Three American bachelors, including successful Texan Ben Patton, decided to amp up the search for the perfect match by participating in a new romantic reality experience called "Ready for Love." Executive producer Eva Longoria, along with three top matchmakers and glittering celeb couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic, took an intense approach, working closely with Patton and his fellow bachelors in his search.
Despite a wealth of amazing life experiences, a well-used passport, and dual degrees in systems engineering and economics, finding the woman of his dreams has eluded Patton -- until now. In a recent interview with the dashing yet humble southerner, Ben shared with me his love lessons and relationship tips.
MB: What love lessons have you learned from working with a matchmaker?
BP: I learned a few things that surprised me, like I had to stop filtering. I had to quit judging a relationship's potential by my preconceived ideas; that to find my ideal partner, I had to become aggressive and active in that search. I needed to spend quality time developing a relationship, just like I have in other areas of my life.
What was the craziest love advice you ever received from a friend or a loved one?
I actually value the advice that people close to me give. They really know me! A friend encouraged me to push the personal boundaries, to seek someone that made me feel a little uncomfortable, someone who pushed me to be better, that didn't just tell me what I wanted to hear. I took that advice to heart.
Did it work?
(Laugh) I'd say that it did. I am enjoying an incredible process.
What were you looking for in a partner?
Some of the elements key to me I can't quantify, but specifically, I knew my match had to be a great mother, that means a lot to me. I also wanted to feel the nervousness of a relationship again but have a sustained excitement about life together, about the future. I found that it doesn't matter what age you are - you can capture that excitement in a meaningful way.
What would you say to women looking for "the one?"
First, don't give up hope - it's just a matter of time before you find the right person for you. Second, do try online dating because many sincere men are turning to legitimate dating sites.
What would you say to men searching for their perfect match? Would you offer the same advice?
I would definitely encourage men to try online dating but I would add, from my own experience, that you should know what you want. Know thyself. It's not right to carry women along when you don't truly understand what you are looking for. Know what your deal breakers are then go from there. Bouncing along, hoping to meet the woman of your dreams is not an effective strategy for real love.