Tough Love Couples – Episode 1 – Commitment Or Quit It



I hope you got all dressed up for the premiere of Tough Love Couples, because you’ve got nowhere to go!

There are two key differences between Tool Academy, VH1’s other messed-up couples show, and this new twist to Tough Love‘s third season. First, on Tough Love couples, both sides of each relationship are messed up. We’re basically getting double the Tool each hour.

Second, no one reads a lady like Steve. Tough Love could have been called That Guy Who Yells At Crying Women, which is how I describe it to people who have never seen it. This season we get to see if guys handle Steve’s yelling like women do.

Christina says that her boyfriend goes to strip clubs behind her back. “I’m not perfect, I’ll do what I do. But guys hit on her too, and I don’t beat her up about it.” This would be a great excuse if the strip club drove to him, but it did not. I sense a double standard in this relationship, and if I sense it, then Steve sensed it a long time ago.


And some foreshadowing: He says he’s never been faithful to any girl except Christina. And she says every boyfriend she’s ever had has cheated on her. This relationship is fate, in the worst way!


“Axelle comes by way of France, and she brought her attitude with her,” Steve says. Great to see a mouthy French woman on VH1 that isn’t literally putting her mouth all over things.


Dennis and Simone got engaged, then he canceled the wedding, but they stayed together. This is apparently a “problem.” But I call this a “solution” to getting all the stuff you need for your apartment without wasting your money on a wedding.

Overgrooming: a VH1 curse, right? Danielle says she didn’t know her boyfriend got his eyebrows waxed. Neither did thousands of men, until they saw VH1. Then they most likely start ignoring their girlfriends, who then take them to Tool Academy / Tough Love. The cycle continues.



Steve comes in, and it’s time for their first lesson of the day. The lesson is: “Everyone is terrible.”


“You can be a cold-hearted bitch.”


“I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re wearing her underwear.”


“Excuses are like assh***s, everybody’s got one. You gotta man up.”


An aside: Dennis interviews that you can flirt with your nose, like so:


Subtle. If I had no eyes, mouth, or hands, I would definitely try this.

Now it’s just the second day, yet Steve doesn’t waste any time: “If you could marry your partner today, put on a tuxedo” he says. Steve’s mom JoAnn says the same to the girls.


This guy thinks, “Run!” Or he could, like, just not put on a tux. That’s an option as well.


The guys have lots of doubts, but the girls don’t just run to the dresses either. Worth noting, since lots of people think wedding dresses make ladies’ ovaries ache with want. Simply not true.

“This is your make-believe wedding day so you shouldn’t be attacking each other in front of an alter,” Steve says. But what better day is there than your fake wedding?


Courtney dresses up but Dustin doesn’t. She tries not to act upset, but her voice keeps on climbing higher and higher, until only dogs can hear it.


Man tears, so early in the season! Steve makes miracles — tiny, wet miracles — happen. Imagine what will happen when he really starts breaking Dennis down. Can’t wait.


Dennis and Simone make a commitment to each other, but Dennis’ mom has a problem with the marriage, and she compares their problems to weeds growing in the crack of the sidewalk. It’s kind of a long metaphor, but basically, they need Ortho instead of the weedwacker they’ve been using.


“I wasn’t expecting anything more, but I was hoping maybe he would surprise me,” Christina says when Mario comes out without a tux. Are there no eliminations on this show? I would like to eliminate this guy, if he doesn’t eliminate himself. Before she came out, Steve asked Mario about giving up other women forever, and he said…


…nothing. There is no audio, but you will have to imagine the crickets chirping. We are going to need a bigger hot seat for this guy.

Time for group, which is, of course, now double the group. Look at this subtle matching! There’s no problem color coordinating can’t solve, I say. And Steve says, too — they’re the best of the week.


Ryan is tired of people thinking he’s immature “…Because I’m in a band, because I have a fauxhawk.” I’d lean heavily on the latter.


That and Steve’s imitation of him:


Seems like a poor reflection on Ryan, but honestly it’s a poor reflection on Steve as well.

One of the things I was excited for how the guys would react to Steve’s trademark meanness. As it turns out, not well!:


Once again: This is the guy who can’t commit because he used to get laid too much. As one of the fake-wedding audience members says, she’s an 11, and he’s a 5. Sometimes the commentary of others is helpful not just for those receiving the criticism, but those who are relating and participating in it.


All of the couples act as if they didn’t know what show they’d be on, as if they weren’t expecting to be yelled at. But during his rant at Christina and Mario, I agree: this is new, never-before-seen levels of angry Steve.



Now Steven unveils the big twist to this show: By the Tough Love Couples finale, the couples either have to break up or get engaged. Not even happily staying together is an option for Steve. As far as he’s concerned, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell are failures. Marriage or break up. This hasn’t happened on past seasons — Steven’s never been like, “Find a new boyfriend in eight weeks, or die in your own arms.” Though Axelle seems to be considering the latter a viable option:


“You are going to find out what it means to love at this boot camp. And it’s going to be tough. That’s why I call it Tough Love,” Steve says at the end. The titular line! Take a drink.

Related content
Steve’s Episode 1 Tough Love Couples interview
Tough Love Couples cast reveal
Tough Love Couples show page
Tough Love Couples videos and extras
Master Matchmakers
Check out Steve and JoAnn Ward’s Book, Crash Course in Love

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