Are you currently struggling through a breakup? Do you battle to understand how to move on and embed the lessons from a failed relationship?
We live in turbulent times, and the pandemic has forced many of us to evaluate our relationships. We’re all stuck inside, and while previously we’d spend 20% of our days with partners, now we find ourselves together 100% of the time. No matter your situation, we’re all having to come to terms with being around each other this much.
Thankfully, today’s guest is a relationship expert here to help us navigate these unchartered waters. Matthew Hussey is a favorite here over at The School of Greatness. We’ve had him on a couple of times before, and I had to bring him back because so many people are reaching out to me and talking about their challenges in their relationships.
Let’s not beat ourselves up so much because this is a time that no one has experienced before, and with uncertainty comes a lot of stress and anxiety.
In this interview, we talked about my relationship and the struggles of growth that have come from quarantine, the power of communication with your partner and how it will benefit your relationship, the benefits of living with your partner right now and how it’ll give a chance to get to know them in ways you haven’t known them before, how to create personal space when you’re living and working with loved ones, advice for people who are feeling lonely, the two types of recovery and, so much more. I’m so excited about this one, so let’s jump straight in.
Matthew Hussey is the New York Times bestselling author of Get the Guy, an internationally recognized speaker, entrepreneur, human dynamics specialist, and dating expert. He’s the CEO and founder of MatthewHussey.com, where he has built a global brand over the last 12 years.
Matthew’s rise to success as a motivational speaker has been meteoric. From humble beginnings working as a life coach with individual clients in London’s coffee shops and cafes, Matthew now runs programs across the globe, helping thousands of men and women reach their true performance potential. Matthew and his team have created tailor-made programs designed to help clients transform their lives in packed conference rooms across the US and UK — week-long retreats in luxury locations in Europe and America. His private clients through his life-coaching brand have included directors of major FTSE 500 companies, hedge-fund managers, and celebrities such as Christina Aguilera.
Matthew Hussey’s YouTube videos have been viewed over 330 million times, his weekly videos reach 8 million followers, and his newsletter has 2 million readers daily. He hosted his radio show Love Life with Matthew Hussey for two years on iHeart Radio which has become a podcast available on iTunes and Spotify.
COVID-19 has changed many things — global health, employment, the market, and our personal lives. Both couples and singles face new challenges — either constant separation or constant closeness. Thankfully, Matthew has some great tips for all of us on loving ourselves and loving the ones we care about during this stressful time.
If you’re a couple living in a small 600-square-foot apartment, trying to work and live together provides its challenges. Matthew suggests reverse engineering personal space instead of waiting for things to become tense.
“I’d start by talking about a piece of quality time you want to spend with them. For example, say to them, ‘Can we have a movie night tonight?’ Popcorn, light candles, turn [the] living room into a cinema, and make it a real movie night. Pretend we’re at the movies.” – Matthew Hussey
It doesn’t just have to be a movie; it could be making dinner together. Whatever works for you that you’ve agreed on helps take the pressure off because you’re communicating, “I want this time with you.”
Having scheduled time together helps create separation while you need your space for work or private time.
“I think it’s important to give a time period, rather than just putting your headphones in, and then you have the anxiety of [wondering,] ‘Are they hoping I’ll take my headphones out any minute and pay them attention again?’ Then, an hour later or something, if you take a quick break for a coffee, reinforce it and say, ‘I am so excited about our movie night tonight.’ The times where you show up to spend mindful time together, [make sure you] show up for that.” – Matthew Hussey
Matthew explains that even during a normal relationship when you spend time apart and feel bad, unloved, or anxious, it’s not because you are apart but because you don’t feel close when you’re together.
You earn the ability to enjoy space apart by sharing meaningful moments with them before that separation.
If you’ve gone through a breakup, let’s look at how best to navigate heartbreak.
Recognizing that a breakup is difficult and that the pandemic heightens the experience goes a long way toward giving yourself extra space and time to process your emotions. We have choices on how to move forward, though.
Matthew’s brother, Steven Hussey, is a wonderful writer for their website and speaks about two recovery methods: the athlete recovery method and the hangover recovery method.
“Think about how people deal with the hangover. They wake up, eat greasy foods [to] feel better, watch crap TV, [and] lay on the sofa. They eat ice cream. All of these things are temporary but ultimately not nutritional. What’s needed [is] hydration, take a walk, get the metabolism moving again.” – Matthew Hussey
The hangover method might feel like it’s helping you in the short term, but it’s making it harder for you to heal in the long run. Matthew explains why the athlete recovery method is what we should focus on.
“Look at the way an athlete recovers [from] an injury. You still train whatever you can train. You don’t ignore everything simply because your shoulder is injured. You eat well; you get as much rest as you possibly can. You do rehab where necessary — but you don’t do so much that [your] injuries [get worse].” – Matthew Hussey
Let’s apply both methods to a breakup and see how that looks.
