Problem or Paradise: Couples Watching Separate TVs


Time to relax in front of the TV at night. You go in one room, your partner another. Smart or scary?

Question: My hubby and I don't like the same TV programs at all. We end up in different rooms most night, even though we both work all day and then rush to take care of the kids. We're both comfortable with the arrangement, but does that spell distance and detachment down the road??

Answer from GalTime Lov Doc Jane Greer, Ph.D.: This happens to be a pretty common problem couples have that can lead to all kinds of friction and arguing over who watches what on television.

In fact, lots of times it is an issue that can turn into a huge power struggle: who controls the remote control, chooses what show is on,
flicks through the channels to see what else is on all (while their partner is steaming over not getting to watch a program that they were looking forward to.)

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The best way to navigate through the broad array of show options is to put a system into place that lets both people get to watch their favorite programs.

Sometimes it means dividing the nights up and alternating: If your favorite shows are on Monday, that's your night . Your husband can choose the nights he wants to declare when his shows are on.

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Another option is to do exactly what you and your husband do, which is watch the shows you each prefer separately.This lets each of you have the time to relax and enjoy what you like without feeling either controlled or that you have to sacrifice what you look forward to viewing. With today's busy schedules, sometimes a little alone time is just what the doctor ordered, even for a couple.

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The only thing you might try to add to your equation: See if you can find even one show that you both like and then make a plan to watch that show together so you can build-in a little together time. Whether it's the news, a special event, a sports event doesn't matter as long as it's something that you both enjoy.

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You don't have to worry about creating distance down the road since you have worked out an arrangement that is mutually agreeable to both of you. The most important thing is to make sure it is a true compromise, something you both accept. That quiet acceptance with no pressure can actually create intimacy for a couple.

Bottom line, get out the popcorn and relax. Enjoy our respective TV programs!