Steer your re­la­tion­ship

There’s no such thing as a match made in heaven, just a match you make your­self, Matthew Hussey says

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - FRONT PAGE - JEN ZORATT1

IF you’ve ever been a sin­gle lady, then you’ve doubt­less been on the re­ceiv­ing end of some well-mean­ing dat­ing ad­vice. Maybe you’ve even dis­pensed some your­self. “Just be your­self,” we’ve been coun­selled. “If it’s meant to be, it’ll hap­pen.” Matthew Hussey wants to know how that’s work­ing out for you. The English mo­ti­va­tional speaker and re­la­tion­ship ex­pert ar­gues that “just be your­self” is ter­ri­ble dat­ing ad­vice — es­pe­cially if “be­ing your­self” means be­ing a self-sab­o­tager who lacks the self-con­fi­dence to put her­self out there. (And don’t even get him started on that sec­ond piece of ad­vice.) His new book, the New York Times best­seller Get the Guy: Learn Se­crets of the Male Mind to Find the Man You Want and the Love You De­serve, es­chews self-help speak in favour of blunt, straight­for­ward ad­vice to help (straight) women take con­trol of their love lives by build­ing up their self-con­fi­dence. He’s bring­ing his pop­u­lar live sem­i­nar, Get the Guy Live, to the Bur­ton Cum­mings The­atre on Tues­day. Hussey speaks from ex­pe­ri­ence. The 26-yearold knows first-hand how crip­pling a lack of con­fi­dence can be. “I, quite frankly, al­ways gave too much of a damn about what other peo­ple thought,” says the Brit, who di­vides his time be­tween Los An­ge­les and Lon­don. “I missed out on a lot in high school. I would’ve loved to talk to the girl over there or gone out for the school play. I just didn’t get it. It an­gered me. I thought, ‘I’m a nice guy. I don’t get why I’m not get­ting what I de­serve.’” Hussey made an im­por­tant re­al­iza­tion. “I wasn’t get­ting what I de­served be­cause I didn’t de­serve it. I didn’t have the courage to get out there and ask for it. Life doesn’t re­ward peo­ple who don’t ask. “I’ll be hon­est and say nice guys (and girls) should fin­ish last — es­pe­cially if they’ve been us­ing ‘nice’ as a eu­phemism for be­ing a cow­ard. Peo­ple say, ‘Be your­self,’ but that doesn’t give them any­thing to do.” Like­wise, Hussey doesn’t say “be con­fi­dent.” Get the Guy of­fers spe­cific tech­niques and tips that can help women feel more at ease in so­cial sit­u­a­tions — and there­fore more at ease chat­ting up a cute guy. (The take-home mes­sage? There’s noth­ing wrong with you, so stop stand­ing in your own way.) Hussey be­gan his ca­reer as a “con­fi­dence coach” when he was still a teenager. “I knew, at 17 years old, that no one would take me se­ri­ously as a life coach — but what I did know about is over­com­ing a fear of what peo­ple thought. That’s the No. 1 thing that holds peo­ple back.” He worked ex­clu­sively with men, of­fer­ing one-on-one and group coach­ing. It wasn’t long be­fore fe­male friends started ask­ing him to hold sem­i­nars for women that of­fered insight into the male per­spec­tive. “The truth is, I was ter­ri­fied of the idea of work­ing with women — but I got to the point where I said I’d try.” He started with a small, in­vite-only event. “I went in say­ing, ‘I’m not go­ing to tell you about you — be­cause I don’t know about you. But I do know about guys be­cause I’ve worked with 10,000 of them.’ And they loved it.” In ad­di­tion to a best­selling book, Hussey has now coached 50,000 women through his sell-out sem­i­nars and he’s reached three mil­lion more online via his vi­ral YouTube videos. He’s a To­day Show reg­u­lar and was a match­maker on Eva Lon­go­ria’s short-lived dat­ing show, Ready for Love. His pri­vate coach­ing ros­ter in­cludes ev­ery­one from CEOs to celebri­ties; among his past clients is Christina Aguil­era. Get the Guy Live events were pre­vi­ously re­served for women only, but Hussey says the rules have re­laxed and men can at­tend if they wish. And while his ad­vice tends to fo­cus on het­ero­sex­ual re­la­tion­ships, it’s not ex­clu­sive. “I don’t pro­fess to be an ex­pert on gay re­la­tion­ships,” he says, “but we’ve had great feed­back from gay sin­gles.” Hussey hopes that those in at­ten­dance will be in­spired to get out and be an ac­tive par­tic­i­pant in their lives, rather than treat life as some­thing that pas­sively hap­pens to them. “I don’t be­lieve life is a search for who you are,” he adds. “I think life is about cre­at­ing who you are. You de­cide who you want to be in this life.

“I find there’s a no­bil­ity at­tached to un­cer­tainty. I al­ways think of that One Di­rec­tion lyric, ‘You don’t know you’re beau­ti­ful/that’s what makes you beau­ti­ful.’” Sorry, Direc­tion­ers, but that’s a steam­ing pile of garbage. “A healthy, con­fi­dent adult doesn’t find it at­trac­tive when some­one puts them­selves down,” Hussey says. Af­ter all, men are at­tracted to the same qual­i­ties that women find at­trac­tive, namely self-as­sured­ness and con­fi­dence. “One of the big­gest things I’ve learned is that, if you’re cer­tain about your­self, it’s the trait that trumps ev­ery­thing else. If you have a cer­tainty about life, it’s by far and away the most at­trac­tive qual­ity a hu­man can have.”

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