Starting this week, Master Matchmaker and VH1 Tough Love commander Steve Ward will weigh in with his thoughts on each episode of his show. Below, among things he talks about are Jessa’s fitness phobia, why discussing religion and politics are bad ideas for first dates, and what was up with that zapper.
Are the guys that you have the girls meet (i.e. the trainers, the speed-date guys, the other-date guys) all potential suitors?
It’s sort of a general attitude I have: you can meet the love of your life anywhere. You just have to be receptive to it. I don’t think the trainers were expecting to be matches for any of the girls. I don’t even think they realized they were going to be on a dating show going into it. I think they just understood that they were there to train these women. And the women had the expectation that they were there to get trained.
What was your opinion on Jessa’s reluctance to work out?
I think she’s absolutely ridiculous. I think she’s got a lot of nerve talking about problem areas when she could be a runway model if she worked out, like, twice a week. If she had one iota of interest in being a physically fit individual, she wouldn’t have the insecurities she has. She needs to quit crying about it and do something about it. That agitated the living daylights out of me. There are a lot of people at home who truly struggle with their weight that would pay to have a body like hers with the metabolism she has. She was on that treadmill for no longer than 30 seconds at 4.5 miles an hour and, “I think I’m gonna vomit”? Give me a break. It was ridiculous. I think she was pandering to the audience.
When you walk in the room, the girls scream. They already love you.
If I worked with all these girls individually and they didn’t all live together in a house, there’d be a lot more push-back. They wouldn’t be able to see the change or logic in the dealings with the others. The purpose of the group therapy and the purpose of the lessons is so that they can address issues that the other girls have and then they’ll see, “OK, this guy has a point. If his point is valid for the six other girls around me, his point can be valid for me, too.” I demonstrated to them on a personal basis that I know what I’m talking about by giving them insight on their lives that they didn’t previous have.
That seemed to be the case with Jody, particularly.
Jody, love her or hate her, is the most mature of the bunch. It stands to reason that she’s the first to really catch on.
I thought it was ironic that the show is called VH1 Tough Love, but you gave her a hug at the end of your one-on-one. That’s love-love.
This isn’t a clinical treatment. I care about these women and I want to give them affection, attention and validation. I want them to realize that I care about them. This isn’t just a project. I’m really emotionally invested in them.
Do you ever find yourself attracted to people you’re helping set-up?
Yes, but none of these women.
Because of how bad their problems are. Their problems are what keep men away. They’re all very attractive women. If they weren’t riddled with these ridiculous handicaps, they’d be more attractive. People might be offended by my choice of words, but these are emotional handicaps. When you’re thinking about someone as a mate and a partner, it’s hard to have a sense of security with that person if you feel that they’re disabled in some way.
Arian seems particularly eager to announce what you would call her disabilities.
Arian is in a deep, deep state of denial. It’s actually kind of depressing. She’s in this perpetual state of denial and can’t realize that she’s her problem. Trusting men has nothing to do with it. It’s what caused the problem, but it’s not how you uproot it.
You say that people shouldn’t discuss religion or politics on a first date. But it seems to me that talking about those things is a great way to weed out any ideological mismatches.
I completely agree, but unfortunately, most people aren’t skilled in the ways of the mouth. They’re not capable of choosing their words correctly and saying things without agitating the other person. They’re not all politicians.
Is it a matter of people misrepresenting themselves by their words?
No, I think it’s a matter of people picking fights when they aren’t necessary.
What about the zapper? How strong was that zap?
On some of the girls, it was stronger than others. When they were testing it out, Stasha kept acting like she was so tough and it didn’t bother her. I think it may have been turned up for fear that it wasn’t working or that the batteries were running out. She was really upset after the exercise. She was hurt by it.
Was it a hand-buzzer?
It’s a sex toy. It’s electrolysis. It’s a stim. It’s what a chiropractor would put on your back if he was trying to get your back to relax. It’s nothing big.
Any thoughts on Jessa’s big success on her date?
It didn’t surprise me at all. I knew she was a match for that guy.
What about Jody’s failure?
No surprise there, either. What’s interesting is that they get to see each other again. Sometimes, you get to learn from your mistakes and correct the error of your ways. We’ll see if she’s capable of doing that.
What about Taylor’s return?
No one really knew what was going on with her. We wanted to make sure she was OK. That’s why we took the proper precautions and had a medic look at her. I made sure she understood that she wasn’t going to receive special treatment when she came back. She said she knew that and was ready for the challenge.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Yeah. I have received an enormous amount of fan mail. It’s astronomical and way beyond I expected. I appreciate everybody supporting us and giving us words of encouragement. All of the rules apply differently to each person I work with. It’s the principles of each rule that you need to evoke in your daily life. Anybody that seeks my advice or my personal counsel ought to subscribe through my service. That’s how we make our living. So, as many people as there are out there, I cannot give everyone the personal guidance they search for without expecting something in return. It’s kind of humorous to me that people want the time and support, like the way they pay hundreds of dollars an hour for psychotherapy. It’s not much different, as a matter of time, and people need to understand that. That’s the challenge of being a matchmaker: making your time valuable.
Are you having fun?
It’s great. Tons of people are reaching out and it’s very flattering. I feel like I’m changing the world, one person at a time. I feel like I’m touching the lives of people in so many ways. I’m giving them love in my own way and they’re carrying it forward in their lives. I feel like I’m doing my part in evoking positive change in the world.
And you made it to Page Six, too. That’s exciting.
The opportunity with Vogue and other opportunities are just happening through karma and through the network of people around us. Do good for other people and other people want to do good for you. That’s the way of the world. The more people do that, the more people will be successful like I am.