IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Getty Images / TODAY Illustration

'Millionaire Matchmaker' Patti Stanger on what we can learn from Taylor Swift

The outspoken TV host dishes on her dating life, redheads and gender roles.

Matchmaking was Patti Stanger’s destiny.

Growing up in New Jersey, she watched her grandmother and mom pair up couples from her local temple. Stanger was adopted, so while she knows the talent isn't genetic, she believes her matchmaking abilities are “innate” and cultivated by her upbringing.

The first time a teenage Stanger put her matchmaking powers to the test was at a high school dance.

“I saw the boys on one side and the girls on the other and kind of pulled them together,” she tells One of her friends ended up dating one of the guys throughout high school.

Stanger eventually got into professional matchmaking when she was 30, living in Florida, working as a hostess and “bored out of her mind.” One day, Stanger's mom circled an ad for a dating service called Great Expectations — the rest is history. "I learned the craft and eventually saw I could do it better," she says.

Today, Stanger is known as the professional matchmaker behind the entertaining, quotable and somewhat controversial Bravo show “Millionaire Matchmaker.” In it, she paired high net worth individuals with other singles at “mixers,” where all nearly participants were groomed and advised ahead of their group date — sometimes with very blunt assessments.

“Millionaire Matchmaker” was on the air from 2008 to 2015, and has recently gained a newfound fame and fans since coming to Netflix. There, some of Stanger's “Patti-isms” have been re-evaluated through a modern cultural lens, like her apparent distaste for red hair and curly locks.

“That redhead thing ... the clients didn't want a redhead. It got out of hand. I love redheads. I would take that back,” she says. However, she stands by her style advice: “Every mixer that I did a girl's hair color, the man would pick them. It was shocking.”

Patti Stanger and Nick Viall on "Patti Stanger: The Matchmaker - “Ready for Love."
Patti Stanger and Nick Viall on “Patti Stanger: The Matchmaker”The CW

Stanger didn't hold back during her show's seven-year run — an approach that made perfect sense to her amid an early aughts TV landscape. “It was a time of snarkiness. You had to have edge. We're in a time of ‘nice’ now. You can't be like that anymore,” she says.

Initially, Stanger was “shocked” the show came to Netflix given what she says is a change in cultural norms. “I was like, ‘Am I going to be cancelled because of this?’ I called out a lot of people,” she says.

Now, she's co-hosting a new CW show “The Matchmaker,” with former “Bachelor” turned podcast host, Nick Viall. Set to debut on April 11, the unscripted series shows a different side of Stanger, one that she says is more toned down.

“I was angry in those days (on ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’). I’m completely different,” she says. She quickly follows that up with, “I do get nasty to two people. Both of them deserved what I gave them.”

The new series shows more of the “counseling” side to the matchmaking process, which her other series also touched on — often in the titles, which labeled people by their dating issues: “The Princess,” “The Man Boy,” “The Shallow Hal.”

“It’s more about, ‘Why do you keep doing the same things you’re doing? Why are you not waking up to the reality that you’re the common denominator?’” she says. “We give them tools and tasks to fix their pattern.”

Stanger says her harshness exists for good reason — she believes 60% of her job is “fixing the person's patterns” and changing their mindsets. The “gift is they get a person in the end.”

Patti Stanger on season 7 of "The Millionaire Matchmaker."
Patti Stanger on season 7 of "The Millionaire Matchmaker."Bravo / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

“Your mind and your beliefs create your reality. If you think negative thoughts and you think negatively about dating and love, all of a sudden, Mr. Right's not going to just pop in your lap or show up at your door. You have to shake that tree for the good fruit to come down,” she says.

Ultimately, her dream is to return to “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” taking into account today’s dating landscape. “Biology hasn’t changed, just the technology. You have to show the new way of dating now,” she says.

As for her own love life? She, too, is seeking love online.

Stanger, who calls herself “super metaphysical and spiritual,” says she takes the advice she doles out on the show. Some of those “Patti-isms” include, a two drink maximum on a date and “no sex before monogamy.”

The latter, she says she rarely breaks. “I had a one night stand in my 20s, which I don’t recommend,” she says. Then, after her engagement ended in 2010, she went a little bit wild, which she likens to “cleaning the pipes out.”

“But I was older, and the oxytocin wasn't so strong. I don't recommend it. You won't get to the destination of the relationship like that,” she says.

Even if you don't end up as a contestant on Stanger's dating show, she has a few suggestions for finding love. Stanger suggests taking a page out of Taylor Swift's book, specifically in regards to her relationship with football player Travis Kelce.

“Listen to Taylor Swift and level the f--- up. This girl waited for the right one. Women have to level up and say no to the a-----,” she says. “I know everyone is getting married and you're looking at all your friends. But you have to wait. Good things come to those who wait.”

Stanger's goal? For more women to say “no.” “Not that they're critical and their list is to the floor. A lot of people stay too long in the party in their relationships,” she says.

She took her own advice when, earlier this week, a man she was dating “raged on her” over the phone. She didn't think too hard about her reaction.

“Click, hang up. Don't try to fix them.”