Ben Patton was “Ready for Love,” which is why he agreed to appear on the NBC dating series when he was initially contacted by the show’s executive producer Eva Longoria.
“It was hard to say no when Eva Longoria is on the phone saying, ‘I promise you I am going to be able to find you a great girl,’ so, I dove in,” he tells xfinityTV in an exclusive interview.
The 31-year-old, Dallas resident had returned to the U.S., following several years working overseas, in order to find a lady love. But as the CEO of a private hospital, his time was still limited, so he agreed he could use a little help. He felt “Ready for Love,” which uses professional matchmakers and compatibility tests, might be more on the money than some of the other dating shows.
In this interview, Patton reveals to xfinityTV why he decided to do the show, what his experience was like, what surprised him and more.
Why did you want to do it in the first place?
It is really simple. I had been working pretty much most of my 20s and it took me overseas for a while. I didn’t realize how long I would be over there. It was basically four years before I got back to Dallas. I moved back because I didn’t have much of a personal life. I was burned out on just working, so I was home for six months when I got the call. I thought, “I moved home to have more of a personal life.” The story they pitched, the concept, I thought, was a lot more viable than the other dating shows.
What was it like working with a matchmaker?
I had never done it before. It was a little nerve-wracking at first because a part of you wants to be very specific but then another part of you doesn’t want to come off as too picky. But then they said, “Say everything you think you want because ultimately that helps us identify somebody you are really going to be crazy about.”
It is a challenge. If I asked you to describe your perfect guy, could you describe him to a T? You probably couldn’t, but you could generalize, right? So that is what we were trying to do: Generalize but be as specific as we could, and just hope that they knew what we were trying to say.
What three qualities were you looking for in a partner?
There is that quality that I call “the best friend quality.” Somebody you can completely be yourself around, somebody you are not nervous about being all stinky and sweaty after the gym with, because they are like your best friend. They are somebody you can hang out with at your worst, but they are also someone you can hang out with at your best.
I also would say somebody that I can absolutely trust. There are people who have issues of jealousy in a relationship and, I think, that is because there is not enough trust in the relationship. My girl could go out with Tom Brady, or whatever, and I would be like, “Whatever, I trust her.” That’s the thing. You need to have that level of trust because when you trust someone that much, you are not going to have problems in the relationship.
The third thing is something I call compatibility. I don’t think compatibility is having a lot of similar interests. I think it is ease of communication. You just have to have that ease of communication that no matter what is going on, what you are going to say, you are not scared to say it. If you have that, that is what compatibility is in my mind.
What surprised you most about the experience?
What surprised me most was that throughout it, I realized I was more often getting in my own way than not. I think it is very unusual for anyone to realize that they are sabotaging themselves because they never thought like that. For me, I was so specific about the type of girl I wanted that ultimately that was making it very difficult for me to find a person I would fall in love with. What they showed me is when you are thinking of your type, you are thinking of people you have been in love with, but when you fall in love with someone new, your type will also change.
They had to get me to open up, and when I opened up, I realized they were absolutely right. When I fell for someone new, even though they weren’t my “type,” all of a sudden, my type changed, too. Because now what was my type was different. It is a product of all the people we have been in love with in the past.
What did you think of the selection of women there were to choose from?
I really thought the selection was great. The one curve ball that I was not too happy about was when they brought Kari, a girl who I had dated in the past, onto the show. I thought going into it that this would be a fresh start — all new people, all new experiences. I was supposed to be paying attention to the 11 other women, but when she was thrown into the mix, all of a sudden, 90 percent of my mind was being occupied by the fact that Kari was there. Why is she there? What did she tell them? Do they really know the truth? Things just kept overflowing into my mind. That was the biggest surprise.
What was the hardest elimination?
Sometimes they chose girls because they felt a connection wasn’t being made, but sometimes the matchmakers chose two girls for elimination because they could tell I was falling for both. They said, “You are going to have to choose one, because if you don’t, you’re going to prevent yourself from falling for either one. You will always have both of them in front of you and you will be guarded, which will prevent you from falling for either one.” Essentially, they needed me to send one girl home so I could fall in love with the other. They felt that I never would have gotten 100 percent with one of the girls if the other was there.
I think we try to think things through too much. It comes down to: Who would I rather be sitting down with and sharing pizza and wine with while watching movies? If you break it down to something like that, the person with whom you are comfortable, comfortable is probably going to last the longest. If you are comfortable, you feel safe and you want to feel safe with the person you fall in love with.
Were you able to forget the cameras and really focus on the dates?
It was challenging the first couple of weeks, but you eventually adjust to it. You don’t completely forget, but it is a product of getting used to having them around. It is also a product of becoming close to the camera crew and the sound crew. I think it is insecurity driven because you wonder what the person on the other end of the camera is thinking. But when you become friends with these people and have a couple of beers, all of a sudden you’re not as worried about having the big cameras on you because you are just hanging out with friends.
Do you think your wife is among the candidates?
Yeah, I do think it is possible that my wife could be among the candidates that were there.
“Ready for Love” episodes are now available online, with a new episode posted every Tuesday. The finale will be available on June 9.
Full Episodes of “Ready for Love” Are Available on xfinityTV: