On my way to meet Patti Stanger, third-generation matchmaker and crazy-successful businesswoman, I imagined that she might know of a tattooed, emo millionaire who is just perfect for me. That, of course, didn’t happen. But she did greet me with, “I love The Frisky! I get Google alerts!” Overall, Patti was immaculate, tiny, and well-spoken. Like a Jewish mother, she offered up the sushi on her plate, saying, “Try one. Don’t worry; there are no calories in them!” One thing was exceptionally clear from our chat—home girl is crazy busy these days. She not only stars in but also executive-produces her Bravo show, “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” which begins its third season on January 19. She is still running her now decade-old matchmaking service, Millionaire’s Club, and recently wrote a bestselling book, Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate, out in paperback on December 29. Plus, she has a radio show on XM Pink 24 called “PS I Love You,” every Thursday at 7 p.m. (EST), and has launched her own online dating site, PsXoXo.com.
After the jump, hear what Patti has to say about attracting the right dudes and letting go of the wrong ones. Oh, and the secret to dating in your 20s!
The Frisky: What made you want to start a matchmaking service just for millionaires? Did you think they needed your help?
Patti Stanger: When I came out to California, I thought that the matchmaking industry sucked. They didn’t know what they were doing. All they wanted was money and they weren’t helping people find true love. When Bill Clinton was in power, everyone was a millionaire in Silicon Valley and there were these nerds running around town not knowing how to go on a date. They would not know to open the car door or pay the valet. I grew up on the East Coast where men are hunters. And I was like, “Someone needs to teach these guys a lesson!” One of my friends owned another dating agency and she needed hot Jewish girls and she was like, “Would you come and date these nerds for me and teach them a lesson?” So I would be her token date, although I had a real job. And what happened was, a guy got married through me, had a baby, told some friends and before I knew it, I was just using it to get out of credit card debt. And my mother was like, “What are you doing? Do this! I did it, you do it!”
The Frisky: When did Millionaire’s Club turn into “The Millionaire Matchmaker”?
PS: After ten years, the networks came to me and wanted to put me on television. They wanted to play the gold-digger card and I said, “Look, here’s the deal. I grew up in Short Hills, where everybody married wealthy. It was a given. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with marrying wealthy—for love, not for money, there’s a difference. They just date in a rich pond but if they fall in love and the guy loses his money like in the Madoff scandal, they stand by their man.” And they said, “Oh, I like that idea.” And that’s what happened.
The Frisky: What made you want to start a dating website on top of all of your commitments?
PS: I didn’t want to be teaching only the millionaires. It’s a given; they can afford me. What about the masses? These people don’t know what they’re doing! I was having the worst time on the internet, too! I was on Matchmaker back in the day and JDate. You know—you go on a date, close the restaurant, and you think you’ve met your future husband. But then you find he’s trolling for new girls the minute you get home and you’re like, “Why would I go out with him? I feel awful!” I was horrified. And then I started to realize there’s a method to the madness. The guy that emails you once or twice, asks for your number, takes you to dinner, he’s got a few bucks in his pocket, you know, may not be the best-looking guy or the richest guy or the tallest guy, he’s usually the marriage material and there’s a way to qualify them online.
The Frisky: How is matchmaking online different from in person?
PS: When doing it online, like with PSxoxo.com, I’m helping people and reading their profiles. What they write is the key to what people think and feel. So your writing has to be succinct in order to attract a man or woman. Most people go, “Oh, forget the writing.” I can’t tell you how many times I was online and people would criticize me if I spelled a word wrong. So, it’s key to hear the language, the slang that they’re using, the catchphrases, whether they have a good sense of humor—are they dry, are they boring, are they serious? All that stuff gets taken into account. Looking at the picture, I know whether it’s dated or recent—I’m not stupid. But if their screen name’s not good, if their profile’s not written right, if the guy is emailing them for 50 million pictures and the girl’s like, “I already gave you two,” there’s a way to cut them off at the path so you’re not wasting time. Then we get into rage or anger—why is this not happening fast enough?
The Frisky: Do you have any tips for women to improve their online dating profiles?
PS: You have to make your profile and your handle conducive to him. You may not be the prettiest girl, but if you get a professional photo … men don’t care about the snapshot. You don’t put the beer in your hand, you don’t hold seven puppies or six cats, and you don’t put 25 guys in the picture with you. A pretty girl, a pair of jeans, regular low-waisted Levi’s, a cute little t-shirt and a black dress with heels and he will come a calling, even if you’re not a 10.
