And so, we come to the end of our VH1 Tough Love blog commentary with Master Matchmaker Steve Ward (at least, we’ve come to an end until Tough Love Couples starts!). Below, he gives a rundown on the progress of each of the nine women who participated in the show this season, with further insight on where they are now and his feelings on this season as a whole.
So Rocky was the first one up at the ring ceremony, and she asked Jason to accept the ring. Were you happy with this?
I was happy. I was glad they were continuing to see each other. Their relationship doesn’t go any further because of irreconcilable differences. Could it have been foreseen? Yeah. It turns out that he’s too allergic to animals, and Rocky is obsessed with them. And she didn’t want to budge enough. Now, if it were up to me, and I was trying to make that relationship work, I probably could have coached them in a direction to make it last. But I don’t think either one of them were willing to compromise that much. I told him that he can take a Claritin, and she could drive to his place.That would have been the solution in my mind.
What about Sally? She gave David her ring.
Sally’s awesome. She’s cute. She’s got a lot of work she needs to do on herself, but it’s not an overnight thing. It’s not an overnight thing for any of these girls. We all struggle with what makes us human, and what makes us who we are in our personality. And the fact is, a lot of people have these tendencies or demonstrate this behavior that we know is wrong, but we do it anyway. But if you’re willing to do the work and make the effort, then you should grow from it. And that I appreciate, and that I respect. That’s what I think happened with all of the girls.
Sally definitely has had visible growth.
Oh yeah, she’s a much more confident and self-assured woman. You know, at the beginning of that show, she couldn’t even look at me without shaking. She couldn’t make eye contact. I messed with her on the show. I would stare at her when they were getting the cameras up. It would make her so uncomfortable, but it’s like, “What am I going to do? Yeah, I’m staring at you. What? So what? What am I going to do? Leap across the room at you or something?” She has this natural inhibition about her, and it holds her back. She has this fear of expressing herself.
Tina kept her ring and stayed “committed to the process.” No big surprise, right?
Not really. You would have seen the same sort of thing from Abiola in season one. She’s still single, and admits to being Miss Picky. If that’s what you want to do, then have fun. I just want you to be aware of what you’re doing, and as long as you’re aware of it, then I’ve done my job.
Do you feel like Tina made any progress?
Oh, I think she made a lot of progress. I think she’s definitely sexier, I think that she’s definitely become more mindful of men, and willing to take chances emotionally and put herself out there. I really appreciate that. I think that she’s come to realize how important it is to express herself, and how short life really is. She’s changed so much from this experience, and she admits to it. There’s a lot of people that have changed in different ways, but I think it should be noticeable with Tina. I think she should be more assertive and take charge in this area of her life and to be able to create more opportunities for herself than she has ever created before. I think she would be able to admit to being able to doing that now — or at least that she’s better at it than before she came to boot camp.
How about Kanisha?
I think that Kanisha is somebody that will continue to have to battle her own psyche and not assume the worst in men. She also needs to realize that she’s capable of providing her own security and she doesn’t need to rely on a man for that, but can hopefully just appreciate it and not necessarily make that the most important thing that she looks for in someone.
Jenna gave her ring to Tuner, despite the fact that she just connected with him days before. What did you think of that?
I mean, they have a history. He was excited about it, she was excited about it. Clearly those two still had a connection, so I’m happy for her. I mean, that’s the thing: people are so afraid to say “I love you.” Why are they so afraid? Take a chance with somebody for crying out loud. Put your heart out there, what’s the worst that could happen?
What do you think about Jenna’s overall progress?
It took a long time, but I think she finally faced her fears. It’s obvious in the end how she put herself out there and gave that guy her ring. I mean, she gave him her ring. That takes balls.
Yeah. You said that she was your most difficult subject ever.
Yeah. As far as Jenna’s concerned, I had the most distance but made the most progress. I think I covered the most ground from bad to good.
Liz gave Dave her ring, and they exchanged “I love you”s. He even gave her his ring, which was like an implied engagement…
An unofficial one, if anything. They really had a lot going for them when they left boot camp. But do to personal irreconcilable differences they’re not going to continue to see each other, and I understand why.
Alicia gave her ring to Nick, and then he asked her to move in with him and open a bar.
I thought that was awesome. I thought that was really ballsy. He really called her out! I think it was great. She manned up and said she’d give it a shot. And that’s all you can try for. Just being able to say, “I’m willing to give this a shot. I’m willing to take this a little bit further and see how far we’re going to get.” And you know what? I’m glad that they did. It’s funny how things worked out.
Angel ended up doing the best, which is funny: you had your hardest boot camper and your best boot camper in this season.
Angel did the best, she made the most progress. She learned how to open up and be able to basically just communicate her feelings and thoughts, and why she thinks the way she does, and do it in a very constructive way. That’s the most important thing. And because of that, it’s made my job easier, and it’s made it easier for Adam to connect with her, which matters more than anything. In the future, if it isn’t going to be Adam, it’s going to be somebody else. And hopefully she’ll learn from this experience how to make it work.
How about Taylor? Do you think she made any progress at all?
Taylor is just so painfully insecure and defensive, it makes it almost impossible to guide her. She doesn’t want direction. She doesn’t want guidance. You see glimmers of hope. She makes sense occasionally. But it’s exhausting. It really is.
Any final thoughts?
I noticed significant change in all the women and although they may not be 100 percent relationship-ready, they are far better off than they were when they got here. And as a matchmaker, that’s the main thing I hope for.
Steve has two events in Atlantic City coming up — click the image below for more details.