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Hundreds of single women – and quite a few men as well – gathered in a theater to learn every technique and trick that could help them find their perfect match. The woman talking on stage – herself newly engaged – had a glow about her as she bestowed upon the audience her hard-learned lessons, some 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 their mate. 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.” It doesn’t matter what your gender, financial status, age or sexual orientation is, everyone deserves to find love.
Stanger and her now fiancé Andy Friedman have been together for six years, and although the date has yet to be set, the couple appears to be very much in love and Stanger never skips an opportunity to reference her engagement. She admits she broke her own rules in this relationship because she tells women “Don’t stay with a man more than a year without getting a ring.”
Stanger, 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.
Raised in New Jersey, Stanger moved to South Florida, where she got her start at the oldest and largest dating service in the country, Great Expectations; she was given the tough task of managing the millionaires. After moving to Los Angeles, she decided to go 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 she would do a show about “gold diggers.” Stanger rejected the offer and, soon enough, Bravo! returned ready to move forward with The Millionaire Matchmaker, of which Stanger is now an executive producer. She says she’s not doing it for herself, nor for the money and fame, but for the singles out there looking for love.
Stanger had just returned from New York, where she was doing up-fronts (interviews) for NBC. I sat down with her before she went on stage to ask her a few questions specifically for Jewish singles. My allotted 15 minutes quickly turned into half an hour as she regaled me with funny stories and serious advice.
What are your top tips for Jewish singles?
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 the rest of your time looking outside. Switch temples and 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. And date, date, date till you mate and marry.
What is the No. 1 mistake Jewish singles make?
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 the same faith. You can merge religions.
On your show, why do you give Jewish millionaires non-Jewish options?
Because Bravo! makes me. Bravo! picks out the contestants [note: Millionaires who appear on the show are screened by Bravo! and do not have to pay Stanger’s fee of $25,000 a year] and they also choose the bachelorettes.
At what point should someone start changing their expectations?
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 5:1, five women to every man. Women who are still living at home need to get out of their parents’ house if they want to meet someone.
How can someone stop falling for losers?
Pick a partner the way you would pick a diamond, use the 4 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 tens don’t work. You can’t date someone with more than a two-point difference from your number. It just doesn’t work.
Stanger has a new book called Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate, in which she outlines tips for being proactive when you’re single.
She says every single should “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 (although that would be good too) but to get your endorphins up to help you relax.”
She does warn that taking a break from dating will attract potential dates, and so recommends “taking reservations.” She also advises singles to meditate and envision their mate coming into their life.
She says that when she was asked “Are you single?,” she would answer, “No, not really” – prompting the person to ask: “What does that mean?” She would answer, “He’s coming, he’s on his way” because she truly believed a husband was in her future.
You need “ask, believe, receive, and then let go… and don’t talk about it, you need to contain the energy within and not allow any negative energy in,” says Stanger. “You can attract your mate if you act as if he’s coming.”
Stanger has a rule: Her clients cannot have sex until they are in an “exclusive, committed, monogamous relationship,” and she recommends all singles follow the same rule, especially women. She believes that when a woman has sex with a man, she is giving him the power in the relationship.
Singles should write down their “Five Non-Negotiables,” and remember: “Every time you go out of the house, it is an opportunity,” and you should always be prepared by presenting your best self.
Stanger’s database boasts more than 30,000 pre-screened women who get
to sign up for free, but it does not guarantee a match for her
millionaires. This current season has even seen her expanding to female
millionaires, or “millionairesses,” as well as gay and bisexual
Besides her new fiancé, new book and renewed TV show, Stanger 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.”