American women are flocking to a British life coach for step-by-step instructions on dealing with digital dating.
Modern dating, as a pursuit to be taken seriously, with customs, rules and etiquette, was born in the US. America gave us speed-dating, most of the popular dating apps and the word “date” as a verb or even a person, as opposed to something in your diary. And yet, across the US hundreds of thousands of women are turning to a 30-year-old British man for dating and relationship advice.
What’s more, they are prepared to pay a lot of money for this advice: $10,000 an hour for one-to-one coaching.
Essex-born Matthew Hussey has 1.5 million followers on Facebook and a manner — and looks — that American women seem to love. A life coach who came to the US seven years ago, he claims to know what makes men tick when it comes to dating, and more importantly how to decode their, sometimes terrible, digital communication.
He is not, he says, a self-help guru. He gives practical, no-nonsense advice to a generation that has more choice than ever before, but struggles to find relationships that last. Under the umbrella of his Get the Guy brand (his 2013 book of the same name was a New York Times bestseller), his YouTube channel has 770,000 subscribers and growing numbers are paying substantial sums for Hussey’s advice. His online tutorials cost from $7 to $300. He runs a five-day retreat twice a year in Florida — the next one is taking place in November for $4,000 a head. He has a large British fanbase, with occasional appearances over here, and says that half of the 200 to 300 women who attend his American retreats fly over from the UK.
His advice it has to be said, can sound old-fashioned. It seems unusual for someone of his generation to talk about the genders as though they are from different planets. However, he says that he bases his advice on what he observed when he was a dating coach for men — before he switched allegiances.
“I think men and women are fundamentally the same. They want a lasting, meaningful relationship, but they get there by different means,” he says. “I saw patterns in the way men were in the early stages of dating, and I thought I could take that acquired intelligence and share it with women. I could help them to get noticed, to get dates and be treated with respect.”
The problem with modern dating, Hussey believes, is that, although technology has made the process more efficient, it is not necessarily leading to the successful long-term relationships that many seek.
“I think it’s creating a sense of hopelessness for many women because on the one hand they’re told it’s an amazing tool for meeting men and yet they’re not getting any matches, or they find they’re getting the wrong ones — people they’ve got no chemistry with or people who are disrespectful,” he says.
There are more people than ever seeking connection but few who are capable of connecting
Hussey stands out from the crowd by offering more than just the “how to behave on a first date” stuff. His advice is harder edged. He often tells women word for word what to text a suitor and gives them scripts to use when talking to men. But it is his step-by-step instructions on how to deal with tricky dating situations that are proving to be the most popular. He says that digital dating, and the vast choice on offer, has led to bad behaviour on the modern dating scene — particularly from men. The issue causing the most confusion is men seeming keen and then going cold.
“I call this TV and chocolate,” he says. “If you ask a five-year-old what he wants right now, he’ll say he wants to watch his favourite TV show and eat chocolate.
“The wise parent knows that this isn’t what the child needs for a healthy life so they’ll say the child can have chocolate sometimes and can have limited TV. If you ask a man what he wants on a date, it’s no surprise that at the end of the evening he’d be up for sex. That’s his version of TV and chocolate. Immediate pleasure.
“The problem is, what someone wants for pleasure, and what they need to start seeing someone as partner potential, are very different things. Too many women are giving a guy TV and chocolate instead of the things that will create a relationship that’s founded in respect and mutual admiration and rapport.”
Hussey has 1.5 million followers on Facebook
Sleep together on the first night if you want, he hastens to add, as long as it’s in keeping with your personal standards. “I’ve noticed that too many break their own rules and the justification is ‘I really like him’. But a man can sense when you’re doing something you normally wouldn’t do, or aren’t completely happy to do. And it can hurt his respect for you. And when you lose respect for someone, you lose attraction for them. It’s a slippery slope.”
It’s important to allow for the imagination gap, he continues. “When you’re away from someone, your imagination is filling in the gaps about how great they are and what fun you’re going to have the next time. That’s needed for attraction.”
Using the tools and techniques honed from his early career when he advised men, Hussey says women should become the choosers and not necessarily wait for men to make the first move.
And if it doesn’t work? Straight-talking Hussey will tell women in no uncertain terms to move on to the next prospect.
