Hundreds of single women — and quite a few men as well — gathered at Balboa Theatre in Downtown San Diego Saturday, March 13, to learn some new techniques and tricks to help them find their perfect match. The woman talking on stage had a glow about her — herself newly engaged — as she bestowed upon the audience her foolproof dating techniques, some of which she learned firsthand, others as a now-famous matchmaker.
Patti Stanger, known by her popular Bravo television show “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” is on a mission to help singles figure out how to attract and keep their mates. In essence, she wants to spread her wisdom and train people to become their own matchmakers. As Stanger says, “Love is in the air. Sometimes you just need a little direction to find it.” Gender, financial status, age and sexual orientation are irrelevant; everyone deserves to find love.
Stanger and her fiancé Andy Friedman have been together six years, and although a date has yet to be set, the couple appears to be very much in love; Stanger never skips an opportunity to reference her engagement. She admits, however, that she broke her own rules in her relationship with Friedman. She tells women to end a relationship with a man if they’ve been together for more than a year without a ring. Patti, who’s proud of both her age – 48 – and her religion – Jewish – is adopted and would love to adopt children if she can convince Friedman, who’s 52. She’s also proud of her success rate in matchmaking which is roughly 80 percent.
After growing up in New Jersey, Stanger moved to South Florida. There, she got her start at the oldest and largest dating service in the country, Great Expectations, and was given the tough task of managing the millionaires. After moving to Los Angeles, she decided to set out on her own using referrals, and in January 2000, Millionaire’s Club International was born.
After some great magazine articles, Bravo! came knocking asking if Stanger would do a show about “gold diggers.” Patti rejected the offer, and soon enough Bravo! Returned, ready to move forward with “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” of which Stanger is now an executive producer. Stanger says she’s not doing it for herself, or for the money and fame, but for the singles out there looking for love.
When Stanger entertained San Diegans at the Balboa last month, she had just returned from New York where she was being interviewed for NBC. I sat down with her before she went on stage to ask her a few questions specifically for Jewish singles, and my allotted 15 minutes quickly turned into 30 as she regaled me with funny stories and serious advice.
San Diego Jewish Journal: What are your top tips for Jewish singles?
Patti Stanger: Stay in your own denomination. If you’re Orthodox, look within the Orthodox community, Conservative-Conservative, Reform-Reform. If you’re Conservative, don’t search in the Orthodox community and say you’ll become more religious once you meet someone. If you want to become more religious, do that first. Spend 30 percent of your dating time on J*Date, and then spend the rest of your time looking outside J*Date. Switch temples, talk to your rabbi’s wife, meet someone through referrals. Go to Israel, go on Birthright — it’s the best way to meet someone. Expand your dating area; look in Orange County, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. And date, date, date ‘til you mate and marry.
SDJJ: What is the number one mistake Jewish singles make?
PS: This may be controversial, and a lot of people won’t like it, but I say don’t use religion to dictate love. Go outside the Jewish community. Your soul mate is not necessarily of the same faith. You can merge religions.
SDJJ: On your show, why do you give Jewish millionaires non-Jewish options?
PS: Because Bravo! makes me. Bravo! picks out the contestants [millionaires who appear on the show are screened by Bravo! and do not have to pay Patti’s fee of $25,000 a year], and they also choose the bachelorettes.
SDJJ: At what point should someone start changing his or her expectations?
PS: Men should change their ideals at age 40. Women don’t have to. There are more women than men. In New York, the ratio is five women to one man. [The only exception for women is] if they’re living at home. Women who are still living at home need to get out of their parents’ house if they want to meet someone.
SDJJ: How can someone stop falling for people who aren’t right for them?
PS: Pick a partner the way you would pick a diamond, use the four ‘C’s. Color is finding out about the other’s inner person. Clarity is asking yourself, ‘Is this person for me?’ Cut is learning about the other’s morals and values. Carat is giving someone a number out of 10. Twos and 10s don’t work. You can’t date someone with more than a two- point difference from your number. It just doesn’t work.
Stanger recently released her first book, “Become Your Own Matchmaker: Eight Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate,” in which she outlines tips for being proactive while single. Stanger advises every single to “start with a dating detox. Take a break from dating for 30 to 90 days, and instead concentrate on yourself, further your career and go to the gym to exercise — not to lose weight, but to get endorphins up to help to relax.” She does warn that taking a break from dating attracts potential dates, so she recommends “taking reservations.”
She also suggests singles meditate and envision their mate coming into their life. She says singles need to “ask, believe, receive and then let go…and don’t talk about it. Contain the energy within, and don’t allow any negative energy in. You can attract your mate if you act as if he’s coming.”
Singles should write their “Five Non-Negotiables” and remember “every time you go out of the house is an opportunity.” In other words, singles should always be prepared by presenting their best selves.
Besides her new fiancé, her new book and her newly renewed TV show, she also has a new dating Web site, psxoxo.com with Spark Networks, the owners of J*Date, and a radio show on XM Radio called “P.S. I Love You.” The only thing left that she wants to do? “I want to go on The Howard Stern Show, but he hasn’t invited me.”