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TMHS 793: Strengthen Your Mental & Emotional Fitness Through the Power of Creativity – With IN-Q

TMHS 784: The Truth About Red Flags in Relationships & How to Transform Your Love Life – with Matthew Hussey

Relationships are a powerful foundation that impacts every aspect of our lives. Our relationships influence our happiness, our energy levels, and our overall health in numerous ways. And on today’s show, you’re going to learn exactly what it takes to build and sustain relationships and create a strong, healthy love life.

Today’s guest, Matthew Hussey, is a New York Times bestselling author, dynamic speaker, and a relationship coach. He’s joining us on this episode of The Model Health Show to share valuable insights on finding and developing strong relationships. You’re going to learn powerful principles from his new book, Love Life: How to Raise Your Standards, Find Your Person, and Live Happily (No Matter What).

This episode contains conversations on identifying red flags and why you shouldn’t always trust your instincts. Matthew is sharing the truth about healthy romantic love, how comparison can destroy your relationships, and tips and standards you can use to cultivate healthier relationships. So click play, and enjoy this interview with Matthew Hussey!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • The connection between relationships and longevity 
  • Why love stories can be dangerous. 
  • The four levels of importance in a relationship.  
  • Why a connection is like a plot of land.  
  • The difference between romantic love and authentic love 
  • Why love songs are written about unhealthy love.  
  • The problem with love at first sight 
  • How our nervous systems have been programmed to interpret love.  
  • Why you should never compare relationships.  
  • The truth about chemistry 
  • Why so many people get stuck in unhealthy relationships.  
  • What it means to retrain your instincts 
  • How to use self-compassion and curiosity to broaden your understanding. 
  • The question you can ask yourself to identify red flags 
  • What an amber light is.  
  • A powerful phrase you can use to communicate better.  
  • The difference between a standard and a tactic. 
  • Why trusting yourself is the ultimate relationship hack 
  • The #1 relationship you have to take care of.  


Items mentioned in this episode include:

This episode of The Model Health Show is brought to you by Organifi.

Organifi makes nutrition easy and delicious for everyone. Take 20% off your order with the code MODEL at


Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


SHAWN STEVENSON: There is nothing more impactful on the quality of our lives than the quality of our relationships. A meta-analysis of 148 studies tracking over 300,000 participants uncovered that people with strong social connections, healthy relationships have a 50% boost in longevity. versus people who don't have quality social bonds. According to the scientists at Brigham Young University who compiled this data, healthy relationships can contribute to a 50 % reduction in risk of death from all causes. In fact, strong relationships were more indicative of longevity than things like exercise or beating obesity. Yes, those things matter, but our relationships matter more. And the question should be why? Well, it's very logical. It's because our relationships influence our activities. Our relationships influence our food choices, our exercise habits, our sleeping habits, our habits of self love and self care. Our relationships deeply influence how we see ourselves and how we see the world around us. Now, being that our relationships are so impactful on our lives, the question should now be, why are we not taught how to cultivate and create healthy relationships? Well, that's what this episode is all about. We're going to be covering everything from relationship red flags to what qualities to look for and to cultivate within a healthy relationship.


I'm telling you, this episode hit my heart many times. So powerful. And this is information that everybody should know because again, our relationships impact our lives more than anything else in our reality. And if something is important, we've got to make it a study. If we want to be great at something, we've got to make it a study. Okay. Good relationships don't tend to happen on accident. Now that's what the movies and romance novels might lead us to believe. All right. But we're even going to talk about that. We're going to talk about love stories and why they can actually be dangerous. And this was really, really interesting. And so, again, so many wonderful insights in this episode.

And I think you're truly going to love this. It's going to add. To this skill set of something that matters more than anything else in our reality is how to create and sustain Healthy relationships now. I don't know if you know this and you might be missing out but every single Monday I'm sending out book recommendations and bonus content from the model health show. Protocols and gadgets that I might be experimenting with and so much more every single Monday For model Mondays. And the cool thing is you get access to model Mondays for free. Just go to the model health show. com/ Mondays. All right. The model health show. com/ Mondays. So you don't miss a thing. And also now keep this on the low. We're also doing monthly giveaways. That's right. We're giving away some of my all time favorite things every single month. So this might be exercise equipment. This might be my favorite foods, my favorite supplements. We even gave away an entire cold plunge tub. 

All right. Those things are pricey. All right. So again, to make sure that you're not missing out on any of this goodness, head over to and make sure that you're connected for model Mondays every week.

Now without further ado, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Matthew Hussey is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and coach specializing in confidence and relational intelligence. His YouTube channel is the number one channel. On the internet for love life advice with over half a billion views. He's been featured on every major media platform that you can imagine. But right now he's here on the model health show to share his insights with you. Let's dive into this conversation with the one and only Matthew Hussey.



SHAWN STEVENSON: My guy. Thank you for coming to hang out with us.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: It's good to be here, man.

SHAWN STEVENSON: All righty. In your book, your phenomenal book, you say that love stories can be dangerous. Why is that?

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Well, I think we build love stories around ideas in our mind as opposed to the reality of what we have. One of the things I talk about in the book is this idea that there are four levels of importance in any situation that you have with someone. There's admiration level one. That's just when you like someone or you think they're impressive or charismatic or sexy or whatever, but they may not even know you exist. So it goes without saying that level one is not that important. Level two is connection, mutual attraction. You know, do we, is there a shared attraction? I like you. You like me. Maybe there's. physical chemistry, maybe we gel when we speak, but there's a connection there. Now, level two is a very dangerous level because level two is where all the hopes and the dreams usually begin because you find someone you like, which for many people feels like a rare occurrence.

But on top of that, You like me and that feels like the Holy Grail. Oh my God, I have attention from someone I'm actually into for a change. So now, you know, that I say that's dangerous for two reasons. One, even if that person disappears or is non committal or treats us poorly, we still can't get out of our mind the idea that there's something special worth fighting for with this person. And the second reason is that with a person like this, we're liable to give up our standards. When you don't like someone, it's easy to have standards. But when you really want someone, that's when your standards start to go out of the window and you start to accept worse treatment. You make, you make compromises and sacrifices that you wouldn't normally make on a good day. But you make them now because this feels really important because of the connection. But what I say to people is a connection is like a, It's like a nice plot of land that the two of you have discovered. You know, maybe it's a nice plot of land because it's by a lake. Maybe it's on the beach. Maybe it's in a beautiful part of a city.

But there's nothing on it yet. It's not like the two of you have built something on that land. It's just a plot of land with what seems to be a lot of potential. What you need for a relationship is two builders. And you have to ask yourself, do I really have a builder or do I just have a nice plot of land? Level two is just the plot of land. What makes it the building, the castle that you put on it together is level three and level three is commitment. That's when the two of you actually say yes to each other. Yes to exclusivity, for example. Yes to a relationship. Yes to building a future together. If you don't have that, yes, then you don't really have very much at all.

