, signing out, until next time – man up.