Patti Stanger’s hit reality show helps millionaires meet their one-in-a-million
Having achieved an extraordinary level of success, millionaires certainly seem to have it all: opulent properties, luxury cars and upscale vacations. Of course, those things are just the tip of the iceberg for the affluent, but having it all doesn’t necessarily mean they have been lucky in love. That’s where Patti Stanger, the dynamic CEO and founder of the Millionaires Club, steps in. Her company is a high-end matchmaking service based in Los Angeles that pairs rich men with attractive and independent women. With her innate knack for coupling, this third-generation matchmaker with a fiery yet nurturing personality streamlines the dating process for members who seek her contemporary introduction services. Her elite club boasts a high success rate for matching millionaires with their one-in-a-million.
America first became hooked on Stanger and her passionate determination to find love for her clients last year on Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker, the hit reality show that she both stars in and produces. In its second season, which now includes millionairesses and gay millionaires, The Millionaire Matchmaker allows fans to indulge in majorly delicious dating drama as they watch the outspoken Stanger and her staff help transform clients through therapists and personal shoppers before placing them with hand-picked dates that will hopefully turn into longtime mates. Stanger’s bold advice on sealing the romantic deal doesn’t stop with millionaire’s row. Her fascinating new book, Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate, with Lisa Johnson Mandell, (Simon & Schuster, 2009), promises everyone their life mate in one year. New Orleans Living spent an afternoon with the modern-day cupid, and we now fully understand why prosperous people from around the globe are fanatical for Stanger’s excellent expertise!
Patti, I’m so glad The Millionaire Matchmaker is back for another season on Bravo! You really seem to love matchmaking, like you’d even do it just for fun if it weren’t your career.
I love it! When you’re doing it, it’s like an addiction, it’s a drug. And I’m hooked.
You’re a third-generation matchmaker—your mom and your grandmother did it too—so it’s in your blood. It must come naturally.
Yes, I don’t know how that is, but I can just read energy. It’s also a lot of psychic sixth-sense stuff, but we just don’t talk about it on the show because we don’t want to turn off America!
This new season is really exciting—you’ve even got millionairesses and gay millionaires on the show.
Everyone is in it this season, and some really cool stuff is going to happen, you’ll see! There’s a few millionairesses; one of them was the fourth member of Destiny’s Child, and there is a gay Southern gentleman from Kentucky. Everybody gay is in the finale! It’s going to be lots of fun. And hopefully next season we’ll include lesbians.
In the world of business, millionaire men are used to closing the deal themselves, but on your show you’re very straight-up with them on the deal of dating women with the goal of finding a possible steady relationship. You hold nothing back, even if it involves telling them they need to change things about themselves. How hard is it sometimes for them to take your advice?
They always buck me! There’s a process they go through; I will give them the hottest girl in the group and she’ll go on a date with him and she doesn’t like him, and he’s devastated. Then he comes to me on his hands and knees and goes, “Why?” and I go, “Okay, now the work begins!” And the biggest problem is that people, especially men who are rich, do not have manners! Women are more likely to marry the poor guy who says “please” and “thank you” and opens the car door rather than the guy who’s got a gazillion dollars and never even pulls out her chair for her at the table. They have to court the woman and call them by Wednesday for a date on Saturday rather than calling them Saturday night at 7 for a date at 7:30! People are just really narcissistic, and they’re maniacs! It’s all about them! Nobody wants to be with somebody who is so self-obsessed and absorbed, no matter how rich they are, because after buying those first five pairs of Jimmy Choos and the Chanel purses, you’re over it. You need mental stimulation, chemistry and you can’t feel sexy and flirty if it’s not authentic.
Tell me about the women that sign up with you to meet the millionaires.
There are three types of women: There’s “Stupid Sally,” who gets the guy, and she’s usually the prettiest girl in the room. She’s dumb, dumb, dumb—not a very bright girl; I call them “shicksas.” Then there’s the girl who’s smart who really puts the pressure on men, like “No sex unless we’re married.” She’s kind of crazy and extreme. Then there’s the girl that’s not that stupid, but not that smart; she’s kind of Middle America. She takes chances, she sleeps with them, sometimes she holds back, and she hits or misses because she doesn’t know how to read the signals that the guy is sending, and he’s getting confused. She’s a good girl, and she figures it out eventually, but it takes her a while to figure out the pieces of the puzzle.
There is no other woman out there. Most women are not comfortable with the opposite sex in negotiating for what they want, plus they were trained as nurturers and people pleasers in their formative years, and their foundation is set by the time they’re six years old. Good relationships are about making better choices in life and reading energy, but we don’t listen to our intuition! I’m one of those people who never listened to my intuition; now I’m learning to in my forties. When I was in my thirties and twenties, I knew better, yet I had a situation were this guy walked into the room wearing a Hugo Boss suit, a Breitling watch and expensive loafers. He was from Montreal, had a French accent, was Jewish from a good family, went to McGill University, and I just knew he was poor, but I ignored it. Once I started dating him, I discovered his parents supported him, he had no money and he went after successful women and lived off them. So why did I stay with him? Because he was cute and sexy! He was 6’2″, drop-dead gorgeous—he looked like freakin’ Keanu Reeves—and because I had great orgasms with him, I was oxytocin bonded to him for three years. He was like catnip to me! And that’s what we do. We make stupid mistakes because we find them sexually attractive, and we watch these stupid romantic comedies thinking that’s what life is really about. We want Richard Gere to lift us up out of the factory and take us home!
