Secrets of the love expert
I WAS slightly apprehensive when I knew I had to interview relationship guru, Matthew Hussey.
The man dubbed the real-life "Hitch," (after the Will Smith character in the dating film of that name), has imparted his wisdom to over 50,000 women worldwide and has now released his own relationship guide, Get The Guy.
The words charming, arrogant and pretentious immediately sprang to my mind -– but in fact he was gentlemanly and polite.
"I'm naturally an introvert," confessed Hussey, 25, who grew up in Chelmsford.
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"That's why I started public speaking because I thought I have to conquer this one, to get in front of an audience and wow them.
"I was insecure at school. I would see the girl that I like and I would not say anything to her, and then her friend would come and speak to me and ask me out and I'd say okay."
"My mum raised me to be a complete gentleman, to treat women like princesses, never let them pay for anything, carry their bags – but as a teenage boy that stuff doesn't help you!
"But I thought to myself I can't go through life like this, so afraid of rejection and embarrassment."
His mum, Pauline and dad, Steve, who still live in Chelmsford, moved from East London to Essex while Hussey was growing up, and they even spent a short stretch in a caravan.
"We had different moments, my family, as we were growing up, our situation changed several times. We had a brief spell [in a caravan] which was fun, a little adventure," he said.
"My mum was the one who kept the family so strong; she is the most generous woman in the world."
Matthew was 11-years-old when he first read best-seller, How To Win Friends and Influence People, and then steadily made his way through books on body language, cognitive behavioural therapy and neuro-linguistic programming.
By the age of 17, he knew he wanted to become a confidence coach, and started up one-to-ones with friends and anyone he could find.
By 19, he was holding seminars in central London, which grew into talks to 10,000 men, 300 at a time.
Hussey was then approached by women who wanted him to start seminars on how to get guys, and he's been running Get The Guy seminars for four years.
His company's tutorials now have 10 million views on YouTube, he coaches 2,000 people a month, has 10,000 people on his mailing list and a new US dating show, Ready For Love, produced by model and TV star, Eva Longoria, which will be aired on NBC in March.
Hussey moved to Los Angeles two months ago, and admits: "Ls mad."
"This book is a dream, having a book in America is a dream, even being able to go to America is a dream let alone live in Hollywood and have a TV show on prime time.
"Having dinner with Eva Longoria at her restaurant with my mum and dad, and Eva asking mum what her favourite film is – it's surreal.
"But then I come back to England and my mum is picking me up from the airport and even this interview, and I feel like a schoolboy again.
"When I'm walking around LA I think someone is going to say there's Matt Hussey he's not supposed to be here, take him back to Chelmsford."
Newly single, Hussey confessed to being a serial dater in order to gather research for his job.
"I had to," he admits, "It sounds harsh but that was my research, not that I didn't want to be there.
"Every wrong date was research, every time something went wrong was research.
"I like relationships because I enjoy intimacy, I enjoy talking to someone and really getting into them.
"I had a handful of really important relationships in my life over the last 10 years, but outside of that I have a philosophy that whether you're single or in a relationship, do it well.
"My last relationship ended because it was long distance and we had to go our separate ways, but we had a great time together."
But after all of Hussey's newfound success, even the love guru himself admits to getting lonely.
"You still have those moments where you walk out of a TV studio and you know that 'this is so cool and I've just filmed this show', but then there's this moment of deflation when you think, 'what now?' And that's the point where you want to be with someone," he admitted.
Get The Guy by Matthew Hussey is out now, published by Transworld.