Even though if you're at level two, it feels like you have a lot. And level four is beyond commitment. You need compatibility. Commitment is like, if you stop at commitment, it's like stopping at the idea that love is all you need. But love isn't all you need. You have to work together. You have to function well together. You, you have to have a shared vision for where you're going. Your lifestyles have to be compatible. You have to be at a stage of life, both of you, where you, the things you want sync up. You have to have a moral compass. That's shared if I think it's okay to lie all the time and you value truth, then we're going to have a compatibility issue, even if we're both saying yes to a relationship, if I want to travel the world constantly, and you want to spend quality time at home, then we're going to have a compatibility issue if I'm 25 and I don't want kids for 10 years and you're 39 and your biological window is closing.

Then we're going to have a, we have a major compatibility issue on your dream. So compatibility matters. And in order for a relationship to truly both hold over the long term and be happy over the long term, you have to have all four of those levels of importance. But I see a lot of people tell themselves love stories about something they have that's at level two. And, and that's where so much of the unnecessary pain of our lives starts because we live in this kind of chronic grief that this person that we're supposed to be with isn't choosing us. Hmm. You know, and then, and, and that's kind of grief that doesn't go away as long as you keep telling yourself a story that this is your person.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Stories are so good though, you know, they're so attractive.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And I love that analogy of, you know, having that plot of land and Acknowledging do we have even two builders here? And also what are you building? Right? Like one person could be wanting to build a diaper factory and the other person could be wanting to build a nice lodge You know what I mean? It's like it's basic things like this that we don't Look at or analyze because we get too caught up in the love story. And, and I want to ask you about this because obviously we have a very romanticized view of love in our culture. You know, it's just kind of programmed into us from an early age.

You know, I'm thinking about these Disney movies and, you know, of course the notebook, you know, kind of paradigm that we have, what do you want? And, um, but we're all kind of looking for this poetic. love, this poetic love story. And the reason I'm so grateful to have you here is that this is such a huge influence on our lives and our livelihood and, you know, our mental health, our physical health, our relationships, but we're not taught how to do this. You know, this is like the most important thing in our reality is our relationships. And yet we're not just not educated, we're miseducated about it. And so can I ask you about that? Like, what do you think about. The programming, you know, with romantic love versus what love really is.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Well, that programming takes place, as you said, on a societal and cultural level first with the stories that we're told. You know, the stories that, you know, we learned through movies and books and TV and they're, they're always new versions of those stories. They make great art, like those stories make the best art. Healthy love doesn't make great art, right? Songs aren't written about healthy love. They would be so boring. Songs are written.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Did you pick up the kids today?

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Yes, I did. I was on time. Exactly.

SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm about to get some DoorDash. What do you want?

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Oh, man. That's exactly right. Love songs are written about unhealthy love because they're fun, man. It's fun to talk about unrequited love. But unrequited love in real life, it just sucks. It's not, there's nothing good about it. It's not even real. It's like, you can't be in unrequited love. It suggests that you can be in love at someone.


MATTHEW HUSSEY: right? That's nonsense.


MATTHEW HUSSEY: It's not love. That's idealization. It's idolization. It's worship. It's not, it's not love. You know, we look at the cliche of love at first sight. It's not love. Love at first sight. I always found love at first sight to be such an insult to marriage, like anyone, but you talk to people who have been married for decades and what they have built on that plot of land is this ornate, distinguished plot of land. you know, piece of architecture that is distinctly theirs. You know, it's the, the stone on that architecture is weathered in a very specific way based on the things they've been through together. There are secret passageways and rooms only they know about. There's just a lifetime of decisions and sacrifices and being there in the difficult moments and someone got sick and you show up for them every day when they're sick and try and also look after the kids and work and do the thing and there's All that fabric to a relationship over time. Compare that to the idea of love at first sight. It It's…

SHAWN STEVENSON: like pitching a tent.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Yeah, what is that?

SHAWN STEVENSON: But literally, too. That's a double entente right there.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: I didn't even literally just got it. Pitching a tent isn't in my normal set of euphemisms. But yes, exactly. And it's an initial, it's a feeling. It's creating a story out of a feeling. And then these stories are everywhere. You look at, you know, Titanic is a movie I love. I'll cry every time in Titanic. But if you actually stand back from the story, it's a little strange. There's a woman circa a hundred years old who is still, it seems Fairly wrapped up in a guy that she spent five days on a boat with decades and decades ago. They never had a relationship. It was the promise of something.

SHAWN STEVENSON: The ship crashed.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Yeah. It was like, it was a few days of excitement and of like what could be. And I think that that's, that's not just a story of a tragic end to a relationship. That's a story of... everyone I coach who has been with someone for, you know, has had a three month fling with someone that felt like it had all the promise in the world. And then the person said, I'm not ready for a relationship. And they're like, but the three months was amazing. The other thing is to your point about why we tell it, why, why we value, essentially why we value the wrong things in love is that we've been programmed that way. Most of us from a very young age. We've been programmed in our nervous system to value the wrong things. You know we experience a certain kind of love growing up and that love may or may not be healthy. But for a lot of people there's something unhealthy about it. They experience an inconsistent Parent or caregiver, they experienced a lot of abandonment, whether physically or emotionally, they experience having to earn love by how much they do for someone.

And so they get to adulthood and we start repeating those patterns. We start doing the same thing. Suddenly someone doesn't text us for five days and, and the nervous system goes into fight or flight and we're panicked. And we feel, why does it feel like I'm going to die? Someone hasn't texted me for five days and I can't think, I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't focus at work. What is wrong with me? And then of course that person on the sixth day sends you a message saying, what's up? What are you up to? What are you doing tonight? And you go, Oh my God, they're thinking of me. Okay. I'm, I'm good. In fact, I'm more than good. I think I love this person. You know, like the, the, the power of that, those feelings we associate for many of us, we associate that volatility with feelings of love. We associate anxiety with passion or chemistry. We, you know, and we get ourselves into trouble with these things because we're, we're wired for them. And that's not our fault, by the way. Our nervous system wired itself in a time in our life where we weren't making decisions about how it got wired. We were just surviving.

We were just reacting. But how that plays out now for us Is a very different story because now it's on autopilot and people wonder why. Why is it I keep getting drawn to people in situations that hurt me? Why do I keep getting drawn to things that are bad for me? um, and there's a you know, I write a chapter in the book called, Never satisfied which is why you know, I talk about five different reasons Why we keep getting drawn to the people who are bad for us. And one of the first reasons is it starts with that initial programming.

SHAWN STEVENSON: We've got to talk more about this.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Yeah, let's talk about it.

