|Born:||May 31, 1961|
Patti Stanger (born May 31, 1961) is an American matchmaker with her own Bravo TV show called The Millionaire Matchmaker.
Prior to founding her business, Stanger worked as the Director of Marketing for Great Expectations, the largest and oldest dating service in the United States. Great Expectations has since been sued by several states for consumer fraud and by two individuals for overcharging. Stanger claims to be a third-generation matchmaker. Stanger was introduced to the fashion industry by Janis Spindel, who had hired and scouted her at the age of 24. She worked for ten years in the fashion industry at Union Bay Sportswear; Jou Jou Jeans; and Saks Fifth Avenue.
In 2000, Stanger founded Millionaire's Club, a matchmaking service in Los Angeles, California, because she felt that successful men in the dating arena needed a private, exclusive club where they could come to find their beautiful and intelligent wives. Introduction services in the new millennium were, after all, her website stated, "no longer only for the dateless and desperate, and were becoming far more acceptable and mainstream." Membership fees are $25,000/year for male millionaires and $50,000/year for female millionaires.
In 2008, Stanger signed a deal to have her own reality show called "Millionaire Matchmaker" on the Bravo TV Network. Not only does Stanger star in the program but she also produces the show.
The hour-long show follows her matchmaking at Millionaire's Club. Each episode features her matchmaking two millionaires and occasionally a millionaire and a millionairess. First they submit a biographical sketch on a DVD, and describe the type of partner they want. Stanger then meets them individually. She advises her clients and their potential matches before they meet each other including makeover advice. The girls are encouraged to show cleavage and wear high heels. Patti instructs girls with curly hair to blow their hair out and use a flat iron, as she says men like hair they can grab onto. She's been called "The Simon Cowell of Dating," and makes very quick, very direct, brutally honest comments. "I am not paid to hide my true feelings," she said. Her 'casting calls' or "recruiting sessions" where she screens women can be brutal. She told one girl she had a beautiful face but couldn't meet her millionaire because she was 10-15 lbs overweight. "I can't do much for women over 45," Stanger said in an interview, "and if they're overweight, it's almost impossible." Another girl was sent home after admitting she was still a porn star.
The millionaires and 30-40 girls first meet at a cocktail party she hosts called a "VIP mixer." The men choose their top two girls and have ten-minute "mini dates" with each one. After getting to know both girls a little better, they pick one. Stanger announces the choices to the group, and then the millionaires set up their "master dates."
The Millionaire's Club has a few rules, including millionaires cannot discuss sex or trade phone numbers at the mixer. "No sex on the first date," or at any other time if the couple is not in an "exclusive, committed, monogamous relationship." If any millionaires misbehave in any way on the date or afterwards, Stanger berates them on the phone or in her office at the end of the show. Sometimes they are kicked out of the Club.
In the introduction to each show Stanger claims a 99% success rate, yet the Millionaire Matchmaker website reveals it is just under 80% ("nearly 4 out of 5"). Nonetheless, most of the couples featured on the show never see each other again according to the show's epilogues. Presumably, the millionaires are then matched with other individuals, until a match culminates in success. Occasionally the show has updates about previous couples.
One episode of "Millionaire Matchmaker" had Stanger matching two gay men. Stanger said her company is finally offering its matchmaking services to gay millionaires.
In April 2009, Patti Stanger was tapped by Clear Channel subsidiary Premiere Radio Networks to host a 4-week special titled P.S. I Love You for XM Satellite Radio. The live call-in program was simulcast on Clear Channel owned MIX channel 22 and The Pink Channel on channel 24 Sunday evenings. After a month hiatus, the program was returned to the schedule on a semi-regular basis, until it was moved to Thursday evenings in July 2009 and made a permanent fixture. Stanger continues to host P.S. I Love You on Thursday nights from 4 PM to 6 PM Pacific time on both Mix and The Pink Channel.
Patti Stanger grew up in Short Hills, NJ, but now lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Since 2003 Stanger has been dating Andy Friedman, a real-estate executive; they met through a matchmaker. Confronted on one episode by a woman about her match-making despite being single, Stanger became upset but countered that she promises love, not marriage. "My boyfriend's name is Andy," Stanger said on another episode. "We've talked about marriage, but right now I'm really focused on my career and building my business." She has said Friedman has complained to her that she isn't available to him enough emotionally and physically. She has also claimed Mr. Friedman has showed her a ring and that they've "talked about it," but she is still not married. Stanger has compared herself to Oprah Winfrey, who has been in a long-term, committed relationship but never married. On July 22, 2009, Lalate.com announced that Andy proposed to Patti Stanger on May 31, her birthday, but no date has been set or discussed.
Stanger's first book on dating was published in 2009. It is entitled "Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate."