Shares His Tough Love
by Ronald Sklar
The host of the VH1 hit explains how it’s cruel to be kind.
“I don’t think we’ve learned anything from success,” claims VH1’s Tough Love host Steve Ward. “We’ve learned everything from failure. So if you have the courage to accept the fact that maybe you’re the problem, and if you were to do things differently, you might invite different results. I think that’s the best place to possibly begin.”
So it begins. Again. Tough words from this tough guy who breaks down the girls and makes them cry. But it’s all in the name of Tough Love, the smash hit series that gets to the root — and it’s a bad, withered, decayed root —of why love and endless dating doesn’t work for some women. The goal: weed out the bad habits, the bad attitudes and the bad karma. Plant a new field and sow a new crop. And rejoice in the new harvest, before millions of viewers. Amen.
“It’s really cathartic,” Ward says of his show’s unblinking method of examination. “It’s about breaking these women down. Getting them to admit their responsibility, their part of the share of the blame. And then to forgive them for it and give them the opportunity to redeem themselves by practicing virtues and techniques and skills that let them become the woman a guy would want to be in a relationship with.”
It must be working. The show is in its fourth season and Ward, a former model and mortgage broker who started a matchmaking business with him mom, JoAnn, has become the go-to relationship advice guy. No psychobabble. No bullshit. It’s actually simple.
“Love is a connection,” Ward says. “Love is a bond between two things. I have a love of snowboarding. I have a love of art and music. And I have a love of people, romantic and platonic. It’s a real, pure connection. And you don’t really feel any threat that will come to you as a result of this thing, whatever it may be.”
This understanding of love gets tested in a new way, in the show’s exotic and unusual New Orleans locale.
“It’s a departure from what we’re used to,” Ward says of this season’s backdrop. “New Orleans lets us really showcase how different dating is from Miami or LA. New Orleans is so unique. It’s unlike anything else in the country.”
As well, the tough love gets tougher as increasingly sophisticated technology becomes more pervasive (and intrusive) in our lives.
He says, “There is more noise than ever before. There is more distortion of that connection due to the use of information technology and the fact that it’s evolving so vastly. It’s actually forcing sociological change that really supersedes our biological instincts. Technology itself is beginning to personify all of our strengths and all of our weaknesses.”
With the removal of the former stigma of internet dating, a new culture, with rules both sensical and nonsensical, have sprung up and added to the mass confusion.
“We are getting more and more opportunity to meet people than ever before, simply because they are photogenic,” Ward says of digital dating. “Twenty years ago, when you didn’t have the worldwide web or mobile apps, you had to go out and rely on chance and just meet people in public and word of mouth. It was a lot more labor intensive to attract the attention of possible suitors. So now our instincts have to change accordingly. We have to adapt in our technique and our skills and what we know, and use them to our advantage when it comes to forming relationships.”
But how? How? By watching Tough Love, of course. And taking notes.
Find out more about Steve and Tough Love here: www.vh1.com/shows/tough_love/season_4/series.jhtml
Find out more about Steve’s matchmaking service, Master Matchmakers, here: http://mastermatchmakers.comPhoto Credits:#1 © 2012. Courtesy of VH1. All rights reserved.#2 © 2012. Courtesy of VH1. All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: May 23, 2012.