SHAWN STEVENSON: But I want to circle back and ask you about this as well because with that story of the Titanic, right? This kind of again romantic story and from the perspective of a much older woman. She's lived a life and yet kind of attached to this moment I would imagine that those moments might start to I'm saying might very judiciously. It might start to color how we interact with other people the comparison. That would happen in our relationships. The measuring of how intense the love was and all these other things that They could become Some way helpful some way. But oftentimes I would imagine because comparing one relationship to the next, Would probably lead us to a place where we never really find the happiness we're looking for.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: It's worse than comparing one relationship with another. It's taking a present day situation and comparing it to the ultimate peak of a previous situation that could never have been sustained in real life, had it carried on anyway. It's like someone who's done M-M-A M-D-M-A, like taking the peak of how they feel on mDMA. And then measuring how they feel on a Tuesday at 2 p. m. Compared with that moment. The two can't compare because one of them is this produced state. It's, it, When you have when someone has, it's like someone having an affair when they're in a relationship. When they have an affair, there's a kind of mystery and an excitement and a set of circumstances around that that produce a certain kind of high there, right?

Comparing how you feel with a partner you've been with 10 years, it's the least fair thing you could ever do. Because by the way, if you took that person you're having an affair with, that feels really exciting and you had a 10 year relationship with them, they would no longer be the person you're having the affair with. They'd be the person you're living life with. And it's such a different thing.

SHAWN STEVENSON: And how often does that work out?

MATTHEW HUSSEY: That's right. The people more often than not find that these things don't work out because they can't, even the thing, even pursuing that thing can't compare. To what it originally was under those circumstances and that happens in all sorts of situations. You can have a vacation romance and Then you compare people to this vacation right now. But the chemistry I felt in that of course you felt a ton of chemistry you were leaving. You know what I mean, it's like firework literal fireworks what what what? When we look up at fireworks and we all were starry eyed and like they're beautiful and it's exciting and you're standing with people and you just go, wow, look at those. In order to be that excited by fireworks, there's one really crucial condition, they have to finish. If fireworks kept going for two hours, I guarantee every single one of us after 15, 20 minutes would be looking at our watch going, all right, I'm good. This is getting annoying now. Like, fireworks have to end for them to be the fireworks we all know and love. And it's the same way for so many people with the early excitement or chemistry that's often produced by unsustainable conditions. That we then take every real relationship we're ever in and compare it to that.

And this, I'm not just talking about the two week fling. I had a woman who Was in a new relationship with someone where she felt connected. They had a great time. She thought this person was amazing. It was healthy. And She said, " Why don't I like, what I keep, I have this seed of doubt in my mind where I'm wondering If I'm supposed to feel the way that I did with my ex?”. And then when I got her to talk about her situation with her ex, which had lasted for a year or two. What was very clear about that situation is at no point in their relationship did she ever really feel like she hadn't.She was always white knuckling this relationship, doing whatever she could to continue to impress him to try and, To try and secure him. To try to feel safe with him, because he was never really there. He was never all in. He never made her feel safe. He was never truly present in the relationship. And that was very evident in the fact that he suddenly left out of nowhere as soon as he, you know, figured out, Oh, I've got another option or I want to move on.

And He just moved on and when you never feel safe in a relationship, when you never really feel like you have someone the early chase never ends. So you spend the whole relationship trying to secure them like we do in the first three months of dating. To compare what she feels in a healthy relationship to a relationship where she was always living in this anxious, anxious, anxious. Chemistry of early dating is a completely unfair comparison. So what I'm a, I'm not someone who says chemistry is not important. I think chemistry is tremendously important. I think sexual attraction is tremendously important. We have to have these things, but you should never comparison shop for chemistry. Because chemistry is a prerequisite for a great relationship. But it's not necessarily something you have to think. I have to optimize for this in a way that it has to be the best chemistry I've ever felt because the best chemistry you've ever felt may have been a mirage.

SHAWN STEVENSON: We'll call that a Tom and Jerry relationship.


SHAWN STEVENSON: That constant chase. And I'm going to make a confession here. I'm going to make a confession here. I watched a documentary recently, Pamela Anderson Lee. I don't know if she kept the Lee part, but Pamela Anderson, I watched her documentary. It was really entertaining, but since her breakup from Tommy Lee, every one of her relationships hasn't worked out. And even in the documentary, you could see her comparing her relationships with other people to him at the height of that though, because the end of that relationship was abuse. You know, there were instances of, you know, domestic abuse and, you know, concerns of safety and welfare, all those things, but it's that peak, right?

And it transitioned, happened so quickly because they're in the public eye, where she didn't do. Maybe she thought about that typical thing, which is to go back, you know, so she didn't get that. That opportunity which she might have done to really know like, was it even that bad? Yeah, right. And so she's been living the rest of her life comparing to that peak. And that story this is a very kind of public story, but a lot of us experience that where we're comparing to a peak of something else and we're doing ourselves a disservice and this gets me thinking about another question, which is And this is all too common and I, you know, I understand this because it's so difficult at times. And this is one of the awesome things about your book is addressing this feeling of loneliness, right? And it's when we're looking from the outside, it's just like, if we see a friend or family member who's in an unhealthy relationship and they would much rather stay in that unhealthy relationship than to be alone. Why do we do that?

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Hm. Well, we all have what is comfortable and what's familiar to us, and we tend not to gravitate in life towards what will make us happy. We gravitate towards what's comfortable and what's familiar, and what's comfortable and familiar might be hell, like it might be terrible, but it's, but it's what we know. And so people are, people tend to be really afraid to step into the unknown that might be where the happiness really resides long term. If it means doing something in the short term that is intensely unfamiliar and intensely uncomfortable. So that's, that's in many ways the most dangerous part of our love lives. And of course, Many people get themselves deep. When you get deeper and deeper into a relationship, it gets harder and harder to leave. Your life becomes intertwined with someone. Sometimes you, now you maybe even rely on someone financially, or you feel like there's an identity you have that's tied into this relationship, especially in your community, you know, you.

You feel like that's a big part of who you are. You base your confidence around the fact that you're in this relationship. Maybe you've even, you know, if you're, especially if you're anxiously attached, you've given so much to pleasing this person and to investing in this relationship that you, you no longer really have a sense of who you are, or what you like, or what you're about without that relationship. You've kind of lost yourself in that relationship. And we make all the justifications along the way, right? Yeah. Like friend, sometimes we have truth tellers in our circle who will tell us, I don't know about that, that that felt wrong or that felt, I don't know why they're treating you like that. That doesn't seem right. Or, and, and the, and when we are not prepared to leave, we start to distance ourselves from those people.

Because it's too painful. It's too painful to hear, you know, to not be able to just live in our cognitive dissonance about how bad it is or how unhappy we are. We're, we're now just, you know, Trying to create this reality where this is okay. So we either stop seeing those people or we just stop telling them things. We see them, but we stopped talking. We realize, ah, I can't tell them those things anymore. Cause if I tell them those things, I end up in a conversation that makes me feel awful afterwards. So I stopped telling them. So now you start to distance yourself from the very support that might actually help you leave a situation. And I think that when, when we're in a situation like that. And I've been there. 