Everyone learns from their mistakes. Well, hopefully they learn!
Right. You have to really get educated and take your time. And the main thing you have to do is stop yourself. You have to court yourself first before you court anyone else and that means use the Panasonic to take the edge off instead of a martini before you go out on a date! That way you won’t be in heat, and you can look at him clearly, because everything is cloudy and they’ll all look good!
[Laughs] Ben Stiller in There’s Something About Mary comes to mind …
Right, you really have to think clearly! If you treat it like a business deal, it will never go wrong. If people have half a brain in their head, when they do a business deal, they take their time getting to know the opposite person for a partnership. They don’t jump right in and give them all their money—they qualify it, they look at the due diligence on it, they check out the facts, but we don’t do that when we date!
You’ve got a new book that helps people with their dating skills. Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate is not just for people looking for millionaires, it’s for everyone who wants to find their mate in life.
Right. I’m even getting e-mails from men that are reading the book because they want to understand what a quality woman looks like and where to find them—they’re going to the places where the women are told to go to find the men! [Laughs] The book has practical information, and it teaches you how to manifest what you want, kind of like the law of attraction. Most people are unhappy about their love life, so how can you attract from a place of unhappiness? I teach you a technique in the book that shifts that, and all of my eight steps in the book are pretty easy and fast reading. We have no time to waste; we’re working, we’re raising kids and nobody wants to have to do this forever, so I made sure that if you follow the book, you will find the love of your life in one year.
Part of the book encourages people to turn inward and figure out their priorities before they start looking for a mate.
We need to clean out the cobwebs. If you have a history of bad dating or abuse, kind of like Rihanna, or if you just got out of a marriage and you’re still bonded to your ex, or maybe you haven’t dated for twenty years and you don’t even know what it feels like to date anymore, we have a section of the book called “Dating Detox.” It’s about you, and there’s all these exercises and fun things to do, and everyone calls me up and says, “I’m having such a good time in dating detox I don’t want to get out of it!” You take yourself off the dating market, and what happens? All the guys want to go out with you! So like a good restaurant, you take reservations and you say, “Look, I’m just not in a place to date—how about in a few months I give you a call and if you’re still single then we’ll hook up?” People have such a good time because the pressure is off.
You must hear nice things from people you’ve helped.
One of the nicest things is there’s been about six engagements in the last nine weeks. I’ve been getting all these engagement-type and save-the-date letters, and they all tell me, “If I hadn’t listened to your dating/coaching advice, I would have overlooked my husband. I would have never looked at him as a gem because maybe he wasn’t tall enough or he had kids from a previous marriage.” And I don’t really take that as kudos to me, I more or less give kudos to my grandmother because she trained me. I give it to my family history, and maybe even a higher power like God. I realize that no matter how rich, beautiful, successful or happy you are, everybody needs training.
How much do you love New Orleans?
Oh, I love it! I’m a big Anne Rice fan, and I always buy the little dolls that you stick the pins in! New Orleans is such a very mystical, really cool town. I cried when you guys got Katrina, because I grew up in Florida. I mean, I went through Hurricane Andrew! I watched you guys on the roof, and I can’t tell you how furious I was at the government. I wanted Bush out the minute I saw that. If it were Virginia or Delaware, they would have done a million things! Like the beauty and splendor of New Orleans isn’t an essential part of this country—give me a break! You can send all of this money to Iraq and you can’t fix the levees? Why are we giving all the money to the rest of the world and not ourselves? If we weren’t so dependent on oil, we wouldn’t be in a position like this. And you can’t control the weather, it’s going to happen again and again. I remember calling all the charities and giving clothes and shipping shoes and all that stuff. Once you live through a hurricane as a kid in Florida, you understand the ramifications. Now I’ve got the whole earthquake thing happening out here in L.A., and you don’t get any warnings for those!
Right, there’s no time to evacuate! I was in L.A. once when a small earthquake hit, and I was like, of course I’m here for an earthquake, I’m from New Orleans!
[Laughs] You are so cute! You just gotta go with the flow and hopefully rock and roll with the building. And New Orleans is one of the greatest meccas for cooking. My stepmother was from Baton Rouge, and she taught my how to cook Creole. I’m really mad about not being able to get the liquid crab boil here on the West Coast. I love to put it with my shrimp. Oh my God! With the green onions, the tomatoes, that whole thing! I love to cook, and I believe everyone has to go to New Orleans at least once in their lifetime to understand the butter aspect of cooking! [Laughs]
I just got back from a four-hour lunch at Galatoire’s, so gobs of butter are chugging through my veins right now. It feels so good!
You guys put a stick of butter in everything! I’m like, they are going to have to roll me home! I love jambalaya and all the spicy foods like the sausages. I try to like the crawfish, but I can’t get with it. And the Garden District is phenomenal! I’d love to study the architecture there, and the photographs you could take there are amazing! I think the whole town is haunted anyway. I want to go to the Jazz Fest this year!
Well, come on down! One more thing, Patti: Can you immediately spot a gold digger trying to sign up for your club?
Yes, I can! And the number one gold digger right now is Kevin Federline!
[Laughs] Thanks for that tip! We’ll watch out for this Federline dude!