Before her days as Bravo’s glamorous “Millionaire Matchmaker,” University of Miami alumna Patti Stanger studied screenwriting, lived in the Mahoney-Pearson dorms and frequented Bagel Emporium (for her signature scooped bagel with chicken salad and melted muenster).
With a lifelong interest in matchmaking, Stanger recognized it as her true passion and began her own business in 2000 upon moving to California. Becoming the highly successful Millionaire’s Club International, her endeavor caught Bravo’s attention, winning her a hit show, which debuted in January 2008. Viewers ate up her blunt advice and candid remarks; “Millionaire Matchmaker” is currently in its third season.
The third-generation matchmaker and UM graduate of ’83 recently sat down with The Miami Hurricane to discuss her college experience and offer advice for those looking for love in Miami.
The Miami Hurricane: What first interested you in the University of Miami?
Patti Stanger: “[It was] the only good school in the country that had a really good communications film department, other than NYU and USC,” she said. “That was my dream, to be a screenwriter… I learned so much there to be honest with you.”
TMH: What is one of your favorite memories of your time at UM?
PS: “[I took this] one class with Professor Masterson who taught us about LSD and tripping and stuff, and then the next thing you know we’re on the beach, lying in the sun, having margaritas. School was a party.”
TMH: Did you set up any friends while you were a student at UM?
PS: “I hooked my best friend up with her husband actually. She was dating an asshole from U of M, and I made her go back to her boyfriend from high school who was at another college nearby. He was the best dude she’d ever find and I made her aware of it.”
TMH: How could you tell this was the best guy for your friend?
PS: “The way he treated her. He showed up every weekend at school, he gave her flowers on right occasions and bought her gifts. He constantly was calling to check in. If she had a bad day at school she could talk her ear off to him… it was like her best friend plus sex, and you’re not going to get any better than that.”
TMH: How can students spot the difference between a loser and a romantic interest with potential?
PS: “If he’s seeing you in the dorm, but not during the day, or if he’s just passing by you at the LC building, he’s not your guy. He’s not going to call you at the last minute for a booty call and ignore you during the day. The day[time] is the most critical element, when people’s true colors come out.”
TMH: On a college campus the dating scene can be difficult to navigate. What’s your opinion on hooking up?
PS: “Women need to learn how to take their power back. Just because [guys are] not asking out and wanting to hook up, and having naked parties in the dorms doesn’t mean you have to say yes. You have to be a boundaries girl and stop the flow… Are you going to give it all away for two margaritas and freaking Olive Garden?”
TMH: What is the best dating advice you could give to college students?
PS: “Take chances, take risks and if you’re a guy, ask girls out. If 15 girls say no, the 16th is going to say yes. But ask women out. If you’re a girl, be receptive to the invitation and always take the date, because you never know who he knows… Always pay it forward and play the six degrees game, and you’re more likely to expand your net into new waters. I used to date Miami-Dade guys because my best friend went there and they were better. They were taking me out, taking me to dinner and salsa dancing at night. The U of M guys weren’t doing that. They were lazy and just wanted to smoke pot and eat pizza in the dorm.”
TMH: What do you gain personally out of matchmaking?
PS: “Every time you hook somebody up, you pay it forward to your next sister and brother. So what that means is God is watching; the universe, whether you like it or not has a credit and debit plan, and your number will come up eventually, and someone will do it for you. It’s called the law of physics. Good energy has to come back to you. Energy has to fly, check your science department on that.”
TMH: You have such a dynamic personality. How would you describe your approach to life?
PS: “My approach to life is to take each minute like it’s your last, to the point where you gotta carpe diem it. You’ve got to take risks, you’ve got to take action and you’ve got to be happy about it. We all have to do stuff we don’t love to get where we want to be, but the bottom line is that you don’t have to be negative about it… People don’t realize that it’s all about your attitude.”
A game of association with Patti Stanger…
College romances: “Nonexistent, needs help.”
Fraternity boys: “Probably the best kept secret, if they would only grow up.”
Sorority girls: “Have the advantage but don’t always use it.”
Friends with benefits: “No friends with benefits, because it leads to oxytocin-bonding, which leads to falling in love with a loser.”
University of Miami: “American, Syracuse, nobody’s got a candle to us. We have South Beach for crying out loud. USC and UCLA don’t even have what we have; we’ve got it all down there.”
The library: “Wasn’t always my favorite place, but I still had to go there. But I used to make out in the law library all the time. The best guys are in the law library by the way, not the med school, because med students have no time, but that’s the best kept secret. The lawyers are the ones making the money anyway, after all this with healthcare, good luck to the doctors now.”
Check out Patti Stanger’s new book, “Become Your Own Matchmaker: 8 Easy Steps for Attracting Your Perfect Mate” for more advice on how to spice up your love life. **Include photo of book cover**
Danielle Kaslow may be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.