You, you're not, you become very disconnected from how you feel, because how you feel has ceased to matter as much as just keeping this person. Because if you think that this person is the source of your worth, that this person liking you or loving you is what makes you enough. And, and most of us spend our whole lives trying to get somebody that we think is going to make us feel like we're enough. And it's, you know, we, we kind of, you know, we go for someone who's got a certain look or a certain place in life, a certain status or a certain eligibility that we think if I can get a person like that, then finally I'll, you know, I'll be able to prove to myself that I'm enough. And then when we're with a person like that, we'll do anything to keep them because It's not really about how we feel. It's about us trying to feel like we're enough. And in a situation like that we can become abysmally unhappy to the point where we really are suffering every single day, but we're disconnected from our suffering and Cause it doesn't make sense to really connect. If you are really connected to it, that might mean you have to do something. So it's, you learn my feelings, my needs, none of this matters. The only thing that matters is holding onto this person. So we stay.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Man, man, when you said that, you know, this could be tied to, you know, my, my identity is tied to this person and the, the appearance even of a relationship or, you know, this, this construct that we've created, my identity is tied to this. It would be virtually impossible for somebody to break away from that. If your identity is, is that, and this is why, you know, in the book you talk about retraining. Your brain basically retraining your instincts, you know, you mentioned how we pick up a lot of our Beliefs and what we would call our instincts by the way. But you talk about actually retraining those so that we start to see things differently and make better, better decisions.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Yeah, that's the this the the the language around this is really important because we've been taught many of us to trust our instincts and that always, That always felt dangerous to me Because we can have some really bad instincts. Yeah. We can have some good instincts too, but we can have some really bad ones. Because our instincts are often what we've trained. They're what we know. You know, you may have an instinct to chase someone who's unavailable. Your instinct, when someone pulls away, might be to try harder. It's an instinctive thing that they're becoming more, they're becoming less available.

Try harder. They must be more valuable. So now we try harder. I had a boxing coach once tell me that, you know, your instincts can get you killed. He said, you, when a punch comes towards your face and you're not trained for that moment. Your instinct isn't to block or parry or slip. Your instinct is to blink , he said, and your, your, so your instinct when a punch is coming towards your face is to go blind. In the very moment you need to see, or in a rip tide when the current pulls you out, your instinct is just to swim back to shore as hard as you can, but the current is stronger than you. So your instinct will you drown. It'll get you killed. You have to swim parallel to the, to the shoreline. Until you're out of the current and then swim back in.

It's actually a longer way. You have to swim for longer and further, which is everything your body's telling you not to do. Your body just says, get to land. But you have to train a new instinct and it's the same in our love life. We, there are certain instincts have gotten us into a lot of trouble and a lot of pain. And we might have to learn how to train new instincts. I coached a woman who, You know, she, she was dating a guy that by all accounts, she said, was actually a great guy. Nothing had gone wrong. Really pleasant, really enjoyable so far, had a great connection with him. And then one day, he invited his friends together for a little gathering on a Saturday daytime, and he didn't invite her. And it, and it like, activated all of her stuff. Like, she's had a real abandonment wound from childhood. And so this idea that he doesn't want me there. He doesn't think I'm good enough to meet his friends. He doesn't like me as much as I like him. I'm being excluded. All of that came out. Now, the truth is we don't know, like maybe there was something there that she had to worry about.

Maybe it was nothing. We just don't know. It's not that she was wrong, but her brain wasn't leaving space for any other story other than this is what it means. It means danger. And what happened for her instinct when there was danger was. To send him a message in the middle of the day when he was with his friends and say, why didn't you invite me? And then when he said, I, I, I, sorry, I didn't realize that would upset you. I just, you know, it's a group of friends I haven't seen in a while. I was looking forward to seeing them. Can I call you later? Her instinct in that moment, cause she was afraid and she was, the last thing she could deal with was being abandoned. When he said, can I call you later? She said, don't bother. Now, this is now. He didn't call. And this is a situation where her instinct created the very thing she wanted least in the world. She didn't want to be abandoned. She wanted to connect. Yeah. But the moment she felt unsafe in a situation where she may not have been unsafe. The instinct was the walls go up, the weapons come out and I'll reject you before you have the chance to reject me. So, we see how those instincts perpetuate these patterns in our life. And that whole, that chapter you mentioned that's called, um, how to rewire your brain is about how do you start to, how do you start the process of rewiring that can get you to do something different than the track you've been on your entire life?

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, let's use this as an example. Uh huh. You know, how would somebody in that circumstance? Because usually the awareness of the choices that you're making in that moment. You're just like you said, acting on your so-called instinct, but there's still opportunity there to make a different choice So, how does one actually retrain their instincts?

MATTHEW HUSSEY: The first thing is through maximum self compassion. For her in that moment, whether or not her hyper vigilance in that moment is right to see danger. We don't know, but, and it, and it may be that it's completely unfounded in this situation, but the feelings she's having are real, they relate to another time in her life, but when that time was present, those feelings were real. That, that danger or that abandonment was real. So, instead of shaming ourselves, because that's what a lot of us do in these situations, right? We're like, here we go, here I go again. I, like, I feel frightened, I feel scared, I feel like I can't think straight, my body starts to change, I don't feel good. We shame ourselves for having those feelings, like, I'm broken.

You're not broken. There's a, this is, this got wired up in a time in your life where you wouldn't, weren't choosing your wiring. And when you felt that it was real, like I, I tell a story in the book about, there's a, there's a race car driver, Mario Andretti, who, who went talking about lessons for race car driving said, don't look at the wall. The car goes where your eyes go. And we all have our wall that the way we grew up, what we experienced, it gave us a certain wall that now for the rest of our lives, we can't stop staring at. And the problem is we stare at it enough. We crash into it. If we can't find a wall, we'll look for one and then we'll crash into it.

I'd tell a story about being in a bar in Tokyo with my brothers and certain parts of my upbringing created a real hypervigilance around danger and threats. And I'm being in a bar in Tokyo with my brothers and my brothers don't, they didn't, they didn't, their nervous system didn't do quite the same thing mine did. But mine has me scanning for threats and it's a hypervigilance that had followed me in my life. And my brothers are just having a nice time doing their thing. And I just, I see someone, another fellow Westerner looking over at my brother again and again and again, and in my mind, my hypervigilance clocks him straight away because I'm like, I'm like scanning the room for threats.

I'm trying, I'm having a good time, but I'm also like, where's the danger. And you look for the wall. You'll find it. And I ended up walking over and confronting this, this person hadn't even done anything yet, but I, now I'm, I'm preempting what I think is going to be a dangerous situation by going over to this person and then speaking to him in a tone that was very clearly confrontational and creating a situation. And I'm, my, the, you know, bartender ran over and brokes up and my brother comes over and he looks at me and he's, What are you doing? And I said, you don't understand this was about to happen. Like this, I'm, I'm telling him a whole story about something that hasn't happened, but I'm like, you don't get it.This is in my head. I'm going, how do my brothers survive without me around? I'm literally thinking, how do they now bear in mind, both of my brothers are bigger than me. They're totally fine. They can handle themselves. But in my head, I'm like, how do they survive? 

