Patti Stanger is no stranger to South Florida.
"I spent my whole life there, practically," Stanger says in a phone interview. "My grandmother lived in the Presidential Towers right next to the Diplomat [in Hollywood], so that was our go-to in the summer and during vacations."
After graduating from the University of Miami, the Bravo star went to work for the Boca Raton-based matchmaking firm Great Expectations. "I knew I could do it well," she says, "because I learned matchmaking from my mom and grandmother."
Stanger left the Sunshine State in the late 1990s and traded her Hollywood, Fla., ZIP code for the California version. But she had to adjust to a less-hectic way of living. "In the East Coast, we talk fast, we say what we mean, and get the job done," says Stanger, whose "Millionaire Matchmaker" airs Tuesdays on Bravo. "I got to California, and the people were like, 'Who are you, and what are you doing?"
Stanger, now a household name thanks to her Bravo TV show, says she could do without the fame and fortune. It's love that keeps her in business. "When I see two people get together," she says, "and they don't know each, and I get to introduce them, it's like a drug, an addiction."
At 11 p.m. Tuesday on Bravo, she'll present "Patti Stanger's Valentine's Day Special" during the show "Watch What Happens Live!" Her advice to singles: Don't stay home and sulk.
"That is my favorite thing about South Florida," she says. "You have a million things that you can do: athletics, water sports, charity events, art festivals. ... There is always something going on. Don't depend on your friends or family. Once in a while, go out by yourself and find hobbies and interests that stimulate you."
To read more about Stanger, go to her website Pattistanger.sheknows.com.