12.21.2010

INTERVIEW: Patti Stanger on Men, Dating, Love & Money

Published in the Winter 2010 issue of Icon Magazine.

What follows are EXCERPTS. For more on the worlds of entertainment and fashion, subscribe to Icon Magazine.

Fresh into a newly NYC-based fourth season of her hit show on Bravo, "The Millionaire Matchmaker", the outspoken Patti Stanger is a busy gal. For a decade she's been running The Millionaire's Club, an exclusive dating service for successful singles in search of ideal mates. She receives millionaire clients through audition videos and interviews before commencing the matching process and is known for her quick tongue and equally quick and accurate compatibility evaluation skills.

In the midst of a characteristically hectic afternoon at the Millionaire's Club, I was lucky enough to speak with Patti about life, love and fashion. She carried on precisely as any fan might imagine - with wit, candor and speed. Ever the multi-tasker, between statements she'd call to assistants, ensuring certain matters were in order and adding an endearingly authentic quality to the conversation. At times I almost had to remind myself to return volley, as listening to Patti's insights is as captivating as watching her program. The questions are Lindsay Meholick's, Lindsay herself being a Florida-based matchmaker and the founder of Behold Florida.

ICON: Have you seen [relationship] values change with the 21st century?

PATTI: We live in a text/disposable society, it's "Next, next, next, next, next!" And that's why you have delayed adolescence. It used to be 40 years old for a mid-life crisis. Well, now it's become 50 and 60. Guys are not getting married, they're not having children, and they're having children out of wedlock. Just walk over the streets of Hollywood, AKA Matthew McConaughey and George Clooney.

I: Did you always know you would go into matchmaking?

P: No, no... I never was going to do it ever, actually.

I: You were more in the fashion world originally, right?

P: I wasn't even in the fashion world. Basically, I was going to be a screenwriter. I went to film school at the University of Miami. I wanted to be Sherry Lansing.

I: What do you feel is the first step for men who struggle with confidence issues?

P: They think they can text the girl and ask her out. They also feel they can talk about other women to her and she's gonna accept it, because they're trying to prove that they're desirable - that women want them. Keep those skeletons at home! And if you can't call me on the phone, you've got issues. If you're e-mailing me and texting me and talking through the internet or the phone, you're a ghost. You're a phantom. That means you've got some serious, serious, serious intimacy issues. A real man wants to pick up the phone and hear your voice.

I: What should a girl not wear on a first date?

P: You should never show all the assets. Too much skin kills the beast. If you want to show a little cleaveage, fine, but then cover your legs or your arms up. Don't reveal the entire package! You wanna leave something for dessert.

I: I do find myself attracted to girls who are more conservative from the get-go.

P: Right, because you want to imagine what she looks like underneath. You want to do the secretary thing. That Maggie Gyllenhaal thing. You wanna go, "Ooh, I wonder what her breasts look like. Ooh, I wonder what her stomach looks like!" You're imagining! And that's what lingers in your mind when you leave the date and that's what makes you want to call me again. If I show everything and you have sex with me, oh my God! You're thinking I'm a whore, I must do this to everybody!

I: So what should men like me be wearing to a first date?

P: Jeans and a t-shirt and a great leather jacket in the Winter is phenomenal, but if you're in Florida you wanna wear a really nice button-down, striped Ben Sherman shirt, a really great pair of Rock & Republic jeans and cool sneakers if you're doing the Converse thing... or if you can't afford really nice, expensive shoes. But when you do the Gucci loafer, no socks on, white pants and the striped pink and white shirt, you either signal 'gay' or that you're a pansy man. I'm gonna walk across the street. I wanna see my rugged guy. And most women say to me, "We don't want metro!" This is an urban myth. No one wants to date their girlfriend. I wanna know that you hit the gym. If you're in Florida and you've got a little short sleeve on, like a Donna Karan t-shirt, I wanna see a little pop at the end of the sleeve, you know?

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