When they don't see it, when they're not aware, their eyes aren't in the room, they're not looking for this stuff. And it took me some real self analysis to realize they don't find themselves in situations like this. That's how they survive. Because they're not looking for the wall, at least not the same wall I'm looking for. They've got their own wall, but they're not looking for my wall. So when we go back to that woman. She's looking for that wall that I'm going to get abandoned.

And just like me walking over to the person and creating a scene when nothing had actually happened, she's saying, don't bother because something happened to her in her life that helped her to, or that made that wall her wall. So what we have to say is, okay, compassion. I didn't choose this feeling right now. It happened to me. I didn't choose. This reaction is an involuntary reaction. If I had a light switch to just turn it off, who wouldn't? But I can't. I don't have that light switch. This is a feeling I have. So let me give myself love and compassion for that. But then, let me get curious. I think curiosity is a very powerful value. Let me get curious. Is there a different way to be than the way I have always been? And asking that question can, can be the gate. Telling someone to believe something else, like, don't worry, he's fine, you can trust him. If she's not learned that in her life, trying to get her to just believe that is almost impossible.

I find it pretty impossible to just believe something because I want it to be true. I think most people find that to be the case. So belief is hard, but curiosity is like a gateway because all the cure, all curiosity requires is fee is saying to yourself, maybe there is another way to the way I am. And if you look around, you'll find people who are already. Existing in a different way than you are and, and they're getting certain results in life that you quite like. And when you see those people, it's like, if you're a jealous person and you have two friends in a relationship, you really admire, and they're not jealous people. They don't get jealous of each other. And you sit them down and you just ask them dumb questions, right? Cause maybe your life has made you a jealous person. Like a lot of things have happened and it's made you. So sit with someone who has a relationship you really like the look of and sit, sit down and just go, so how do you think, like, what would you do if this pick a situation that made you jealous last week and say, what would you do if such and such did this?

And they, and you might hear them go, well, I don't know. I mean, it's not such a big deal. And the truth is if they kept doing it, maybe it would bother me, but once you, you start to hear, Oh, there's a slight difference in the way they think about it. What you'll see is a series of forks in the road where when you go left, they go right. And those are really valuable. I had a situation like this in my own life where I struggled a lot to really trust people. And I found myself not trusting in business. And because I didn't trust, when you don't trust, you're afraid to give. And, me being afraid to give made me hide my true nature, which is very giving. 

I'm a very generous and giving person. I'm a very loving person, but because I was afraid of getting taken advantage of, I was afraid to give. And because I was afraid to give up, a lot of relationships never happened. A lot of things never got off the ground because I was always protecting. And I remember you, this will mean something to you because we have a mutual friend, Lewis Howes.

I remember seeing Lewis have this amazing, like, group of people in his life and he had one of the biggest kinds of social networks I'd ever seen and, and he was such a giver. And when, again, I want to say this very, because this is really important. When you, when something's been, when something's happened in your life that's made it hard for you in a certain area, You're like, imagine yourself, like you're a toddler in that area, learning to walk. Now, someone else might be an athlete in that area, which is okay. Don't take it personally because there might be areas where you're an athlete and they're a toddler, but when you're the toddler, you have to be prepared to just ask dumb questions about how to walk in an area where they can sprint. So I would sit with Lewis and I'd be like, so, so when you do something like this for someone, aren't you afraid that they're going to take advantage or that they're not going to give back or that they, and he would be like, well, yeah, I mean, it happens. It has happened to me a bunch, but you know, if, if it happens, I just may decide not to keep investing energy in that person.

I'd be like, Oh, that's so interesting. So he's, so he's already written that off as like giving tax. Where it's just like, there's some, you know, like some people reciprocate and others don't. And if they don't, I'll just, you know, I'll recalibrate with that person what I give in the future. But he didn't hold onto it. It didn't like for weeks or months on end, he goes, I can't believe I did that for this person. They didn't do it back. It just allowed him to see where to put that person in his future. So I saw a very different approach. And what I realized was the only reason that I had such a great relationship with Lewis. It was because in the beginning, he was very giving with me. And that made me feel safe. And when I felt safe, I was able to be myself, but I had the benefit of that relationship because he led in the beginning. So I started realizing, Oh my God, I'm never going to have the relationships I want to have in my life unless I start to lead.

I have to, I have to do that and he's taught me a model for thinking about this that allows me to do that. That's what I mean by curiosity is you see how people do it differently around you and you start to ask those dumb questions and you may never be an athlete in that area because maybe there's some natural gear they have or they don't have any of the trauma you have in that area or they don't have any of the triggers, but if you took 20 % and you applied it for yourself. If that woman. said, what does curiosity look like here? He's had a thing with his friends. He didn't invite me. It's hurt my feelings. What if curiosity was, well, what if I just, what would happen if I, when he said, can I call you later? I said, that'd be great. And then I got on the phone with him and I didn't try and pretend I was okay.

Because that would be impossible. Because I'm so activated right now. But what if I got on the phone and I said, I'm gonna be honest with you, I haven't had the best day. I really got in my head about something. And then you say that. What would happen? I guarantee you it would be a different result than you're used to. And that different result starts to, it starts to mess with your belief. That the way you've experienced life is the only way to experience life. Cause now someone does something subtly or profoundly different to what they normally do. And even if it's subtle, there's something about that that's like inception, right?

It's like, you suddenly an idea is born and the idea is, Oh my God, there are other ways of living this life. There are other ways of playing this game of life that lead to different worlds. How many worlds are there? How many other ways of being are there than the way I've told myself life is? Because if you look at your own wall for long enough, your wall becomes the world. You don't realize it's a wall anymore. You think it's life. But you start to mess with your belief through curiosity, it's all it takes. You start realizing that your wall isn't the world after all. And that starts to get very, very exciting because you get excited to become a social experimenter in your life again.

SHAWN STEVENSON: We can start to see the world as a whole series of red flags. You know, you talk about this as well, we'll get into this, but you know, in that context with that story. She chose the thing that she didn't want, which was when she said, don't even bother. That's the last thing that she wanted was for him to not bother.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: The last thing.

SHAWN STEVENSON: But it's that wall scenario, right?

MATTHEW HUSSEY: The same way when I was in that bar in Tokyo, the last thing I wanted was aggravation. The last thing I wanted was confrontation, but I precipitated the lot. All I wanted was a peaceful time with my brothers. But here I am precipitating the exact opposite of that.

