In matchmaker terms, Ben Patton is what you would call a real catch.He's a successful businessman, the CEO of Integrity Transitional, a private hospital in his hometown of Denton.He's got matinee-idol good looks.And -- this is very important -- he's not afraid of commitment.It's hard to believe that a guy like this, someone with so much to offer, would need help from a TV dating show to find a mate. Yet that's precisely where Patton has turned.He's one of three men culling through custom-made lists of 12 desirable and marriageable women on NBC's Ready for Love, which premieres at 8 p.m. Tuesday.Patton, who lives in a condo in Victory Park, the multibillion-dollar Dallas development that he helped make a reality, was approached in 2008 about starring in The Bachelor.He declined, because he wasn't ready to settle down. He was too busy focusing on a career in high finance, which included living in Dubai and working for the royal family of Abu Dhabi.But now, at age 31, Patton is a different man with different priorities.He continues to invest in businesses across the globe, but he's also making an investment in his personal life."When I hit 30, that's when I started to reflect," Patton says. "I had spent the better part of my 20s cranking it out on my career. And there's an upside to that. I really got ahead. But the downside is all of my friends have moved on to the next stage in life where they have wives and kids, and I don't have anyone."And my days of going out and clubbing all night are behind me. I did that. I had my fun. Now I'd rather be a little bit boring. I'm the 'let's go have dinner, maybe a glass of wine and then go to the house and order a movie' kind of guy. I've just moved on."The producers of Ready for Love also happened to call at exactly the right time, with exactly the right pitch."It's funny how I got here," Patton says. "The company [responsible for casting participants on The Bachelor] kept my details on file. One day in 2011, they shot me an email. "Hey, are you still overseas?' I said, 'No, I've just moved back to Dallas.'"But I told them I still wasn't high on The Bachelor. For one thing, the romances on that show don't ever seem to work out. Then they sold me on the fact that this show is different."For starters, the way Ready for Love introduces the men and women is different."This show has professional matchmakers who met me and asked what I'm looking for in a spouse," Patton says. "Then they searched using my criteria. That's very different from the Bachelor way, which is done through a casting agent."Another key difference: Ready for Love doesn't require a marriage proposal. Not that Patton is afraid of marriage. He's definitely ready. But he's not fond of the idea of forcing a proposal if the feelings aren't there to support it.And did we mention that Eva Longoria, formerly of Desperate Housewives, is one of the executive producers? That was a selling point, as well. Because when a famous and beautiful actress takes a personal interest in your relationship status, it's hard to resist."She was very involved in every aspect of the show," Patton says. "It's a testament to her as a person, because she could have just thrown her name on this. But she chose to get involved not just on the creative side, but she also took us three guys under her wing."We were like her little brothers. She was always calling. 'How are things going? How are things with so-and-so?' It was really sweet."Here's what Patton told the matchmakers he wanted in a mate:"The way I described it was, 'Look, I'm not needing a Victoria's Secret model. A girl next door is probably more my type.' I want someone who's sweet and can become my best friend, someone I'm 100 percent comfortable with and the kind of woman who is going to raise my kids with me the right way."Although Patton can't reveal any spoilers, he will share this much: "I don't think it's a spoiler to tell you I found someone," he says. "But I can't tell you who it is. That would be the real spoiler."So it turns out that reality TV romance was the way to go."I know it's crazy," Patton says. "It's not the conventional way of meeting someone. But I also know I didn't want to be watching this show a year later and see a girl that I'm like, 'I could have met her. She might have been the one.'"
Ready for Love
8 p.m. Tuesday
Meet the other North Texans of 'Ready for Love'
Ready for Love is a reality show with a distinct Texas flavor.
In addition to native North Texan Ben Patton, 11 of the 36 women on the show live in Texas. Three of them call North Texas home:
Kari Krakowski, 27, lives in Dallas. She is one of Patton's 12 matches. She met Ben before the show, when she first moved to Dallas, and they began dating. Because of their busy schedules, they ended it and decided to remain friends. That said, she thinks Ben is the perfect man for her and now she's ready to take a leap of faith. She thinks her previous connection with Ben will reignite their flame.
Elizabeth Capela, 30, also lives in Dallas. She is one of the women matched with Ernesto Arguello, an entrepreneur from Miami. As a fifth-grade English teacher, Capela thrives on putting her heart into her lessons and helping her pupils grow. Her background as an educator might mesh nicely with Ernesto's passion for charitable causes.
Erica Larson, 25, of Addison is also matched with Ernesto. She's a recent Texas State University grad, with a degree in fashion merchandising, and she works in the fashion industry. Having watched her parents, who have been happily married for 38 years, Erica believes in true love and is ready for sometime who will love her unconditionally.