"It was the scariest time of my life," Patti Stanger told reporters recently about diving back into the dating scene. The Millionaire Matchmaker returns Monday at 9/8c on Bravo as a single gal and shares in her clients' misery. That's right, Stanger has subjected herself to the dreaded mixer process and first date on camera. But will she scare away potential lovers with her notoriously brash and outspoken personality?
"You will see a totally different Patti," she said. "I'm like soft, subdued and submissive when I date. I'm completely different. My ex used to say, 'Can we push the business mode off and go back to, you know, sweet Patti?' I'm really like that in my personal life, and it does come across on camera. ... I'm very quiet when I date."
Although Stanger trusts her COO Destin Pfaff and his fiancée/VP of Matching Rachel Federoff to help make matches for the Millionaire's Club, her own love life is a different story. "I was worried about Destin and Rachel finding my type, which they did not do," she said. "They would love me to go alternative and Goth on them. Not happening. My manager and one of my closest friends [selected for me].
"Whether or not they did good kind of remains to be seen. They kind of mess it up. I wondered if the producers did it on purpose. I pick a guy who's adorable but he's metro. I like rugged [usually], but he was the only blond, and I like blonds ... And there is one rugged guy I pick, but he's totally not for me. You will see what happens. It is disastrous."
Part of her problem might be that she doesn't date a guy who makes the same income as she does. "I tend to date down," she admitted. "The men who are attractive to me are everything from firefighters to regular Joes. I have to be sexually attracted. On my applications, the first thing I say is 'Which would you rather have, looks or money?' And I'm a looks person. Because there's no gray line. Getting looks and money together is really the Chupacabra. That's a hard thing to find. It's not easy, especially when you're my age."
"I think I'd like to date a millionaire, but I never am attracted to my clients," she revealed. "They lead with their negative foot, they tell me all their dark secrets, and I don't see any romance there. So even when they hit on me I'm like 'Yuck!' you know? There have been a lot of guys on camera for the last five years who hit on me and I went, 'Get away!' ... So I don't tend to date millionaires, but it would be nice maybe off camera if I did and date somebody who made equal or more money than me and let them romance me that way. I haven't met anyone like that."
Even as Stanger is getting her own love life sorted out, she's still dispensing advice for the lovelorn — wealthy or otherwise. Check out what she has to say about the upcoming season of Millionaire Matchmaker, her views on the dating habits of stars like Jennifer Lopez and Sandra Bullock, and general rules for anyone seeking their soulmate:
1. Millionairesses = Trouble: "We only have one millionairess this season. They are the suers in the matchmaking industry, so everyone should know that. That's why I don't take females on. I subcontract them out to another agency that only specializes in women. They're very difficult."
2. Your Vibrations Can't Fool Patti: "I've been psychic since I was a child. I ran the Kenny Kingston Psychic Network for eight years. I don't talk about it on the show. I was a practicing astrologer for 10 and I read vibrations. But I never read body language with vibrations, so now I got the full [range from Dr. Lillian Glass]. So it's really cool. I can look at a couple and know what's going to happen just by looking at them. It's kind of weird."
3. Gay Men Don't, But Should, Heed Her "No Sex Before Monogamy" Rule: "I don't know what to tell you people. I tell you not to have sex, and nobody listens to me, you know? I really need to give a speech at GLAAD and say, 'Hey, you know, you need to start listening to me.'"
4. Celebrities Can Enlighten Your Dating: "We have a multimillionaire, probably one of our richest guys, from Vancouver. He believes that when you're pregnant, you need to stop working and be barefoot. ... So I wanted to show him that Tori [Spelling] didn't live off her family's money. She built her own career. She didn't marry rich. We know Dean [McDermott]'s not rich, and that at the time she was pregnant but she didn't know it, and that she could have babies and chickens and cats and dogs [and her career]."
5. Los Angeles Singles > New York Singles: "I think [Los Angeles daters] are appreciative and I think it's a really rough town to be single in as everyone's beautiful here but nobody commits. So when you have Matthew McConaughey as your poster boy living on the beach in a trailer with two kids and dating a Catholic girl who you don't marry, you know, anything goes here. We're the land of anything goes. ... And when the girls become beaten up emotionally they're appreciative, which New York didn't have. They were the bitterest people I had ever seen and they're dumb. They're just dumb people. I mean, smart in business, dumb in love ... I mean they won't date outside their zip code ... So [in] L.A., they listen to me."
6. Celebrity Women Could Use Patti's Help: "I'd probably want to do Sandra Bullock because I feel so bad for her. I feel she's so wounded over Jesse that even though a kid is great, it doesn't take the place of a man. ... [Jennifer Lopez] needs an entrepreneur that lets her shine on the carpet that has way more money than her, like the billionaire status that gives her the world but then lets her walk the carpet alone. ... I mean she was literally engaged to Ben Affleck for five minutes and went straight to Marc Anthony. There was no time to grieve. Come on. You had your wedding a week later planned. So that was ridiculous. They make stupid decisions, most of these people."
7. Share the Wealth Online: "If I were online dating I'd do four at once. That's how I did it back in the day, and I got a boyfriend out of that. You've got to pit them against each other."
8. Follow Your Passion: "One of the reasons my last relationship broke up is because we were friends first and we didn't have a lot of passion. You do get comfortable and complacent in those relationships. But, you know, the je ne sais quoi was missing. So I think whether it's work, love, health, you've got to follow your passion, you know. I think that when we get off the road and we sell out in any of those areas we don't end up happy."
9. Call It a Night: "My grandmother used to say that nothing good happens after 11 at night. Go home."
10. Two Drinks Maximum on a Date: "If you get to third [drink], a woman nine times out of 10 is not a man and cannot take that much alcohol. So they TMI. They tell everything — 'My mom is in jail and my dad left my mother for a younger woman. I have no job. Did I tell you I can't find a job?' And then the guy's like 'What?' So he goes home and processes and they're no longer dating."
11. Let the Man Lead: " The worst thing that can happen is the guy talks at you and brags at you and then you lose interest. And if you over-talk it, you gab away, he falls asleep. His penis goes limp."
12. No Sex Before Monogamy: "Obviously that's a major rule, OK, because oxytocin will kick in. You'll feel like you're in love even if he's a loser."
13. Don't Worry If You're Currently Alone: "He or she is probably right around the corner. It's usually those down times when you have to get into you. And once you get into you, the phone starts ringing. I learned that lesson the hard way especially."
Stanger puts her advice to the test for her clients and herself as the Millionaire Matchmaker on Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo.