This season of VH1’sTough Love Couples is drawing to a close with just one more episode left in the season. As the season winds down it seems that the strongest couples are falling apart and the ones we thought were a train wreck, are making progress and could yet be on the way to the altar. Last night’s two hour episode certainly served up some surprises for me. Poor Steve Ward, matchmaker aficionado, had his work cut out for him.
Larry and Heather
This couple certainly kept the drama rolling last night. In episode six of the two hour preliminary to the season finale, the exes showed up and Heather was a little too thrilled to see her ex, Mike. After what looked to be a several hour date of sorts, Heather tried to insist that Larry (the current boyfriend) and Mike (the ex) needed to be friends or Heather would leave Larry. To that I say — WHAT?! What the heck were you thinking Heather? A guy you have off and on slept with for nine years is not a friend, in the traditional sense of the word, and has no business in your current relationship, a relationship in which you claim you’re trying to get engaged. Matchmaker Steve Ward was of the same opinion and told Heather that if she wanted the relationship with Larry to work, she would need to cut Mike off completely for at least a year. What’s funny is that Mario, of Mario and Christina, as well as the rest of the cast, wanted to beat the crap out of Mike for his flagrant behavior, or at least give him what for. In the end, Heather came to her senses and told Mike that he would be cut off for a year.
In episode seven of the preliminary to the season finale, Steve Ward decided that he would give each couple the chance to experience mock wedding planning, including engagement ring shopping. Following that, he would give each couple a view of the opposite end – a relationship falling apart, in some couple’s cases, this meant meeting with a divorce lawyer (more on that later).
As Larry and Heather moved into the second episode they seemed to be faring quite well and handled the mock wedding plans very well. The second half of episode 7 in which the opposite end of the marriage spectrum was encountered didn’t seem as comfortable for the pair, but they came out of it realizing that communication was an area they needed to work on if a marriage was going to be in their future.
Mario and Christina
This couple was barely even seen in episode six in which the exes appeared, but not to be outdone by Larry and Heather, they made their presence known in episode seven. Trouble began for these two before the mock wedding planning even got underway. Mario made a statement after leaving the ring store that I probably would not have looked on as kindly as Christina did. I’m prefacing at the outset that I can’t recall the exact wording, so I’m paraphrasing bit here, but Mario stated something to the effect of:
“You forced me to get engaged, you buy the ring.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow your roll Mario. I’d be a little more careful of what I let fall out of my mouth if I were him. Apparently he has not learned the lesson that some words are not easily forgotten, and some can even kill a relationship.
Mario later had an in-depth conversation with a total stranger in which he confessed several fears about getting married: money, divorce, and fear of being unfaithful. All the while, Mario was unaware that Christina was watching the conversation via video, and she was, of course, none too thrilled.
To my amazement, Christina told Mario that they could take engagement off the table because she didn’t like seeing him so stressed and freaked out.
At this point, Matchmaker Steve Ward got the impression that Mario was making up a lot of excuses to avoid getting engaged. By the time of the hot seat ceremony, Steve Ward let Mario know that he was dead lucky to have Christina and should learn to appreciate her. Even after that Mario still seemed set in his ways and by the end of episode seven it looked like this couple who had been the strongest of the whole season, just may break up.
Courtney and Dustin
Courtney and Dustin have been a mess for a while now so it’s no surprise that their fate is still uncertain. Previously in the season Steve Ward decided that this couple who had been together eight years needed some time apart to figure out what they each wanted, so Steve broke them up and treated them as singles in Boot Camp.
During the initial exes episode Dustin and Courtney each were sent on a date; while Courtney handled her date respectfully, Dustin used it as an opportunity to make Courtney jealous — it didn’t work. Dustin’s date move really only served to tick Courtney off and make her a little more certain that she needed to be single for a while. However, by the seventh episode, Dustin and Courtney had a date and when Dustin kissed Courtney she seemed to run back to the comfort zone of her eight year old relationship with Dustin, but with abundant hesitation still. This obviously made for some awkward moments during the ring shopping and wedding planning scenes.
Upon prodding and a little anger from Steve Ward, Courtney still seemed utterly confused about what she wanted. Coming into the finale it looks as though Courtney isn’t going to make up her mind until the last possible moment.
Dennis and Simone
Dennis and Simone have had a hard time of it all the way through their relationship due to Dennis’ mother’s opposition to their marriage. In episode six, Steve Ward gave this couple the hardest challenge of all the couples. First, Dennis’ ex showed up, marking the first ex Simone has ever met, tension was high for Simone, but little did she know, more surprises were on the way. Shortly after the first guest, the doorbell rang and another guest showed up for Dennis — his mother. Dennis took his mom aside and asked for her support in his coming marriage to Simone. Following the heart-to-heart with his mom, Dennis believed the issue was finally resolved, but Steve Ward knew better. During the episode six hot seat ceremony, Steve Ward played a tape of Dennis’ mother’s feedback about his son’s marriage plans; it was clear to Dennis that all had not been resolved after all. At the prompting of Steve Ward, Dennis once again took his mother aside, and this time seemed to have a breakthrough; once and for all Simone had the support of her mother-in-law.
By the start of episode seven, this couple was doing better than ever and none of Steve Ward’s challenges rocked their boat, including the impromptu visit from a divorce lawyer. Dennis and Simone handled the mock wedding planning, the ring shopping, and the divorce lawyer’s questions wonderfully, and seem to be one step down the aisle already.
Pawel and Danielle
Pawel and Danielle are a bit heartbreaking to watch, each seems incapable of giving and receiving love, and Danielle is clearly consumed by low self-esteem and fallout from a hard childhood. As Steve Ward pointed out, this couple has made the least progress of all of them since the start of Boot Camp and has a long way to go yet, with only one episode left in the season. Pawel and Danielle did make one small bit of progress when, at the prodding of Steve Ward, they managed to each say that they were in love; but if the end result is meant to be engagement or breakup, this couple is in for a big decision come season finale night. We’ll have to see if Pawel and Danielle manage to breakdown their walls in time for a happy ending.Tune in to VH1 next Monday night for the season finale of Tough Love Couples.
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