Patti Stanger's Real Talent Isn't Matchmaking

It's become clear to me that what makes the Millionaire Matchmaker so valuable is not that she finds the perfect mates for her wealthy clients. Rather, she finds the imperfections in said clients and frankly—and sometimes brutally—addresses them.

Naturally, Stanger isn't without her own flaws (namely, I shudder when she calls out women for their aesthetic inadequacies during her "castings" ), but I truly feel as though she's doing more good than harm when it comes to her particular line of work. First of all, she understands that if her clients were any good at this dating thing then they wouldn't need her assistance. She knows that something about them isn't working. She just has to figure out what that is. It's not a matter so much of finding the "right" match for these millionaires. It's more about finding what's "wrong" with the millionaires themselves. Therein lies her service to clients and, in a way, society itself.


For example, on last week's episode, Real Housewives of New Jersey's Caroline Manzo approached Stanger to find girlfriends for her two sons. She immediately assessed the situation that one of the biggest problems for the guys was that their mom was way too involved in their dating lives, made worse by the fact that they both live at home. She requested that they "cut the umbilical cord." That's not likely to happen. And it was obvious that while her interaction with the Manzos was playful and fun in a network-imposed cross-promotional way, she also realized that her hands were essentially tied by Caroline's apron strings, and there was really nothing that she could do for them.

Other than the stint with the Manzos (who have rich parents but aren't rich themselves), the millionaires in her club—the lion's share of them being men—are bristling with entitlement. Perhaps their financial success has led them to believe that they are deserving of anything they desire, including people. They have incredibly high standards when it comes to looking for a partner, yet for all their economic savvy, they don't seem to realize that certain traits come at a cost. (For example, a wealthy middle-aged man who is looking to start a family with a homebody needs to understand that his compulsive attraction to hot, 22-year-old girls in tight dresses won't universally yield such results.) What makes Stanger so appealing is the wake-up call she issues to such men. Using her no-bullshit attitude, she breaks it down for them: While the prerequisite for her club does revolve around money, net worth alone doesn't make somebody actually worthy. Stanger tries to make them see that they don't deserve everything they want, and then tries her best to make them more deserving of what she thinks they need.

Stanger's very realistic. And she's very real with her clients about being realistic. On the most recent episode, she took on a client named David, an incredibly affluent 39-year-old gay man who places an emphasis on perfection in every sense. He's looking for a guy who is physically a 10, but who also is a millionaire in his own right. David, however, is not physically a 10, and Stanger had to break the news to him that attaining this fantasy man is really just that—a fantasy. She also tried to get him to recognize that his uncompromising requisites for a boyfriend are exactly why he has never in his life had a relationship that laster longer than the first date.

On the other hand, there's Jason, a client who is both wealthy and physically attractive. He basically appears to be the complete package, but Stanger sensed there must be something wrong with him if he's unable to find a woman with whom he could settle down. She realized what it was the minute she walked in the room to meet him.

Jason is a party guy and attached to his male friends. He brings them everywhere with him. Stanger put the kibosh on that immediately, and forced him to interact with women without his "entourage." However, it became clear that Jason uses alcohol and his friends as something of a security blanket, and acts very shy and somewhat nervous without those crutches. When Stanger discovered that Jason had not only broken her two-drink-maximum rule on his match date, but that he also brought about five of his buddies along, she was furious. She told him to fuck off and kicked him out of her club, and her office.

Stanger has a number of "rules" about dating and matchmaking, many of which endorse stereotypical gender roles. However, these guidelines aren't imposed as a draconian means to a happy ending. Instead, she utilizes them as a way to facilitate the practical give-and-take that is necessary for any sustainable relationship. Because isn't the point being able to relate? Stanger aims to give her clients the skill set to do so. Basically, she attempts to turn unsuitable men into suitors. She tries to make assholes into nicer guys so that women could actually put up with them. And if they don't agree to her rules then she tells them to fuck off. And we could do with having more ladies telling assholes to fuck off.



She lost credibility with me when she fixed her mouth to say that LA folks look better than NYCers.