With seven minutes to go before doors open on his Melbourne live session with fans on July 16, Matthew Hussey – billed as the world’s No.1 dating expert – is all business.
Casual in jeans, a white shirt and brown suede jacket outside Myer’s Mural Hall, Hussey expertly greets strangers and slides into a photo shoot for Channel Seven’s new show The Single Wives, on which he is dating coach.
He looks relaxed before speaking for nearly three hours to 500 women, but Hussey is a perfectionist businessman who once told a UK newspaper that if he did one-to-one client sessions, he would charge $10,000 an hour.
“I spend years crafting messages in a way that is going to land,” he tells The New Daily.
“The key is to avoid clichés at all costs.”
According to his PR machine, Hussey has helped more than 100,000 people find love via his dating programs and seminars and reached more than 40 million online.
With no formal training or qualifications, the 31-year-old Englishman has built a romance empire with Tyra Banks and Eva Longoria among his more than 2.6 million Facebook acolytes.
Say goodbye to Tinder and Bumble – Matthew Hussey is here to help four Aussie women find love again ❤️️😍💕 #TheSingleWives is coming soon to Channel 7 | www.loveonseven.com.au
Posted by LoveOnSeven on Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Every Sunday, he delivers a new five-minute how-to video to his one million YouTube subscribers, with topics like ‘Three Man Melting Phrases That Make A Guy Fall For You’ and ‘The Number One Flirting Mistake Women Make’.
He’s on song at his $25-a-head Melbourne show, giving tough love to his fans with the signature style he calls “candour with charm”.
He tells them “don’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t adore you” and “invest in someone based on how much they invest in you, not how much you like them”.
The next morning, lounging in a booth at a South Wharf hotel, Hussey explains how he got to be the world’s foremost dating expert – but baulks at the title.
“It seems to me an incredibly arrogant and narcissistic assertion,” he tells The New Daily.
Inspired by reading Dale Carnegie’s 1937 book How To Win Friends and Influence People at age 11, Hussey started his career as a life coach when he was a teenager.
He initially worked with men before launching GetTheGuy in 2008, focusing exclusively on women.
“I said to them, ‘I don’t know women but I know men. Let’s talk about a more proactive approach to your love life’, and it resonated.
“It’s got to the point where I now think I can claim to know women a little better than I used to.”
Hussey agrees he is self-taught “to the extent that I did my homework and never studied psychology, but I have borrowed wisdom from people far more intelligent than myself”.
He admits there’s nothing new in relationships advice: “You just have to strive to say it better.”
Hussey lives between Los Angeles and New York, and since January has been in a relationship with Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello, 21.
“The best first date I ever had was with the person I’m with now,” he says of Cabello, who has 22.3 million Instagram followers and on July 17 scored five 2018 VMA nominations.
“I’m very happy. It’s a special feeling.”
Hussey used to be “somewhat agnostic” about the idea of marriage – “the rebel in me thought, ‘I don’t need someone to officiate a ceremony to tell me I have a pact with someone” but is less so now.
“I find the older I get, the more romantic I get about marriage and kids.”
What sort of boyfriend is he? “God, that’s a tough question. I try my best to live up to the values that I hold dear, whether it’s to be less selfish or curb my ego,” he says.
“I try to be there for the other person. To be the right amount of jealous. I really have tried to be the best version of myself and I fail that several times a week.”
So what is the secret to a great relationship?
Hussey suggests being happy in life makes you a better partner, and says to work out what your partner needs, not what you think they need.
“Don’t be the guy who is buying things for his wife when she needs time or new adventures together or to be desired.
“The best relationships I see are when people are constantly staying curious about each other.
“There’s that wonderful line, ‘Marriage is a 50-year conversation’, and part of that is choosing the right person in the first place. Choose someone you want to have a conversation with for 50 years.”
Never stop flirting with life or your partner, he recommends. “Desire is just as important as love and you’ve got to keep doing things that stoke desire.
“You growing as a person creates desire because your partner then still has that sense of having to keep up with you.”
The Single Wives premieres on Seven on July 18 at 7.30pm.