Friday, August 21, 2020

What I Learned from Matthew Hussey

Last year, I found out that Matthew Hussey, a well-known relationship and lifestyle coach, was visiting major cities across the U.S. and giving women advice about dating. He and his brother Stephen wrote a book called How to Get the Guy.

The nearest major city where Matthew was giving a talk was an hours-long train ride away from College Town, but I made the trip anyway because I was still hurting after seeing the Model profess his love for his girlfriend on social media just a few days after he hooked up with me last summer.

Tickets to Matthew's talk only cost about thirty dollars, but he also promoted a biannual, week-long retreat that he and his team host in Florida where they provide in-depth coaching. I couldn't afford the retreat, but I was seriously tempted to dip into my savings to sign up for it because by the end of his talk, I thought, Wow, this guy really knows what he's talking about. I kind of want to give him all my money now.

My reaction to him was similar to the initial reaction that I imagine cult members may have to their "leader". Matthew Hussey is handsome and charismatic and knows exactly what to say to get people to agree with him. Except unlike cult leaders, Matthew is not trying to scam or hurt anyone; he genuinely wants to help people make genuine, loving connections. He provides an insightful, frank perspective on the dating life.

Here is an example of what he teaches women about unrequited love:

At the end of his talk, he did a Q&A where he answered questions from a few people that he picked from the audience. I was one of the people he chose. I briefly described what happened with the Model, and then I asked, "How do I let go of all this anger and pain over what he did? How do I resist the desire to publicly expose him for what he did? How do I let go of my feelings for him?"

Matthew answered, "You're hurting right now, but you deserve better. Why are you letting him star in the story of your life, when it's ultimately your story and he's really just a chapter in it?"

He also said, "The most important thing a man can give a woman is security, the feeling that he will always be there for her. Good men don't leave women feeling insecure, uncertain, and anxious all the time." 

Although being with the Model was thrilling and fun, I was in a constant state of anxiety and uncertainty because I was never sure when or if I would see him again. He snapped his fingers, and I came running.

I wish I could say that I took Matthew's advice and didn't contact the Model ever again. But as I admitted in a recent post, I did contact the Model again, several months later (last spring), and he texted back. For about three months, we texted back and forth several days a week, sometimes all day long. I always felt a rush every time I received a notification on my phone and saw that it was a message from him. 

Although he had moved out West two years ago, he was now living in a small Midwestern town. He said that the next time he was in College Town, he would come and see me. But his Instagram posts (he unblocked me once we started talking again) showed that he kept going to the city where the woman he claimed was no longer his girlfriend lived, and that city was much farther away from where he lived than College Town was. He was going out of his way to be with her.  His posts also showed a few pictures of himself in College Town. When I asked him to stop by and see me, he always had an excuse for why he couldn't. That was when I finally stopped texting him.

When the gyms closed down because of the pandemic, I took long walks around a local park instead. I took my iPod and listened to the Love Life with Matthew Hussey podcast that was run by Matthew and Stephen. One of the episodes was called "Why Men 'Love Bomb' and What You Can Do about It". "Love bombing" means that the guy lavishes a woman with a lot of attention for a while, pulls a disappearing act, and will then pop up again weeks or months later. 

Matthew said, "Men do this because they're insecure and need the validation." They get validation from knowing that the women are still interested. This describes the Model to a T. For more than two years, he love bombed me again and again, and I let him get away with it because I thought that the worst thing was a life without him. But I finally realized that the worst thing is a life where I continue to let him push me around while I cling to the vain hope that eventually he will feel as strongly about me as I do about him. 

Recently, he texted me out of the blue, after months of no contact. He claimed that he'd been busy with his work, but I didn't feel that same thrill when I heard from him. Instead, I felt irritated and angry that he thought it was okay to do this.

I responded, "Well, I figured you hadn't texted or come to see me because you were back with your girlfriend."

When we started texting each other again last spring, I avoided mentioning her because I was afraid that he would tell me what I already knew: that she was back in his life. As long as I avoided it, I could cling to this hopeless fantasy that I would get to be with him again. I told myself that since he had his own place in a town far away from where she lived, then that meant that what he told me last summer about how they were no longer dating was true. Also, I was afraid before that if I mentioned her, he would get mad at me and ghost me again. I was angry at him for lying to me, but I had been lying to him too. I'd pretended to be okay with our "casual situationship" this whole time, even though I really wanted more. But at that point, I was done pretending.