“The hangover recovery method is — let’s go and sleep with other people quickly just to get my fix, to feel connected, to feel like I’m worth something. Or not, [maybe] just hide away under the covers [and] don’t engage life. They’re just short-term pleasure. The athlete recovery method in a breakup is, ‘My heart might be injured right now [or] offline, but I still have everything else, so let me make sure the rest of my life is firing on all cylinders. Let me be kind to myself. Let’s put dating aside for the moment [and] build my relationships with my friends and family. Let me eat well. Let me sleep well. Let me train. Let me train every other muscle in my life so that when my heart comes back online, every other part of me is ready to go.” – Matthew Hussey
Instead of allowing the breakup to affect the other areas of your life, Matthew recommends focusing on making the other areas the best they can be as part of your healing. If you start to spiral, that creates problems, and we want to avoid that.
Matthew has an effective way to change our mindset to help navigate our emotions.
When you’re heartbroken, navigating the pain can feel overwhelming and like a lot of work. In those darkest moments, think about your emotions like the weather.
“The key lesson I learned was there are cloudy skies right now. That’s the weather. It feels like that weather will never pass, but what I would begin to pay attention to is [when] 20 minutes [would pass and] I didn’t think about my breakup. Often you only notice it after the fact because when you’re in it, it could be that you’re in a flow state with your work. It could be that you’re having a funny moment with a friend. It could be that you lost yourself in a movie. Even if it’s just five minutes, you noticed I felt better. Maybe I didn’t feel amazing, but for five minutes, I didn’t feel like I was dying.” – Matthew Hussey
Matthew’s helping us find the smallest win to help us focus on breaks in the “weather” to avoid the downward spiral caused by believing we will never feel better. Once you can see a break, you can apply this idea not just to breakups but also to depression, anxiety, and undesirable emotions.
“When we focus on [negative emotions, it becomes] so intense that it’s very difficult to get out of it. We focus on [negativity] 90% of the time, [but] what we don’t acknowledge is this interesting window where 5% of the day felt all right. [Feeling alright] is waiting to be discovered, enlarged, held under a microscope. It proves that it’s possible for me to feel better.” – Matthew Hussey
Once you have a reference point to feel better, even if it’s just a minute, the focus becomes how to make more of those moments where we feel better. What were you doing when you felt better? How did you do it? Suddenly, when you stack up five minutes throughout the day, that becomes a more manageable task.
Now that you’ve learned to focus on what helps you avoid the pain, let’s hear how we can better use our time to meet someone new.
It’s crucial to involve yourself in things you love, whether sports, cooking, practicing something, learning something, going places, just being in nature and noticing things, writing, and reading. These are active leisure activities.
People usually have the excuse, “I never meet anyone because I have no time,” but Matthew highlights an important distinction.
“It’s true that those things are excuses and that we have to create time, but time is only as good as your energy. Active leisure [activities] require energy. If [we’re] so exhausted by our day, [then] the only thing we have the energy to do is watch a series on Netflix. When I go on vacation, I read three books [in a] week. I love reading. Why do I read three books on vacation but not at home? It’s easy to say, ‘because you had more time.’ It’s not because I had more time —- it’s because I had more energy.” – Matthew Hussey
What a powerful point! It’s easy to say we have four hours of leisure time to read if we finish work at 7:00 PM, but if you have no more energy to do something constructive, it won’t happen.
Not everybody during quarantine has more time, and you might be a parent with kids finding yourself with even less time and energy than before. Matthew shares a way to use quarantine as an opportunity for the rest of us.
“What [people] are enjoying is not necessarily having more time. They’re enjoying having more energy for active leisure. They’re almost dreading when they have to go back to work because they’re enjoying the energy available to do these things. Even when it gets to the weekend, I’m too exhausted to do anything. Apply that through the lens of dating. It might not be your fault that you’re not meeting [many] people because it’s not just tied into your dating life — it’s tied into everything. How much exhaustion you experience working has a tremendous impact on your ability and your dating life.” – Matthew Hussey
The irony is, that people have more energy to date, but it’s harder to date because they’re home. Moving forward, though, we’re taught that reducing our workload or even saying no to more impacts whether you meet the love of your life. Saying no to more means you have more energy, which leads to more time for active leisure, which means you’re putting yourself in more situations to meet someone. Deciding to join that running club, go to that evening lecture, or join that cooking course could all lead us to “happen” to meet someone.
“One of the reasons we get stuck in our relationship is because we’re not doing anything new. It’s not about shaking things up. It’s about giving yourself something new to engage a part of [your] brain that you don’t normally engage. … Giving yourself something else to think about is one of the most valuable things you could do for your life, for your relationship, for your mental health, for your creativity, for everything.” – Matthew Hussey
Guys, this episode was filled with so much valuable information about how to navigate these quarantine times that I just couldn’t share it all in this post. To get all the tips Matthew shared, you need to listen to the entire podcast, Episode 944.
If you’d like to learn more from Matthew, visit his website to get more than just dating advice — Matthew won’t just help you with your love life but show you how to love life.
I also recommend checking out his popular YouTube Channel or getting his book, Get The Guy: Learn Secrets of the Male Mind to Find the Man You Want and the Love You Deserve.
If you liked this episode, we would love it if you could tag Matthew, @thematthewhussey, and me, @lewishowes, on Instagram with what stood out most to you. Also, please consider giving us a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts because they help spread these messages even further!
If you’re ready to heal from a recent breakup or unlock more energy to find the partner of your dreams, this episode is for you! So join me for Episode 944 of The School of Greatness, and start the journey toward loving your life!