The Frisky: What are the biggest mistakes that women make on a first date and entering into a relationship?
PS: The first mistake they make is that they get drunk because they’re nervous, so they go past two drinks. You should never go past two drinks. No matter if it’s spritzers you’ve had, you’re going to make a mistake, your clarity is gonna be clouded. The second thing is, you baggage dump. You talk about the ex, what went wrong in the divorce, what went wrong with the last boyfriend. You think it’s innocent, but then it monopolizes the conversation and then that de-naturalizes the sex where you no longer feel special to that person, nor does he to you.
The Frisky: Is there a graceful way a woman can turn down a too-grabby or persistent guy?
PS: Yes, if you like him you can say, “I really like you, I’m just not comfortable going that fast, would you mind if we slowed down? But I’m totally attracted to you and I want to get to know you better.” If he’s not somebody you like, you’ve just gotta go, “Whoa, dude, listen, I don’t think you and I go at the same pace.” But a woman should take that into account as a compliment.
The Frisky: Looking at the Tiger Woods scandal, how can women decipher a good guy from a player?
PS: Well, there is no way to recognize whether Tiger Woods would do this or not. However, a guy who has multiple girls as friends and he’s straight, and not a metro—not getting manis and pedis with her—beware. That means he keeps his exes on a rotation, and that means he will go back for ex sex. Beware. He’s hanging out with his friends who are girls, going out to dinner with her once or twice a week and says “She’s just a friend,” who happens to be his ex-girlfriend, beware. That’s baloney. He’s keeping her on ice. That’s what [Tiger] did to Rachel Uchitel, he kept her on ice. He didn’t marry her, she wasn’t the marrying kind, she was the f**king kind.
The Frisky: Is there any way to progress in a relationship if the guy is a little bit commitment-phobic?
PS: Are you monogamous? First of all, do not have sex without monogamy. You need to re-become your own matchmaker, that’s in my new book. Do not take his phone calls all the time. You can take his calls and say, “I’ve got plans that night.” He doesn’t own you, you’re not his property, and unless you have an understanding of being together every Saturday night, get busy. We live in a disposable, text-message society and men generally know in 10 seconds whether they want you or not. Whether they want to buy you, that’s a different story. That’s money. Most men today would love to have an open relationship with someone who’s married, they want children out of wedlock up the ying-yang in this state, and they don’t really want to bother to buy—they just want to rent it. They want a lease. If you wanna be bought, then you have to learn how to set the precedent right from the beginning and how to look for a man that has 80 percent marriage material already embedded in his DNA, which means he doesn’t feel comfortable being alone and dating. If he’s like 40 or up, he needs to have friends that are married. If he’s still hanging with a pack of guys 30-45 and they’re not married yet, he ain’t gonna marry. There’s no urgency.
The Frisky: Is there a way that women can balance the whole whore/Madonna dichotomy?
PS: Give a good blow job. Give a good blow job and the man will give you jewelry and everything. He will lay his life down for a good blow job. And swallow.
The Frisky: What advice would you give to women who are insecure about their looks?
PS: Um, work out. Don’t stop eating; work out. Endorphins that come from working out relax you so that you’re no longer in heat and you don’t care what anyone else thinks. It gives you confidence. And then, when you’re doing that, you’re losing weight, but it’s got nothing to do with it. When you’re in shape and you feel good, you don’t care whether you have a guy or not, and then he shows up! It’s being in heat that he can feel. It’s like a vibration; it sends signals all over the place so when he sees a hot girl, a smoking little model who’s like totally insecure, he’s either going to take advantage of her and sleep with her and drop her like a hot potato or he’s going to walk away because of her insecurity.
The Frisky: How is dating different for women in their 20s and 30s?