There are, he says, red flags for everyone to look out for. “If I meet someone and they’re not kind to the people around them, that’s huge for me,” he says. “Are they nice to the person who opened the door for them? Are they nice to the barista or the barman? Are they good in a group? If they’re not, the moment you’re not important to them they won’t be kind to you either.”
He has plenty of advice for both sexes, but his move to coaching women is what has made him famous. The model and TV presenter Tyra Banks has declared herself a fan, along with the three-times-married actress Eva Longoria.
Women in their forties have achieved a lot — they want to meet someone who is their equal
The age group of Hussey’s female followers ranges from the twenties to the sixties. “I get the crowd in their thirties who are panicked, who are really scared that their dream of meeting an amazing man and having a family is disappearing because of biology. For many of these women, my job is calming them down and making sure they don’t make bad decisions,” he says.
“I also get women in their forties and upwards, but there’s a different energy to them — they’ve achieved a lot in their lives and they want to meet someone who is their equal.
“You have huge numbers of people who are desperate for real relationships, yet we’re more disconnected now than ever before. We have a new generation who have never learnt how to connect on a deeper level because they have grown up with this technology, and you have the older generation that is systematically eroding the skills they have by being addicted to their phones, their social media. They’re losing the ability they once had to have in-person interactions that have meaning and richness and depth.”
Yet at the same time he believes that this is one of the best times to be single and looking for love. “I think it’s a beautiful opportunity – you have more people than ever seeking connection and few people who are capable of connecting.
“So, if you are somebody who is good in the room, who still has the ability to socialise in the real world, there’s never been a better time to stand out.”
Texts flaky daters send (OK, they’re usually men) and what to reply
1 The ‘validate me’ text
This is when a man who has been putting in very little effort all of a sudden sends a text that says: “Miss you.” Many women think: “This is lovely, he was thinking of me after all!” Don’t validate him back by saying, “I miss you too”, or “Hey, what have you been up to?” Instead just say, “Ah, that’s so sweet, thank you”, and then a smiley face. Women should take the validation, enjoy it, be sweet and humble with it, but they shouldn’t give him back what he’s asking for in this miniature moment of investment.
2 The ‘back from the dead’ text
This is when a man who hasn’t messaged in weeks suddenly sends a message along the lines of: “Hey, I’ve been thinking about you.” This is a man who decided to go off the radar and then all of a sudden is going to come back and control the narrative because he feels like it in this moment. Instead, women can send the message: “Well duh.” It’s certain, it’s confident, and most importantly, it’s cheeky. It teases him and puts the woman sending the message in the position of controlling his emotions a little, instead of the other way around.
3 The ‘entertain me’ text
This is when a man just sends: “Hey.” This does not require a complex response. All the woman should do is give the same amount of investment, but with more passion, to show that you’re actually excited about life. She should just say: “Hey!”, then let him take the lead. If he doesn’t, do not text him again.
4 The 11pm text
Sometimes a woman will arrange to meet a man, only to find that at 11pm that night, having not been in touch all evening, he sends a message that says: “Hey what’re you up to?” It’s almost like the date was never arranged, and he’s just now checking in. In this case, she should send a message saying: “In my PJs, about to sleep.” He’ll probably send a message like, “I was hoping I would see you” because he’s doing the late-night booty-call thing that some men do. What she should then send is this, “I thought we were catching up at a more reasonable hour. But since I didn’t hear from you I assumed you had a flaky moment ;)” This does a couple of amazing things. First it says: next time get in touch at a more reasonable hour — in other words you’ve shown a standard. Second, he has been called a flaky person in this moment. No man wants to be labelled as flaky. And last the message included a wink, to show that even when a woman is showing her standard, she can still be playful with it and not aggressive.
5 The ‘I’m so busy’ text
This is a text from someone who hasn’t replied for a few days, who thinks they’ve screwed up, so they give their reasons for not texting back quickly enough: “Last week was a crazy busy week and also, I’m really slow when it comes to texting.” In this moment, the man is expecting her to take all of that rationale on and say: “Oh, it’s OK, no worries. How’s your week going? Do you want to meet tomorrow night?” He’s expecting attention.
But the reply should be: “All good! Have a great week :)” This message is positive, happy, polite — but low investment. This will scramble his brain. She’s checked out a bit. Moving on, doing her own thing. That will affect another person and show that they need to actually start to invest if they are genuinely interested.
Taken from Matthew Hussey’s YouTube channel via howtogettheguy.com