Patti Stanger, star of Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker, has never been one to mince words and her aggressive, take-no-prisoners approach to matchmaking has garnered her much success and some pointed criticism. Patti sat down with JDate President Greg Liberman to discuss her book, Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate, the world of millionaire matchmaking, how to make a killer JDate profile, and more!
…the rich are the most successful in business, but they suck in their love life, because their laundry list of what they want is so critical, nobody can live up to it.
Greg Liberman: You talk a lot about relationship readiness. How important is that for you in making a match?
Patti Stanger: Relationship readiness is the most important thing, because you need to put your best foot forward. Your game has to be on. When you go on a date, I don’t care if it’s on the Internet or someone introduces you and you don’t know this person completely, you still have to be the best you can be. Otherwise, no one’s going to be attracted to you. If you lead with a negative foot, you become Negative Nelly and nobody wants to know you.
Greg: So how do you feel about speed dating? We have a big speed dating business.
Patti: I think this is a great way to meet people! Is it the only way? No. Most people don’t go to the speed dating events and meet right away, because usually, you physically see someone and you judge whether or not you’re attracted to them, whereas with online dating sites, like JDate, you get to read information about them and see a couple pictures of their lives. A girl’s more likely to give a guy a shot that way than through speed dating, to be honest with you.
Greg: You’re a third generation matchmaker. Obviously, nowadays there is online dating, but just in terms of technology, have you noticed that the job you do has changed?
Patti: There are 110 million single people in the United States. They need matchmaking help any way they can get it. In my new book, there’s a whole chapter where I say to get online, find the site that’s right for you, date, and use every single means you can to meet that guy or girl. Don’t sit at home and wallow in self pity.
Greg: What’s your view of niche online personals sites versus the mass sites?
Patti: Niche sites, like JDate, are good because you don’t have to get on Match.com and get lost in the trenches. It’s also more user-friendly. You’re pre-qualifying what you want and you’re not wasting time. Niche sites I think are fantastic, especially if you’re very specific about what you want. There are sites for Christian singles, vegetarian singles…I think they’re great, actually.
Greg: I’ve heard you talk about the four-to-one rule in the online dating section of your book that says a woman should give one compliment to every four she receives from a man and that women should never be the first one to contact the man.
Patti: Even online I think you’ve got to let the guy pick you. I have a law about that, actually.
I still believe that Jewish men are the best husbands because they’re providers. And there is still the whole thing where the woman gets to stay home, raise the kids, and the husband slays the dragons at work.
Greg: So which of your rules are the most important?
Patti: Well, the most important rule is to only have sex if you’re in an exclusive, committed relationship, meaning you’re on the road to a long-term relationship and marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I love sex. But I believe you’ve got to qualify your buyer first.
Greg: What are some basic first date tips that you can give to JDaters?
Patti: The first thing you need to do when you’re doing online dating is that you need a professional headshot and body shot. You need two or three photos that show you looking your absolute best, so go get professional photographs. Hair and makeup if you’re a girl; guys, don’t hold the beer can and be sitting at the bar with two of your ex-girlfriends. That is disgusting. If you want to put your dog in the shot, do it in one of the three photos, not in every single shot, OK? Most people will not go out and spend money on professional photos, yet they’ll buy $600 shoes. It costs like $350 to get your photos done. When you go on a date, you always try to look your best, don’t you? You put on your best dress, your best jeans…and that’s what you should look like in your photos.
The second thing is that the profile needs to show the best of you. You need to have your voice; don’t have a professional person write it. You need to say what you think and feel and hit all the spots. We have this thing in the book called the five non-negotiables – what you can’t live without, if you’re looking for a mate. When you see that this person doesn’t have the five non-negotiables, whether it’s online or in public, that person is not right for you.
Greg: After a good first date, how soon after should a guy call a woman?
Patti: Right away. He’s online and we know there’s serial dating, right? Guys are going to look for bigger and better ‘til they find the right person. The girl who gets the Saturday night date is the star. She’s first seed, like in tennis. So if you do not call her right away, by no later than Wednesday for the weekend, you snooze you lose, buddy. Because a girl who’s hot, who’s smart and who’s got it going on, is probably going to push you back to Monday. So you want to make sure you secure your spot because there are other guys that are looking to hit on her, too. But, most guys wait ‘til the last minute and think that the girl’s going to jump.
Greg: What’s the most common theme you see with people who are wildly successful in business, but have problems with it comes to relationships?
Patti: Well, the rich are the most successful in business, but they suck in their love life, because their laundry list of what they want is so critical, nobody can live up to it. They’re searching for the holy grail for the rest of their life and then they’re 70-years-old in the bar still searching for the perfect one. I’ve met successful, rich men who have never been married in L.A and they’re 65! I’m sitting there going, you never met anyone you liked? What are you expecting?