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SHAWN STEVENSON: What are you looking for now? This is the question. OK, so now we know that, yes, there are red flags. Right. But if we become hyper focused on looking for them, then that's all we're going to see. So. So my question for you is, what about red flags? Like, what if there are some valid red flags? How do we kind of have our eyes open for those things? Because I think that today we're living in a dichotomy where a lot of people be, there's so many red flags, anything could be red.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Oh, he has gotten a bit out of hand.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh, he doesn't eat, he doesn't eat cherries, red flag! You know, there's so many types of red flags. And then on the other side. There can be a plethora or even a couple of really important red flags, but people ignore them. They even see, they look right at it, but ignore it. Like, that's not red, that's like yellowish, you know, whatever. So there's this dichotomy, but you've identified some hallmarks, I would say, of what, like, these are some legitimate red flags. After researching this, after working with all the people you have, let's talk about it.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Well, I think that you're right. We have to be really careful because we can create so many red flag scenarios that we make ourselves undateable. Like at a certain point, I, you know, if I took every red flag, I would, I myself would never have been, no one would have ever chosen me. So we have to get to the point of saying what's really important to me. I think some of the big ones are if someone can't apologize, I think that's a problem because if someone can't apologize, they can't grow. The only way to grow is through the humility of saying, I didn't, I either did something wrong or I failed you there. I'm going to do better is why, you know, narcissism is often associated with incompetence. Because narcissists have a very, very hard time or an impossible time apologizing. admitting fault.

And if you can't admit fault, you can't get better. You can't learn. So sorry is not just important from the point of view of healing. Sorry is important from the point of view of growing up. So if someone can't say sorry, that's a, that's a pretty big deal. I, if someone consistently breaks their word. That's a big deal. You know, look, we're all capable of breaking our word. We're all capable of saying we're going to do something and then we forget to do it. Or we had too much on our plate or something happened. You know, we messed up. But by the way, when we messed up, did we own it? Did we say, ah, I know I said I'd do that for you.

I didn't do it. I'm sorry. Let me fix that. Is it a pattern where consistently they say they're going to do things and then they don't do them? I don't know. Do they keep promising you a future that never comes? You know, these, the, the breaking of promises is all you really have in a relationship is your word, right? How good, how good for the things you say you're going to do, are you? That's what our relationship is based on. The trust that I can take you at face value when you say something and vice versa. And I don't have to try and read between the lines or figure out whether that's really going to happen or not. So I think breaking promises is a big one and people can have all sorts of their own red flags that are important to them. The, but the big thing is when you see something, cause often things present danger as a point in the dating phase where we don't know if they're really danger. We, they have like, they nod to something we're afraid of, but we don't know for sure if this means, what we think it means.So I'm a big believer in if something, if something's just a truly heinous red flag. Someone's abusive, someone truly just disrespects you. 

So then, then why bother, right? If you're on date two and someone's showing you those things, why try and figure them out? But, if someone is showing you something and you're not sure if it's a red flag or not, I see it as an amber light. An amber light is, I need more information. And how do I get more information? I get more information by actually bringing this thing up. By actually having, I wrote a whole chapter in this book called Have Hard Conversations. Because I think hard conversations are the things we spend our lives avoiding. Especially when we're trying to hold on to romance. Because again, we're not. Most of us aren't trying to find what's going to make us happy. We are trying to find what's going to make us feel like we're enough, or that we are suddenly, you know, that we're partnered, that we're not alone. So we're afraid to bring up something that just bothered us or made us feel uncomfortable or hurt our feelings because we're worried about losing someone.

But we have to very clearly define What is it we want. Like, what's the path that I'm on? What kind of things are very, very important to me? And, when you know what those things are, you have to. Your North Star has to be that path, not the person. The person is replaceable. Your path is your path. That's what you have to be on. No matter what, what you're trying to figure out is if someone's on the, on that path. So never be afraid to lose someone through a hard conversation. Right. If I, I'll give this example because I think it will, it's going to resonate with a lot of people, even though it's a little embarrassing for me. But early in, early in me and my wife, Audrey dating, we weren't in a relationship yet. And I had flown back to Los Angeles where I live. I'd met her in London. And over time, when I got back, I had started to kind of fade, right? My texts got more and more sparse. The phone calls stopped happening. And eventually, you know, it went a couple of weeks without me saying anything.

And, clearly, our intentionality was in a different place. She was being intentional and I wasn't. A couple of weeks go by with me not sending anything. And then I sent her a message that said, I miss you. Now, what are most of us feel like doing in that moment? When we get a message from someone that we've been hoping for a message from, They send us an affectionate message like that. Most of us, the drug of it feels so good. We're so happy they reached back out and with sweet words that we just want to jump right back in where we left off. But that's not following your path. If you've, if your path that you've laid out for yourself is, I want someone who is intentional. I want someone who's consistent. I want someone who's choosing me. And clearly in those, in that moment, I was showing none of those things, which for Audrey, she was quite clear on what was for what was on her path and what wasn't. And when she spotted that behavior from me, she didn't think, Oh, that's so sweet. He misses me. I can't wait to text him now.She said, this is in her mind, she was like, this is out of sync with what this person has been giving. So she sent me a message, which I look back now and I go, ah, what she saw was this giant red flag, which was inconsistency followed by this affectionate message, red flag. And for her that she said, okay, well, that's going to now become a hard conversation that I'm willing to have. Because I don't care for myself, keeping this person isn't as important as doing what's right for my happiness.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Good job, Audrey.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: It's true. And so here's the message.

SHAWN STEVENSON: She's here, by the way.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Laughing in the background at what an idiot I was. I, she, she sent me a message and it was a You Pitch perfect message. She said, so I say, I miss you. She says, Hey, I hope you're, I hope you're well. To be honest, I don't really know what to say when you say things like that, we haven't been that close for a while now, and rightly or wrongly, this message comes across like a bid for attention. Now, if you look at that message, right? Language matters. And one of the key themes of this book is that if you want, if you are going to raise your standards and get treated better and find healthier relationships, you have to have hard conversations. And if you're going to have hard conversations, you need to know how to have them in elegant ways because language matters.

So when she said, Hey, I hope you're well, there was warmth there, right? She wasn't mad. Still same old, like warm, kind Audrey that I knew. But then she said, to be honest, when you send this message, I don't really know what to say, which is her way of saying, this is very confusing behavior. This isn't normal. This is confusing. So instead of ignoring that it's confusing, I'm playing cool and indifferent. I'm going to point out that it's confusing. When you send a message like this, I don't really know what to say. We haven't, then she said, we haven't been that close for a while now. Pointing to the truth that we haven't been that close that this message is completely out of sync with the nature of our relationship at that point. And then she said rightly or wrongly, which is a great phrase. Everyone out there right now, listening rightly or wrongly is a beautiful phrase because it removes ego from the equation. It doesn't say you're just thirsty for attention right now. It says, I might be wrong, like rightly or wrongly, I don't know your mind, but rightly or wrongly, this feels like a bid for attention.

And that message left me naked because I was like, I don't like, what do I say to that? She's right. She's right. And what's important for everyone to hear about that is that we didn't then get together. I didn't then like race to her and go, okay, let's do this. We then went our separate ways for a while. And it's really important everyone hears that because otherwise what this is a again That is a pitch perfect message from someone who valued her own path and her own happiness Over the person that she might have wanted, Right? And she would say I'm sure I wanted you less the less consistent you were So even that started to wane because it wasn't on my path. But That wasn't a silver bullet message that suddenly meant that now we were together.

