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Patti Novak: Matchmaker

Buffalo native Patti Novak isn’t like most typical romance coaches. The owner of the Tonawanda dating service Buffalo Niagara Introductions ( and author of Get Over Yourself! isn’t afraid to dole out a dose of “tough-love” when it comes to finding her clients a mate. In fact, Novak’s plain-spoken honesty and no-nonsense approach were featured in the 2007 A&E series Confessions of a Matchmaker. In honor of Valentine’s Day and lonely hearts everywhere, the Week in Review spoke with Novak in order to glean a little free love advice.

You’re known for your “tough love” approach to matchmaking. Has the dating world gone soft?

A lot of people get stuck in mediocre and unfulfilled relationships because they’re too politically correct and afraid to speak their mind about what they want. People will also go on fourth and fifth and 10th dates even when they are uninterested because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or they are afraid of being alone. I think it’s easier to be alone and lonely than coupled and lonely. At the end of the day, what matters is that you are happy and following the path that is right for you.

Do you believe that opposites attract, or is it better to find someone whose interests closely match yours?

I think that opposites do tend to attract each other, but at the end of the day, we have more respect for the person that mirrors us. As a young person it doesn’t matter so much if your interests, beliefs, and values don’t quite match up, but as we get older those things head to the forefront of importance.

What are some of the biggest mistakes people make on first dates?

People spend too much time and talk too much on first dates. They divulge too much personal information that leaves no air of mystery. People tend to talk about taboo subjects such as past relationships, politics, and religion—all of which are no-no topics. The point of a first date is to see if there is a spark, it’s not a job interview.

Is sex ever reason enough to end an otherwise healthy relationship?

The three most important components of a healthy relationship are respect, sense of humor, and sex. Unless there is a medical reason why sex is a problem, it is definitely a deal-breaker in most cases.

Where are some places in Buffalo for a nice fellow to meet some good, clean girls?

The better question here is where not to pick up dates, for example bars and night clubs. I often use the saying that if you meet ’em at the bar, leave ’em at the bar. The best place to meet well-rounded, like-minded people is at Buffalo Niagara Introductions, of course.

BONUS: Will you be The Week in Review’s Valentine this year?

I’ll have to ask my husband first!

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