Steve Ward: Dating in Miami will cost you

Ask Steve Ward for love advice, and you’ll hear the cold, hard truth.

On VH1’s Tough Love, Ward and his mom, Joann, put women through a rigorous boot camp. For weeks, America watches as mom and son tear apart the gals in hopes of morphing them into the “perfect catch.” We chatted with Ward, who was in town filming season 4 of Tough Love. The show, which airs in the summer, will pair eight women with some of Miami’s hunkiest bachelors. But make no mistake, Tough Love is not a dating show; it’s about “self-examination.” Do you think you come across as too harsh on the show?I think I’m harsh every day. … I have nothing to gain by seeing people fail. It doesn’t help anybody, and it certainly doesn’t help the people that are hiring me or signing up to do the show. When people come to us, they would love to hear they’re not doing anything wrong, but most of the time it’s you. You’re the problem. It’s fact. You’re getting involved with the wrong people because you have a problem. How do you decide who has the problem?It’s very obvious to my mother and I. We’re the best at what we do in this country. Point blank. There’s no one that can hold a candle to us. Usually, I can tell what’s wrong with someone in just a few minutes. What are the most common dating mistakes?A lot of people are in a state of denial. They don’t realize that they’re getting older, they’re getting more set in their ways. I meet women every single day that think they should be dating the same type of man they were dating when they were 25, now they’re 45 and look it. If you’re 45 and single, you better be prepared to date a guy 10 years older than you. Unless you look young or you’re some kind of fitness model, and you’ve got the body of a 25-year-old, I’ve got news for you, you’re going to have to date up. What do you think about dating in Miami?I think it’s very difficult and extremely superficial. I feel there are a lot of people pretending to be what they’d like to be perceived as, so they do a really great job of putting up appearances and masks in the form of makeup, clothing, even personality. Women will pretend to be very generous, altruistic and caring when they’re only really interested in a man’s financial security. What do you love most about the show?It gives me an opportunity to make a difference for a lot of people. I’m not here sensationalizing love and dating. I get really aggravated when I see other shows [like The Bachelor] glamorizing love. Are you married?I’m single, but in a great relationship. … I’ll be honest, this show is screwing with my head. We just did an episode about lies. About the difference between a “white” lie and a “red” lie. And then I start wondering if my girlfriend is telling me white lies. My imagination starts running wild. Micaela Hood