The one thing women do is they speak negatively of their past. They get on the date, and then they baggage dump; they tell you their entire life story after two drinks. Heidi, on our show, the millionairess, the gorgeous one, does this on every single date. And I’ve still not been able to get her to curb it. Her bad ex did this, her ex boyfriend did that…Who wants to hear that? It doesn’t make the guy you’re sitting across from feel special.
Greg: As a Jewish woman, do you feel that there are cultural differences between Jews and non-Jews when it comes to dating and relationships?
Patti: I still believe that Jewish men are the best husbands because they’re providers. And there is still the whole thing where the woman gets to stay home, raise the kids, and the husband slays the dragons at work.
Greg: You talk a lot about ageism on your show. What kind of advice can you give to the women on our site who are over 40? Should they look for younger men or older men?
Millionairesses want to date Bill Gates if he were single. Millionaires want a girl who worked in the trailer park trash hotel…as long as they’re hot. That’s really sad, I know.
Patti: If you’re over 40 and you’re not getting any hits and you look younger, drop a few years off your age. Just to get in the window. But, no more than five. Don’t do a 10-year drop. You’re going to get into in trouble with that. We’ve seen men lie about their age, their height, their weight. So it’s not uncommon for men to lie. It’s been the same story. If you’re a woman in your 40s, you should date guys in their late 40s or 50s. If they’re being really particular about it because they want to have children, leave those men alone and go for a better man who’s maybe been divorced with kids. But don’t give up hope, he’s out there!
Greg: As a matchmaker, what are some telltale signs that you use to see whether or not people will have great chemistry? And how long, if any time, should someone give a relationship if the chemistry isn’t evident?
Patti: Oh, chemistry for women is three dates, for men it’s one.
Greg: What are some of the common misconceptions people have about millionaires or their dating habits?
Patti: Millionaires are like Cadbury bars. They’re hard on the outside, soft in the middle. You just have to get to the soft part. I’ve met them all! The minute you meet them, you think, oh, God, they’re so obnoxious, they’re so arrogant and then you just push that button and they’re like little putty in your hands and they cry to you and they call you at 2:00 in the morning like you’re their mother.
Greg: On your TV show, you give the guys style tips and frequently want them to have makeovers. Does this happen as often in real life?
Patti: In the real world, we have one of our image consultants go out to their homes and redo their entire wardrobe by season, and sometimes, we do a little bit around holiday time, which is a completely different wardrobe. Sometimes, they’ll come to L.A. and get plastic surgery. Then I come and check on them, we go to wardrobe and then we get their hair done. It’s kind of like an extreme makeover thing. Then they’re ready to date. I have image consultants all over the world. I have offices in the U.K. and Canada and we’re trying to sell Millionaire’s Club to Dubai.
Greg: What’s the difference between finding a perfect match for a millionaire versus a millionairess?
Patti: Well, a millionairess, contrary to mythical belief, does not want to be a cougar and date down, you know, like an Ashton Kutcher situation, unless he has an amazing amount of money. But, they do have the fear of growing old, you know, the Great Expectations syndrome or the Dorian Gray syndrome. They don’t want to look older than their mate. Millionairesses want to date Bill Gates if he were single. Millionaires want a girl who worked in the trailer park trash hotel and maybe was a nail tech once in her life…as long as they’re hot. That’s really sad, I know.
Greg: Are the issues that you want to fix about the guys on your TV show typical of the people who approach you in real life?
Patti: I wrote a book which hasn’t come out yet called, Secret to the Millionaire Matchmaker, and in it there are 13 types of millionaires. On the Bravo show, you see one type of person over and over again.
Greg: The type of millionaire that makes for good TV…
Patti: Yes, the ultra-picky type. We call them Peter Pickies. They’re very picky. I said to them [Bravo], “Where’s the divorced guy that’s desperate to get married that falls in my lap when he sees me and hugs me and cries in my soup. Where’s he?”
Greg: Is your boyfriend Jewish?
Patti: My boyfriend is Jewish and very religious. He’s conservative. Like in Hebrew, you know head of the temple, lamb of Zion, the whole thing. He’s kosher, so I have to watch everything, and I’m like sneaking the lobster in the other room. I don’t even practice. I’m more of a Bu-Jew. I’m very metaphysical. You bring the food, I shop for Yom Kippur. This is the first time I didn’t break the fast for Pesach. This is the first time I went straight through and only ate Matzoh because my boyfriend is really religious. So if I got caught I would’ve been dead. I was really close to going to McDonald’s…