He didn't admit the truth at first. He said, "I haven't come to College Town because I rarely go there in the first place." He accused me of overreacting and over-analyzing the situation.

He finally admitted that he and his girlfriend were in an open relationship for years and were now very "close". I wanted to ask him, Why didn't you just SAY that before? I once went on a date with a guy who was also in an open relationship, although he specifically stated in his dating profile that he was polyamorous.

But before I could ask, the Model stated that who he dated was his business, and who I dated was my business. "I don't want drama," he said. 

I told him, "I don't want drama either, which is why I want you to promise that you won't follow through on your threats." 

He said he only said that because I threatened him. But I didn't. Two years ago, after I found out that he took her to Mexico for her birthday two weeks after he spent the night with me (I didn't know about her back then, and I only found out after I got suspicious and started digging around on social media), I told him how much he hurt me because I was still hurting. The Model responded not with an apology but with threats. The Hussey brothers said on their podcast that toxic people see any kind of criticism or questions about their behavior as threatening, and they respond with personal attacks. 

The Model said that he didn't want to talk about it anymore, and then he changed the subject. He continued texting me after that, but I kept thinking, Even after all this time, he still thinks he didn't do anything wrong. He will never change. And whether they're "close friends" or still together, it doesn't change the fact that he treats her better than he ever treated me.

On the one hand, we were never exclusive. But it's one thing if he's hooking up with random women that he doesn't care about. When he's in a loving relationship with someone that he treats like a queen, and then treats me like crap while also stringing me along with just enough "affection" to keep me around, it's something else altogether. She can tolerate his on-again, off-again behavior because he treats her much better, and by that I mean he's treated her to not one but ten lavish vacations in two years, based on what I've seen from her Instagram page. But unlike her, I never cared about his money. I just wanted to be with him. But like I said in my previous post, I just can't do this anymore. 

Do I still have feelings for the Model? Yes. Will it be hard for me to say no to him if he moves back to College Town (he said he might move back here soon) and says he wants to see me again? Yes. But do I want to be free of his control, and do I fantasize about trapping him and his hard-partying, gold-digging girlfriend in a haunted castle with all of the worst villains from Game of Thrones? Also yes.

I didn't block him because if I do, I might run into him in College Town and he'll confront me to ask why. Instead I changed his name in my phone to "DON'T TEXT HIM BACK". Anyone who's been reading this blog since I met him will know that my posts about him over the past three years could basically be summed up like this: "I'm head over heels for him!" to "He left, and now I'm sad," to "I'm moving on with my life, and I'm over him," to "Now he's back, and I'm so happy" to "OK, this time, I'm TOTALLY over him." 

But Matthew and Stephen Hussey have definitely helped me realize that sometimes, it's not just about finding the right guy. It's about letting go of the wrong one. 


  1. I think not replying to his texts anymore is a HUGE step forward for you!

    I'd be tempted to go one further and delete his number - who replies to texts from UNKNOWN, right? You might not be quite there yet, but you will be soon x

    1. PS. Don't let him question why you deleted him. It's none of his business. You shrug and wish him a good life.

    2. Hi Annalisa,
      Thank you for the advice. I know what his phone number is because we've texted each other so many times, so I'd recognize it. When I finally told him that I knew she was in his life again, it was a relief. I also told him that it bothered me that he treated her better than he ever treated me. I never dared to say that before because I didn't want to anger him; he lashes out at anyone who dares to call him out. And true to form, he refused to admit that he did anything wrong. But either way, I know that it's pointless to keep hoping that I'll get what I want from him. It's been three years of this back and forth b.s.

  2. Fascinating post. I am again glad to be happily married and out of the dating life!

    1. Hi Jacqui,
      Thank you! And one good thing about the pandemic is that it's given me a good excuse not to try to date anyone; I think what I need right now is to step out of the dating life (for a while at least) because it can be very stressful.

  3. Love what you've changed his name to on your phone! That is a good way to remind yourself of stuff that's all about you -- by which I mean, I like the advice you got about not letting others star in your story. (Of course, it could all be good fodder for a story sometime...).

    1. Hi Deniz,
      Thanks! I'm seriously considering writing about it; I'm currently working on my memoir, Obsessions of a Workaholic, and I'm trying to decide whether to include a chapter that I wrote about him or save that chapter for a short story or a different memoir about online dating.