Why I Am Not The Millionaire Matchmaker


past few months, everywhere I go, people ask me what I think of “The Millionaire Matchmaker” – both the show and the woman starring in it, Patti Stanger.

So, for the record, I have only seen one episode – the first one – because a friend of mine was one of the millionaires showcased on it. Like most reality shows, it did not make him look great. But the other millionaire on the show looked even worse. From what I recall, he was a man in his mid-40’s from Malibu who wanted to settle down with a woman in her 30’s – but couldn’t help the fact that he was attracted to one of the brainless 24-year-old hotties. Hilarity ensues, as he ignores Patti’s sage advice (“Don’t go for the bimbo I set you up with!”) and goes on an awkward horseback ride with the young model, who, predictably, has nothing to say.

Without seeing any of Season 2, I’m pretty sure that this is the plot of at least half of the episodes. Which makes me wonder aloud: what’s the appeal of this show?

Do you view it as pure entertainment, like watching Desperate Housewives?

Do you view it as therapy, where you learn something about the universal problems of dating   from an experienced matchmaker?

Or is it, as I suspect, pure schadenfreude?

Do we just like watching rich men and beautiful women look bad to make us feel better about ourselves?

It’s impossible for me to say why Patti Stanger is a phenomenon right now. My guess is that it’s the same reason that Donald Trump is a bigger “star” than other real estate moguls. While not uniquely qualified – and believe me, I’m not “uniquely qualified” either –   her ego – and business model – is strangely magnetic.

We’re fascinated with the rich. We’re consumed by celebrity.

We pay attention to those who speak the loudest (Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Jim Rome), and anoint them royalty.

What results is a world in which insight takes a back seat to volume and self-promotion.

And while we’re better off on an entertainment level, I’m pretty sure we’re losing on a deeper level.

Last month, the Dr. Phil show called me to ask me to “debate” Patti Stanger on their show. It never came to pass, but when I was gearing up, I asked a producer for an example of the kind of advice Patti gives. Here is what I was told she offered to one woman who stated her desire to meet a wealthy man:

“You want to meet a lawyer? Go stand outside a courthouse!”


Let’s just say I’m glad I’m a https://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/” target=”_blank”>dating coach instead of a matchmaker to the rich and clueless.

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  1. 41

    @A-L post #36

    But Patti was particularly ticked off that he took her to a hamburger place and had the audacity to doubt the true intentions of any of the girls in her Millionaire Club.

    The only reason I can see for those women not being gold diggers is that they are aspiring actresses who are looking to network and be seen on television.

    If they are just looking for good men they can save themselves a lot of money,time,trouble by going on Match or buying some of EMK’s books 🙂

  2. 42

    I actually think the millionaire on that episode got a bad rap. Was the test a nice, honest thing to do? Absolutely not. But I think he sort of got confused between downplaying his status in real life versus meeting someone via the Millionaire Matchmaker.

    If a millionaire didn’t want to attract the golddiggers then I would expect them to lead rather normal dating lives, at least for first phase or so of dating before starting to give off a clue that they might be slightly better off than average. What I mean by this is go to a hamburger place, or a minor league baseball game, or whatever. Don’t rent a ski mountain or go on a yacht cruise or splurge on 5* restaurants on the first date. And downplay the money stuff (I have enough, or I get by when the subject comes up).

    Because even if we don’t like the word test, you do need to figure out someone’s intentions. Same way if a foreigner wanting to emigrate to the U.S. falls violently in love with you once they find out you’re an American. Is it you that they’re interested in or their legal entry into the U.S.? Same thing if it’s fame, celebrity, power, or whatever.

    And many daters view dating as a series of tests. How are they with their family? How do they treat the waiter? What are they like after a bad day, or after I’ve had a bad day, or we’ve spent a week together on vacation by ourselves? If they pass the test, you still date them. If they flunk then they’re out of the picture, or at least on the way out.

    So even though the millionaire’s test was pretty stupid since he’d presumably already been vetted by Patti and was meeting this girl through her, I don’t think the idea of testing a date is totally out of line with current practices. This one was just badly planned and executed.

  3. 43

    In that MM episode the guy went too far; by testing her he made his wealth as much of an issue as a golddigger would, but came across as phoney and pretentous. If a woman’s a true shallow golddigger I’d think any guy who’s smart would figure it out soon enough.

    And Steve #40, you’re right. My point was that it’s kind of refreshing to see guys given good advice for a change, whereas much of the advice out there seems to be geared towards women.

  4. 44

    @A-L #42, since I haven’t seen this episode I have to tread lightly here, but I think there is a difference between observing how people behave (a test as it were) and setting up false circumstances to force a reaction out of someone.

    Non-millionaire guys tend to put their best foot forward on a date- no ski-lodge dates of course but they wash their car, pick a decent place for dinner, don’t drag all of their skeletons out of the closet at once. Based on what I’ve heard this guy did, he behaved extra ‘badly’ on purpose. He out and out lied.

    I’m all for observing people’s behaviors, and feel you have to do since the point of dating to get to know someone, but I can’t do the false tests thing.

  5. 45

    @Downtowngal, post #43

    And Steve #40, you’re right. My point was that it’s kind of refreshing to see guys given good advice for a change, whereas much of the advice out there seems to be geared towards women.

    I agree with EMK’s usual line. Women are the *frequent* subjects of constructive criticism because they are the ones paying for dating advice. The guns are turned on the men in MM, because in that circumstance the men are paying for the help.

  6. 46

    I’m left with the feeling it is more about ratings and her ego than helping the guy out. Example:

    There was a young christian midwest farmer for an all white community. On the way to meeting him she goes on and on about how narrow minded he will be (isn’t that kind of narrow minded in itself, since she hadn’t met him at that point). She obseses about the fact that he’s never had a in depth conversation with a black woman. It came down to a black girl, patti was pushing, and a blonde with a farming background who seemed to be a perfect fit (patti grudgingly admitted the same), but rather than making a good match she kept pushing for the black girl.

    Giving the guys exactly what they want isn’t neccessarily good matchmaking but suckering them into making bad choices doesn’t help either.

    Also the girls all seem to be aspiring actess/models. A few get labled enterpeners and profesionals but when you look at them and how they talk, they come across as airhead models.

    Then there is the issue of 99% success, which is never defined and has since been changed to a much more vague very high success rate. What is the definition? A second date, engaged, married, married for a certain amount of time? Do they still count as success if they divorce after a year? This “third genration” matchmaker has only been in the buisness for 9 years.

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