What it was was something that made me realize how I had to treat her. And I wasn't ready to give what she needed. So we went our separate ways. What she didn't then do is three days later when she didn't get You know, I gave her a response, but when it didn't, when I backed off, she didn't then a week later say to me, so, Hey, how are you? Because what that would have meant is that what she said was not a standard. It was a tactic. A tactic is what we employ when we want a result. And if we don't get the result we want, we just change the tactic. A standard is who you are. And it doesn't change if you don't get the result you want is who you are. What that standard did mean is when I've actually got my act together a while after that, I knew who I was dealing with going in and I knew how I had to treat her if I was going to remain in her life. So that's, that's the, that's the model that will change, or is one of the models that will change. People's love lives, and it truly is a game changer when you apply all of that.

SHAWN STEVENSON: This is so awesome. I love this reframing. It's a new model of looking at a red flag. You know, this could mean the red flag can be an opportunity for attention for a thing. Everything is context dependent, you know, it isn't just like an abandoned ship. It can be, this requires some attention. I'm thinking about when you said, um, you know, an inability to apologize, you know, that one's, that was one that, that I saw in my relationship with my wife and this was not something that I grew up with, but by working on myself prior to even meeting her, and I didn't know about this working on myself. I was doing it by accident, but if I made a mistake, it just seemed like the right thing to do to say, I'm sorry. And. But that's something that it can be a cultural thing, right? Sometimes the red flag can be grounds for us to be dismissive of somebody, right? Instead of, again, the context, which for us, we had a lot of love and mutual respect.

But this thing was a red flag for me, you know, which she would, you know, these are her words. All right. My wife's perfect, by the way. But if she's quote acting up and she. didn't apologize. She wouldn't apologize. She didn't know how, right? She didn't see that in her culture. You know, she's from literally from another country, you know, from growing up in Kenya. You didn't really see that kind of interaction. In relationships with adults. She didn't know what to do. And I'm new to this stuff too. I never really saw a successful relationship outside of one. I have my grandparents. But that was an opportunity for me to, for, I think that the best example at the time, which again, looking back on it was just to demonstrate what it looks like. And so for me to take responsibility, if I made a mistake, you know, if I hurt her feelings and it's easy. Yeah, in the Stevenson family, we could be a little bit abrasive, you know, just kind of like talking sh*t you know, just like that kind of thing. 

And we just grow up with it, you know, we're always talking sh*t about each other. Even though I share with you, my father passed away, you know, shortly before my cookbook came out. And even at the funeral, my little brother would sit, he was talking sh*t about the way he looked in the casket. You know, it was like, we all started laughing, but it's just like, bro, are you kidding me? But it's just what we do. When we had a moment of joy. It doesn't take away from the love and the, and the hurt and the pain that we're experiencing, but it's just like, that's our culture. And so her coming into this being very kind of, kind of timid. She's, she's super talkative person, but she's not trying to get engaged in any aggression, you know?

And so there were times when I would say stuff and I, little did I know she was, Like I heard her feelings, you know, and, but just being able to say that I was sorry because I, I was doing that from a place of, it seems like the right thing to do as I'm figuring out my own code. And also I wanted her to know that I cared about what she experienced. Right. And so, so she shared with me, and this was years later that I taught her and I didn't know this, how to, to say, I'm sorry, or how to apologize. But, you know, the, here's the other thing was. It wasn't necessarily I was consciously looking for it, you know, I wasn't like holding this thing over her head. Like you keep messing up, but you never, it wasn't like that. It was just seeing that this was something that she was working on. And I think that's the other part is the person interested in working on it and getting better.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: And that's, and that's something you can't learn unless you're brave enough to have the conversation. Yeah, you know, it's what you, everything you just said is super, super important, Shawn, because firstly, you're absolutely right. We. Teach people how to love by the way that we love them, Right. So there was a way that you loved her, in that moment it took the form of being accountable And being able to apologize There was a way that you loved her that modeled A way that she could love you. And that's super powerful. And if we hold back too much. Then we never model the kind of love that we want to see from someone. And by the way, when people have been hurt enough, they get afraid to model the kind of love they want to see. It's one of the great tragedies of going through a lot of pain is that it closes us down and it stops us from modeling that kind of love.

But we apply our restraint in the wrong places. So what we say is I'm just going to stop, I'm going to stop showing up in this way. In my love life, and then we never find our person because our person needs like you. You know, you have to be like a lighthouse, like showing the ship which way to come home. You know Like if you if you turn off your light Then the ships don't know where to find you anymore. The right people don't, they can't even see you so ..

SHAWN STEVENSON: Or somebody might crash into you and it's a big mess.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: And it's the wrong person. Yeah, it's, You have to be willing to show up and model the kind of love that you want to see. The kind of character that you want to see from someone else. The values you want to see from someone else. The restraint we have to show Is not with them but with ourselves. When we model that kind of love And we find that that person can't meet us there, Then we have to start to say, okay, this is a tap that I can turn on and it's a tap that I can turn off. We joked earlier, me and my wife, we did a podcast on our podcast earlier and we were calling it like a honey tap. We were like the, what comes out of the tap, like your energy has to always be that honey. It has to be this really desirable thing. But, so you can't become the person who's become so hurt and so rejected and so bitter that what starts coming out of the tap isn't even desirable. It tastes bitter. It doesn't taste good anymore.


MATTHEW HUSSEY: I quite like wasabi It's uh



SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, just say it.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Yeah, wasabi tap sounds better, but it's you can't you can't start giving out Like your worst energy expecting that you're going to find the right person. The, what comes out of the tap has to continue to be honey, but you have to show control over when to turn the tap off, when to say, Oh, I'm not, I'm not receiving this back from you, or it's not, I don't, you're not investing in me the way that I'm investing in you, or you're not showing up in the way that I'm willing to show up for you. Then we start to turn off the tap, right? So what, what comes out of the tap is always golden, but. You get, you start to choose who to give it to. The game isn't trusting other people, the game is trusting yourself. That if you don't get what you need, you can turn the tap off. When you know you can do that and you trust yourself to do that, you don't need to stop worrying about the danger of other people anymore in the same way. Cause you've got yourself. The people that are most afraid to give are the people that are most afraid that when someone gets under their skin, they're just going to let someone take everything, right? If we trust that I can turn off the tap, then you know what? I can give you my, I can give you my best stuff for an hour.

Or for an, for a date or for two weeks. And I, like you, I can model that apology and what that looks like and give you my best. And what I'm really then doing is inviting you to your best self. Whatever you were before me, I'm inviting you to, to your best self. I'm inviting you to another level and it's up to you whether you can meet me there. And then your wife was able to meet you there, right? You said it yourself, you felt progress. And progress is really, when you see progress, you go, all right, okay, let's keep going. Green light. It was, I wonder, I worried it was a red light. I treated it like I worried it was a red flag. Rather. I treated it like it was an amber light. I had the conversation. I modeled the behavior I wanted to see, and there was progress. Amber light went to green or there's no progress. Amber light goes to red.

