When people ask if I’m like Patti Stanger, I have to admit: I sort of cringe. First, I don’t make matches. Period. I coach people to become better daters, but I don’t introduce them to potential matches.
Second, the show is about finding love based on a person’s characteristic – being rich – rather than a person’s character – like being honest and having integrity. That pretty much goes against my core dating beliefs.
Because the truth is just because a guy is a millionaire and you really want someone rich, doesn’t mean he’s a good match for you. While I get that we all want a financially stable partner, men who achieve millionaire status may be lacking the true values you want in a man. For example, will he be able to make it to your son’s basketball game after school, or will he be stuck at the office – again? Will he eat dinner with the family, or will he stay in the city and eat at his desk? The point is being a millionaire is a nice perk, but it’s not something you can build a relationship on.
I’ll talk more about that later, but first let’s review how the show works before I dive into my critique…
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How the Show Works…
For those of you who don’t watch, here’s a quick rundown of how The Millionaire Matchmaker works.
Each episode opens with the millionaire matchmaker herself, Patti Stanger, interviewing two, single millionaires who are looking for love. In order to get to the bottom of who these guys are and what they’re looking for, she asks a ton of questions about their dating history, like:
- Why are you single?
- What are you looking for?
- Who is your dream girl?
- Do you want kids?
- Are you a boobs, butt, or legs man?
- What was your last relationship like?
Once she has a feel for who these guys are and what they’re looking for, she gives them some quick advice on how to be a successful dater. This advice is always pretty standard like, “date women closer to your age” and “steer clear of the gold diggers”. Nothing revolutionary here.
After a quick commercial break, we see Patti in her office, vetting women for the upcoming mixer, where the millionaires will get to meet dozens of beautiful women who were handpicked just for them. Hopeful women parade into Patti’s office three or four at a time, and she’s looking for everything her millionaires asked for in terms of personality, lifestyle, and appearance. Not everyone is up to Patti’s high standards though, and she’s known to deliver harsh advice like, “That color is awful on you”, “That dress makes you look huge”, and “You look like a poodle – straighten your hair.” Ouch. It may make for good TV, but her insults make me cringe. I would NEVER speak to a client like that!
If you’ve never witnessed Patti’s insults on the show, here’s a quick clip to give you an idea of how it all goes down:
Pretty harsh, right?!
Once Patti has chosen a handful of potential women for each millionaire, the mixer can finally begin! The millionaires are instructed to chat with everyone in attendance, and choose two women get to know better.
Then they get some private, one-on-one time with each of those two women to talk more intimately and make a connection. At the end of these conversations – also known as “mini dates” – the millionaires announce the ONE woman they like best – the “winner” of the mixer who gets to go on a 24-hour “Master Date” with their millionaire.
And that, ladies, is where the magic happens. The millionaires take their respective dates on extravagant excursions that reflect their personalities. For example, think a private yacht ride and five-star dinner for a millionaire who loves to sail, and a chartered plane ride to Vegas for a millionaire who’s into gambling. Once they’re on the date, they just have to follow Patti’s main rule – no sex before monogamy! – and try to make a connection.
After the date, Patti grills both the millionaires and their companions for details to get a feel for how the dates went, and who wants to go out again. If any mistakes were made – like sex before monogamy – Patti berates the offending party, and sometimes kicks them out of the millionaire’s club all together.
Where I think The Millionaire Matchmaker falls short…
While I must admit that it’s fun to ogle the bachelorettes and criticize them for their bimbo-esque qualities (we all do it – no matter how spiritual we are!), Patti could deliver the criticism in a way that doesn’t destroy their dignity. And even though I enjoy watching the extravagant dates, they really are excessive and unrealistic – not at all what a normal, everyday woman experiences out in the dating jungle.
That said, I think both the men and the women on this show could benefit from more substantive coaching from Patti. While the men get advice (vs. coaching) along the way, it’s not nearly enough, and the women are left entirely to their own devices! As a viewer and dating coach, it pains me to watch some of the women show up in their “masculine” or go into fantasy thinking immediately – something I see all too often in the real world as well.
Overall, my main gripe with this show is that too much emphasis is placed on appearances, surface beauty, and wealth, and not enough time is spent preparing the men and women to be successful at the mixer and on the actual date – skills that would serve them long-term as they continue on their journey to find love.
DWD Contest Alert: I want to hear from YOU!
Are you a “Patti Fan?” Now that you know how I feel about The Millionaire Matchmaker, I want to hear your opinion!
Tell me: If YOU were producing your own reality dating show like The Millionaire Matchmaker, how would you make it better? What aspects of the original show would you keep, and what would you change? Leave your opinion in the comment box below by this Saturday, because whoever posts the most insightful comment by then will receive a super amazing free product from the DWD shop!