Patti Stanger knows love and not just because she’s The Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo. The third-generation matchmaker who started The Millionaire’s Club dating service has been dating a successful businessman for four years, but before that, she was just like everyone else, seeking "the one."
For Valentine’s Day, Stanger shares what she finds romantic, how to approach dating, what to do if you’re not in a relationship on Feb. 14 and yes, how to find your own millionaire.
Is it difficult trying to date when you’re a matchmaker?
Patti: When you’re a matchmaker and you’re a therapist, you’re the last one to be asked out on a date. I would have to lie. I would tell girls who do what I do to lie. Don’t tell them what you do until four dates. "What do we do, what do we say?" Say, "I’m in the networking business, nothing illegal, unethical or amoral. When I get to know you better, I’ll tell you more about it, but right now, let’s talk about you." I do the takeaway. And that makes the magic and the mystery for the men to come back. If you talk about what you do then it monopolizes the conversation. You’re in a lot of trouble, and then they might want to use you to meet one of your girls.
Has matchmaking affected your own relationship?
Patti: My boyfriend thinks he’s the ultimate matchmaker, so he thinks he’s the king and I’m the queen. He’s pretty strong. You didn’t see him on camera this season because he didn’t want to be on camera. He has a big corporate job, and he doesn’t trust television. We’re trying to get him for Season Two … but he’s just one of those guys who is like, "No, my private life is private." He’s very scared, you know? He watches Danny Bonaduce. He watches Scott Baio’s show. He’s like, "Oh, I am not taking any chances." I’m like, "All we want you to do is take the 1967 Jaguar and drive it take me to the beach. It’s just lunch. We can’t talk about business. We don’t have to talk about our love life." "I don’t trust it." He was on set a lot [and would say], "You shouldn’t have said that." I’ve said stuff about him when he wasn’t around that hopefully he didn’t hear …. I mean, I might be in trouble with my relationship. It’s hard.
What do you find romantic?
Patti: I’m pretty easy. I love food. I’m a foodie, especially if we share the dessert. I also love romantic vacations to warm places. We came back from Cabo and I love a nice dinner by the beach, the sun going down, glass of champagne, kicking up my feet and mellowing out. I don’t really need a lot. But I do love a massage thrown in or a spa treatment every now and then.
What are your favorite romantic movies?
Patti: When Harry Met Sally and Annie Hall. Those are like the two that I’ve always loved. But I do love An Officer and a Gentleman. I love the end where he lifts her up and takes her out of that terrible place. I still cry to this day. That’s really great. We all love Pretty Woman. Damsel in distress syndrome, hooker with a heart of gold, like that’s going to happen. But I do love that Steve Carell movie, Dan in Real Life. We just saw that, and my boyfriend said, "That was really cute." It wasn’t over the top, but it had that sweetness, that when it’s right, it’s right. That really got me.
Patti: I’m a big fan of Jane Austen, although I hated the Jane Austen movie Becoming Jane. I thought it was terrible and miscast. I love Anne Hathaway though. I love The Devil Wears Prada. But we are big fans of Jane Austen in my house. My mother made us read the books when we were little. Emma was my favorite because she was a matchmaker, but I thought Keira Knightley was amazing in Pride & Prejudice. They’re doing this thing on Masterpiece Theatre where they’re doing all of them. I Tivo’d it. I haven’t seen it yet. I love all of them.
Do you have any advice for Valentine’s Day?
Patti: I think that if you’re not in a relationship, you do not panic. I use that as my New Year’s [resolution] every year. I’m in a four-year relationship. Before that, I said to myself, "Valentine’s Day is my January first for love." What I tell people to do is pre-pave what you want to happen in the year. I’m not a big fan of if you’re single going out and cruising for men. I don’t think it’s a good idea unless you’ve been invited to a party, like a pre-selected party. But if you’re clubbing it — no. You can go to dinner with a girlfriend or you can stay home and have what I had four years ago, which is a female pajama party. I got everybody their favorite foods. We brought in our Aero mattresses. We just stayed up till 2 in the morning and we just drank and ate and gave each other spa treatments and dished the dirt. And then what we made is our focus wheel. A focus wheel is where you make this cardboard cutout of all the things you want in a man, like a collage, we cut from magazines the pictures the things you wanted, like if you wanted a businessman or an artist. A lot of the girls in that year manifested that type of man for them.
How does this bring the right guy?
Patti: I do believe in love attraction. I have been doing Abraham since the ’80s. The one thing it taught me is that you control the game. If your thoughts are not vibrationally in alignment and you’re not happy in your love life, whether you have a man or not. No good can come from it. You have to get your thoughts in the right place. I always get 6-7 good romantic comedies, read self-help books that have positive stories. I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love right now. That is the most positive story to read. She followed her bliss. When she followed her bliss, she got rewarded with her soulmate. You have to stop doing external stuff: Stop running and looking for men. I believe that when a woman is single, there are attractor thoughts. Therefore the vibrations can be a signal to China, and they can get on a plane and meet you. So you have to be in a vibrational cohesive state where your desires and vibrations are in harmony and the man will just show up. You won’t have to look for it. He’ll just knock on your door basically. Most people go, "Oh that’s bulls**t." No, it’s not. Think about all the people who meet people when they’re not looking. And I don’t mean not looking, that it’s not in the back of your mind. I mean like at the gym and focusing on working out. You’re at the library looking for a book, you’re in the grocery store reading the labels. You’re not in that moment, going, "I’m in heat. I’m in heat. I need a man. I need a man." Set your focus on something that you enjoy.
And how do women find themselves a millionaire if they’re not in the club?
Patti: If the nice guy comes around and has got ambition, grab him. You can make him a millionaire. This is a good story. My aunt, who lives in Park Avenue and is my mentor … rekindled a romance with a friend who was 12 years younger than her through a family member. They were just friends hanging out. One day he said to her, "I don’t like anybody else but you. I always have the best time with you." And they ended up getting married. He made $30,000 a year and she made in that day a million. She was in the real estate business. She opened the second real estate school at NYU where you get your license. She said, "I’m sorry. I’m not taking care of you. You’re going to have to take your business off the ground." He owned a marketing business that did the ancillary programs for big companies like Perrier and things like that. She pushed him so hard, he became $60 million rich. And that’s because she believed in him. And that can happen. You can take an ambitious guy and go, "Look, we need more money for the bigger house and to send our kids to better schools. I’ll work, but you need to start pulling up your bootstraps." You can do that. You can really do that with the right guy. He will do anything for a woman. Look at Braveheart.
What do you think of Patti’s advice? Do you have any of your own?