SHAWN STEVENSON: I love this analogy with being able to turn the tap on and off, but still what's coming through is honey. I love this so much. And it has to do with your self love and self acceptance. And this relationship book is not just about your relationship with others, it's the relationship that you have with yourself. And the title is Love Life. It's a double meaning. And can you let folks know, number one, what they can look forward to in the book and also where they can pick up a copy?

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Yeah, man. So the, this book is called Love Life, how to raise your standards, find your person and live happily no matter what. And, it's designed to be a co pilot for anyone who is looking for love, for anyone who wants to find their person. But also for anyone who is struggling with love in general at any stage of life, you know, if you're the 35 year old who or the 39 year olds who really wants to have children but hasn't met their person yet and It's really making you nervous. It's making you anxious. It's occupying all of your thoughts and threatening to ruin your life your enjoyment of life. It talks all about that and what you can do if you are you now 55 and you're like it's I. I can't believe I'm single again at this stage of my life. I never thought that I would, That marriage or that relationship would end or I thought i'd find my person by now. And you're worried that it's never going to happen for you.

This book is for you. If you're Trying to recover or heal You from heartbreak It's going to help you. And It's not just going to help people find The love that they're looking for and do it faster. I think this book is all about how to do love better. But it's also going to help you find your confidence and your happiness along the way too, which That that last line of the tagline of the book live happily no matter what Is in many ways to me the most important one. Because this isn't just a book about achieving that goal of finding someone. It's about How do I, how do I learn to experience life differently today? So that the desire to find love doesn't ruin my life. Because that's the truth for so many people. It is hard out there, Shawn. For people that want to find love, there's so much anguish. There's so much shame around wanting to find love in the first place, which you will read this book and you will get rid of your shame that you want to find love.

We live in a culture where people are shamed for being desperate about wanting to find love. Well, finding, wanting love is a human thing. But when we can't find it or when we're struggling, it, it can really, it can really poison our experience of this life. You know, it can, it can make us dreadfully unhappy and it can be a kind of chronic pain that never goes away. And, and this book shows you how to address that. So you'll come out of this book, not only with a fresh approach to finding the love you want, but, a fresh approach to, How you approach life, even in the times when, love seems nowhere to be found. And if you go to, you can get the book from any retailer you like from that site, whether it's Amazon, Barnes and Noble or anywhere else.

And then the benefit of going through that site, is that you can use your receipt to get a ticket to an event I'm doing on May 4th called find your person, which is designed to take all of the ideas from the book. It's a virtual event. So anyone can come you can attend from anywhere in the world as long as you have a copy of the book but we're going to take the ideas from the book and Give the practical application of those ideas for you in the next year of your life if you want to find your person and create a You A plan for yourself to make this area of your life happen. So It's going to be a beautiful event. Everyone who gets a copy of the book gets a free ticket to that event and you can find all of that at

SHAWN STEVENSON: This has been a wonderful experience, I really enjoyed this a lot and you know, I shared this with you before we got started this is a huge passion of mine is Helping people to cultivate healthy relationships, including the relationship with themselves You It is the most important thing in our reality, you know, it's the thing most connected to our longevity. It's the thing most connected with our mental health, but we're not taught about how to do this, how to, to, to do good relationships. And so having resources like this, I'm a big fan of like, if you're, if you're interested in something and you want to make it a mastery of some sort, you've got to make it a study. This doesn't happen on accident. And so Love Life is available everywhere. Books are sold and it's been amazing.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Oh, let me share one last thing. Cause I think it's important. There's a, there's a piece at the end of this book on that note of the relationship you have with yourself that I believe everybody, whether you're in a relationship or not, Everybody should get the book just to read the second half of the book because there is a entire section on core confidence that gives you a model for changing your relationship with yourself in a profound way. And I'll, I know we're at time, but I'll give you just everyone a taste of this because the way I think about this is not the way many people teach this. It's, I think a lot of people when they're trying to have a relationship, a better relationship with themselves. They get stuck in trying to convince themselves that they're special as a way to love themselves and we struggle with that because We have insecurities and flaws.

We have made mistakes. We have regrets. We have all these reasons not to like ourselves and So we really struggle with the concept of loving ourselves Because it's like well, I don't feel that special and i've made all these mistakes and my life isn't where I wanted it to be So not only do I not love myself. I don't even like myself And I teach a model for transforming your relationship with yourself and finally achieving self love that is completely different from thinking about it in that way. And here's the kind of, I go into this in a much bigger way in the book, but here's a kind of like teaser of the punchline.

You don't have to think you're special to love yourself. You just have to know that of the 8 billion people on this earth, You are the only person who is responsible for taking care of the human that is you. No one else on earth has that job. The relationship you have with yourself is a special one because you're the only human that you're taking care of. And imagine at birth someone gave you a human and said, just, just so you know, you have one job. Give this human the best life you possibly can. That's it. You can volunteer for lots of other jobs, but the one job you definitely have, forever, is give this human the best life possible. Make them as happy as you can, encourage them as much as you can, take care of them, stand up for them. This is your human. One job. When you see self love through that lens, you realize you do not need A reason to love yourself other than one, which is that you're the only one. The only one put on this earth to take care of you. So forget the comparison with other people. Forget whether you don't have some, you have, you know, insecurities or you don't match up.

It's all irrelevant. You don't get to exchange your human for another human. And by the way, you're lucky to have a human in the first place. So much like a parent with the child, if you ask a parent, why do you love your child? The parent doesn't start listing off a bunch of attributes about their child. The parent says, what are you talking about? They're my child. It's a dumb question. What if you thought about it as a dumb question for yourself? If you said, why do I love myself? What do you mean? Because I'm mine. Because I'm my human. When you see it through that lens, here's what you realize. You don't have to like yourself to love yourself.

Loving yourself is your job. It's a verb. It's an approach. Liking yourself can come later. So all of that is in the book and much more, but it's very, very important because even if you never get the book and you just hear what I just said, You'll realize today that you don't have to go through your day, trying to figure out why you're special. You just need to realize that it's your job to take care of your human today. What would you do if you were trying to make your human happy today?

SHAWN STEVENSON: This is good for your soul stuff right here. And the full buffet is in love life. Matthew, this has been amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us.

MATTHEW HUSSEY: Thanks for having me, Shawn. It was a pleasure.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Matthew Hussey, everybody. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. I hope that you got a lot of value out of this. I hope that this is an encouragement to invest in yourself, invest in your relationships, invest in your education about relationships. The most important relationship being again, the relationship you have with yourself. There are wonderful resources that we have today, because if you grew up much like I did, This is stuff that we don't really get access to. As a matter of fact, we're often miseducated about self love and self acceptance and how to create healthy relationships. And so this is something that I highly encourage you to make a study.

Definitely check out Love Life. It's an amazing book. And listen, we're just getting warmed up. We've got some amazing masterclasses and world class guests coming your way very, very soon. So make sure to stay tuned, take care, have an amazing day. And I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes. You could find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you've got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much and take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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