For third generation matchmaker Patti Stanger, it’s not the fame that drives her to work, but the desire to help others find their soulmate.With a tough-love approach and no nonsense attitude toward her clients, Stanger’s mission for love is portrayed on her new season of “Million Dollar Matchmaker” on WE tv. The new season features a diverse group of longing-for-love clients attempting to break out of the patterns that are holding them back from long-term relationships.
Besides her own show, Stanger is the co-executive producer of the upcoming Chicago-based docu-series, “Love Inc.,” which will follow an unconventional family running their Windy City matchmaking service, LuvBizChicago. And while Stanger makes sporadic appearances throughout the series, which premieres next year on WE tv, the love guru insists that the show is a forcible program without her — think “Million Dollar Matchmaker” meets “Vanderpump Rules.”
We caught up with Stanger during her visit to Chicago to talk about dating tips and how to land your next summer fling.
S: WE tv feels like a fresh start for “Million Dollar Matchmaker.”
PATTI STANGER: It’s a little more upscale for them — it’s a different kind of viewer. Their viewer is not as affluent as Bravo, but it’s aspirational. You’re not a millionaire, but one day you could be. I was not a millionaire until I was 39. It took me 39 years to figure out how to make my own money as a woman — I’m self-made. Somebody can watch me and say, “I want to do that.” Matchmaking [isn’t] a major in college, which I really would love to see in all these institutions because it’s as old as time. And you can’t really train to do it.
S: How can viewers at home identify with the millionaires you help?
PS: Throw his money away and look at it from a point of view of “I have abandonment issues, I have been left at the altar.” Let’s take their problem, not their affluence and say, “I can relate to that,” because it’s very relatable. We break them of the bad behavior [and] change the cycle. I did something for years in my practice, which is basically when you’re involved with someone who you know is not “the one” and you’re filling this space up, I make you call the person and break up with them. I’ve been doing that for years because my grandmother used to do it. How is a man going to come into your space if your mind is on somebody else even though you know that’s not the person for you? So there’s tricks of the trade — that’s my grandmother’s secret recipe. Maybe I didn’t go to school as a therapist, but I’m pretty much doing the same [thing]. We’ve got a lot of serious [stuff] going on and people want to just fluff it off. Everybody’s been wounded and loved and hurt.
S: What is the hardest piece of advice to swallow that you give out to your clients?
PS: I think the most important thing is grow up. I do this thing called “take your inventory.” You take your 10 most significant relationships and you break them down and see there’s a pattern. We all have a pattern. Break the pattern, start a new life and get the right love life.
Break the pattern, start a new life and get the right love life.
S: Can you tell me about “Love Inc.?”
PS: You can expect a lot of twist and turns. This is a crazy family. It’s a husband and wife and their office manager and their two kids — one is straight and one is gay. Their lives go in 50 million directions. They are uncontrollable. You’re going to see me on the show sporadically, but the truth of the matter is they don’t need me, this show stands on its own. It’s that fabulous. It puts Chicago on the map [and] you can’t invent these characters. It’s kind of like the Manzo’s [from Bravo’s “Manzo’d with Children”] if they were doing matchmaking. It’s crazy — a crazy, cooky family [and] thick as thieves. And there’s a dash of “Vanderpump Rules,” because the recruiters are hot. There is a Stassi and a Jax character — look for it.
S: What’s the biggest difference between single people in Chicago and single people in L.A.?
PS: Single people in Chicago are super nice, but in L.A. they’re quicker to get hooked up sexually. And Chicago does it slower and nicer and better. The problem is [summer’s] only three months. So if they don’t move, they lose and they end up freezing for the next nine months. It’s not a fun time for [singles in Chicago]. The good thing about the Midwest is they will get married, you just have to find the right guy or girl.
S: Can Chicago or L.A. take any tips from the other side?
PS: L.A. needs to learn manners — they have no manners. They don’t open the car door, they don’t pay the valet, they don’t pick your groceries up at the grocery store if, God forbid, you have too many bags. The men here are gentlemen; tall as corn, handsome as hell and gentlemen. L.A. men could definitely take a page of that book.
The men here are gentlemen; tall as corn, handsome as hell and gentlemen. L.A. men could definitely take a page of that book.
S: What’s your advice for landing a final summer fling in Chicago before the cold rolls in?
PS: I would not waste the next six weeks. You’ve got six weeks before it turns cold and the next thing you know it’s Halloween. I wouldn’t waste that time. I’d [go] boating on the lake. The best time to meet someone is in the day. Everybody thinks it’s the night. I know you think you’re going to get more inhibited at night when you drink but the truth of the matter is the best looking guys are hitting the gym, running the lake, playing volleyball in the sand. Go find that athletic guy who’s usually healthy and centered and is getting up at 5 to go to the gym, getting home by 6 to go to bed at 9. You want a normal guy, not a drinker who’s crazy.
Catch Stanger on “Million Dollar Matchmaker” every Friday at 9 p.m. on WE tv.
Photo by Barry Brecheisen