Don’t Let TV Become Your Relationship’s Third Wheel

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Don't let TV become the dominate activity in your relationship

There's nothing in this world quite like the bond between a man and a woman in love. Although a close second might be the bond between a man and a woman and their Netflix account once love becomes a committed relationship. Call it the triangle of domesticity if you will, but the truth of the matter is that you can practically set your watch to that point in every relationship when TV becomes the official third wheel.

It generally starts off with a quiet Sunday night on the couch in front of Downton Abby. Then suddenly a soft addiction erupts over the newest season of The Bachelor. Before you know it you've cut all social ties in order to stay in on Friday nights binge watching third-rate Dutch television on Hulu Plus. Appointment TV becomes clear my calendar, stock the fridge, and unplug the phone TV. Needless to say, this is probably not the greatest way to spend the early years of your domestic union.

Now, I totally get that one of the highlights of a committed relationship is no longer having to pretend you enjoy noisy, crowded clubs and bars anymore. But with TV, what starts off as a nice quiet alternative to an overly chaotic social life often becomes the glowing rectangular albatross hanging around the neck of your relationship. Not only do you start ignorimg the world outside, you also start ignoring each other. You might scoff at the possibility of this, but according to Nielsen, the average American watches 5 hours a day of TV. Add that to a 9-hour workday, plus 6 or 7 hours a day for sleep, and suddenly that person you used to be head-over-heels in love is nothing more than a roommate who helps defray the cost of your cable bill.

Trust me, if my grandparents are anything to go by, you'll have more than enough time to sit in front of the TV together when you get old. But for now, especially while you are in the earlier stages of a marriage or a serious relationship, it's important to spend quality time together unmediated by a Kardashian or a flesh-eating zombie. TV should not be an ever-present companion whenever you spend time together. If anything, it should be more like a weird cousin who you only see on holidays and special occasions.

Of course, if you're not sure how to go about weaning yourself from TV, a good trick I've found is to limit yourselves to one or two favorite shows each, and then maybe one show that you both like together. This way you're looking at maybe 4-5 hours of TV a week rather than 4-5 hours of TV a day. But if you find that you just can't reign it in like that, maybe it's a good idea to cut the cord completely and go without TV for a while. Who knows, you might even find that you actually prefer talking to each other instead. Crazier things have happened.


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