These days, “binge watching” is considered a highly desirable way to waste an entire weekend. While that level of laziness may be exactly what you need every once in awhile, doing it all the time might actually be having a negative impact on your mental health—and your relationship. If sitting on the couch watching episode after episode has become your idea of date night, you might have a problem. Here’s why:
You’re basically ignoring each other.
You can’t give both the TV and your partner your undivided attention at the same time. It’s one or the other–or you’re just half paying attention to them both. You could be telling each other about your days, but instead, you’ll eat dinner in front of the TV, waste away the evening in front of the TV and probably fall asleep there too. You might as well be home alone if that’s all you’re going to do.
You aren’t having fun together.
Being in a relationship means you always have someone to do things with. You could be trying a new restaurant that just opened up in your neighborhood, or catching a movie, or going bowling, or pretty much anything you want. Instead, you watch TV all night and then wonder why your relationship is starting to feel a little stale.
You’re taking each other for granted.
Even if you do attempt to make plans, sometimes you get home from work and you don’t feel like doing much so you just plant your butt on the couch and turn on Netflix. Date night can wait until tomorrow. Or next week. The point is, there’s no sense of urgency to spend time with each other because you do it all the time, but that might not always be the case if you’re not careful.
You’re too busy staring at a screen to get busy.
Just because you’d rather watch the sexual tension on Riverdale for hours on a Sunday night than have actual sex doesn’t mean you don’t want to have sex ever, right? Sure, but if you find yourself watching TV every single night until you both pass out, there’s not much time left to relieve your own sexual tension—if there’s any left, that is.
TV-related FOMO is real.
There’s a new episode of something to catch up on every single night, so if you want to keep up with all the discussions at work, family gatherings, and happy hour, you have to be willing to make sacrifices. One of those sacrifices is going to be the time you have to spend with your significant other because chances are there are a few shows on your list (The Bachelor?) you couldn’t pay him to watch with you.
The time you’re spending together isn’t quality.
Sure, you were technically in the same room during that weekend marathon of the first two seasons of Bates Motel, but did you talk about anything of value other than what toppings you wanted on your pizza? Granted, once in awhile, those kinds of weekends are amazing, but don’t confuse simply being in the same room with actually spending quality time together.
It’s too easy to ignore all your problems.
When you’re engrossed in the drama unfolding on your screen, you get to escape from any issues you might be facing in real life. While a little escape is completely necessary for your sanity, eventually you have to deal with things because you can’t just change the channel and forget about your own drama. It’s going to be there until you face it.
You might start to have unrealistic expectations of your relationship.
Couples in TV shows are always going through some kind of drama. But that’s because a regular old day to day relationship would be boring AF to watch. All that excitement onscreen might make you look at your daily bickering over whose turn it is to take the garbage out and which Thai place to order dinner from look kind of lame in comparison. Real life may not be as exciting as a TV show, but if you think about it, that’s actually a good thing.
You don’t have to be creative anymore.
Couples used to have to be creative and think of fun things to do together, but now it’s a lot easier to just turn on the TV and let the latest episode of Game of Thrones do the entertaining. You don’t have to talk to each other or worry about having hobbies in common—as long as you like the same shows, you must be compatible.
Relationships require effort.
You may not have to put yourself out there and go on dates anymore, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still have to work hard to maintain your relationship. You still have to make an effort to do things together and appreciate each other. If all you do is sit around watching TV, you’ll probably wake up one day and realize that you’re really nothing more than roommates.