PS: When you’re in your 30s, you’re usually on the baby track. And what happens is, you want a guy by Monday and a baby by Tuesday. You are on a mission. When you get to be late 30s, that window is kind of closing on you. You start thinking about you. We should all be like that in our 20s instead of our 30s. We get the message way too late. But when we’re in our 50s and our testosterone is increasing and our estrogen’s decreasing, and we’re all about starting a new business and going back to school—that’s what we should have been like from the beginning. But the chemicals in our body don’t teach us that—oxytocin has taught us that. Oxytocin is a chemical that’s fueled by estrogen—the younger you are, the more estrogen you have and the older you get, the estrogen goes away. It makes your decisions based on the feel-good principals. I call that catnip sex. If you sleep with a loser and he gives you a really good orgasm, you want more, you’re crack-addicted. You think you’re in love, but it’s just an orgasm! He hasn’t done anything, he hasn’t even probably taken you out to dinner and you think you’re in love. So that’s the problem; men do not get bonded by that. A gay men can, he’s more sensitive and has more estrogen. It’s all chemicals. You bond to losers as soon as you’ll bond to a good guy because of one good orgasm in your 20s, so maybe if we start teaching our teenage girls this—that from puberty on it’s about you, you’re the deal, we can have the babies, we can make just as much money, and we can multi-task, they cannot. We’re much brighter than they are.
The Frisky: So how do you find Mr. Right?
PS: You want a millionaire or a regular guy? If you want a regular guy, go where the guys are, and they’re not where you think. We found 20 places in the book—things like ComicCon and electronic trade shows. It’s the sober light of day—alcohol is not masking your eyes or his eyes. Electronic shows are good. You’re meeting corporate guys and CEOs; you’re not meeting Best Buy boys. So you’re going up to someone and saying, “I don’t understand how this works,” and a guy comes over and he’s telling you about his business, he’s cock-walking, he’s proud as a peacock. When you’re smiling and looking sexy with your low-cut suit on, he’s gonna notice you unless he’s married.
If you want a millionaire, hit any steak joint between the hours of five and seven o’clock, settle in, get a martini, know the score on the television, the Lakers are playing, smile and do the five-second flirt, which is in the book. If you look half-way decent and you smell good and you’re a happy person, he will come right up to you. He may not be the guy you want, but he will come right up to you. They key is to signal the guy you want—that’s the trick. And that’s not something you can get in one sentence; that’s in the book. Those are real training wheels.
The Frisky: You got engaged to your fiancée Andy Friedman on your birthday, May 31st. When’s the wedding?
PS: I don’t know yet. I just got engaged—4 karats, non-conflict stone from Israel, which is really good because I don’t want a South-African blood diamond. And he designed the whole thing.
The Frisky: What made you finally decide to tie the knot after dating for almost six years?
PS: I didn’t decide. He decided, not me! I broke every rule in the book. California men are spoiled and I let him get away with murder. He wasn’t indecisive, he wanted to marry me but he didn’t necessarily want to get married cause he was in his 50s and he’d never been married and he was a California boy. They have kids out of wedlock here. I’m from New Jersey and New York; we don’t do that sort of thing. I think what happened was, once I got famous and I started getting ex-boyfriends calling me and hitting me up on Facebook, he started getting a little nervous and then his sister said, “If you don’t carpe diem this next year, she’s out of your line, she’ll probably start dating on the show.” My profile is still up on JDate because JDate has the right to keep your profiles up and I guess it was a goof. So I was like, “Hmm … if you don’t ask me to get married to you, I got my profile still up on JDate!” So, you know, I played him like that.
But I would probably never live with someone and there are a lot of good reasons why. First of all, I think it keeps them on their toes. He wants to see me way more than I want to see him, but I’ve got work to do and I’m a double Gemini — I need my down time. Like when we move in together and we get married, I said you’re getting a cave and I’m getting a cave. Cause I need away time. He’s a Leo; he needs a lot of attention. He would love a Stepford wife and I’m not that.
The Frisky: What do you do in your down time?
PS: I want to relax and stay at home. I love movies and I love reading the tabloids—it’s my secret indulgence. I watch my soap opera every night at 11 o’clock, which is now canceled, “As the World Turns.” I was devastated yesterday. I’m pretty much a homebody and I cook and I would have been a chef if I were not a matchmaker—my parents owned a restaurant when I was little. So I don’t really go out. You don’t see me on the red carpet unless I have to be, because I’m exhausted from work all day long. I wanna go home and jump into a tub.
The Frisky: What are your dealbreakers for men?
PS: My dealbreakers for men are toxic people who are alcoholics, who have addiction problems. Huge dealbreaker: men who are morally corrupt, who are chauvinistic, misogynistic, narcissists, which we call “NPD”— narcissistic perfectionist disorder. And the fixer, my least favorite person. You wanna fix me? I’m not your girl. You wanna accept my flaws like I accept yours? We can have a relationship. But if you think I’m going to have to lose 10 pounds before you marry me, get a better job, change my hair color, or get bigger boobs, hit the dirt. That’s a dealbreaker.