Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger ended her engagement Saturday — and with it, the dream that her simple matchmaking rules are a sure path to happiness.
Stanger tweeted Saturday afternoon, "I just ended my relationship with Andy. It hit me really hard that I want kids in my life. You have to agree on the non-negotiables." The Hollywood Gossip snarked, "The 49-year-old Bravo star, who got engaged to Andy Friedman last year and was with him six years, apparently never mentioned the kids thing between 2004 and right now?" But it sounds like maybe Stanger's commitment to having kids is recent, and these discussions between couples are complex anyway. Whatever the case, I'm crushed.
All the wedding planning Stanger incorporated into the last season of her show will now be for naught. When uncooperative daters ask her how come she's not married, she'll no longer have the ready rejoinder that she's engaged. But more than that, the orderly view of love and life she promulgated on her show has taken a permanent hit.
A few months ago I wrote that "To walk with Patti is to believe that it's possible to discern a person's deepest personal problems, correct them, and make that person happy, all with just intuition, optimism, and some wacky-haired assistants." Yet Patti has intuition, optimism, and the best wacky-haired underlings money can buy (as well as a small army of bizarro "experts") and yet her life is, it's clear, every bit as messy as anybody's. Patti's quick, camera-ready wisdom seemed to break life down into simple rules, but her breakup is a harsh reminder that life is rarely simple. With one tweet, a dream has been shattered.
Of course, that dream was never real in the first place. Patti's matches often seemed disastrous, and rarely did an episode go by without her at least threatening to boot someone from her millionaires' club. And while she typically blamed all dating mishaps on her charges' failure to follow her rules, said rules clearly aren't foolproof. Probably no rules are — and this is the tragedy from which The Millionaire Matchmaker offered a temporary escape.
Stanger is putting a good face on things. Yesterday she tweeted, "You always have to have your heart open. Learn from past relationships, try not to become bitter from them." And maybe her wisdom does work in one way. She might not have the secret to lasting love, but she clearly feels that the world is understandable and that she can break every experience down into a series of teachable moments. The ability to maintain this perspective even when it's assailed from every side by life's random shit is, in itself, a certain kind of power — it's what has made Stanger famous. And no breakup can take that away.