The Sacred Rules of Watching TV with Your Partner

It’s the ultimate TV betrayal: watching your favorite show as a couple without your partner because you just couldn’t wait. Not cool.  As much as DVR has simplified the TV viewing process, it’s complicated relationships. There are so many more ways to screw up when you’re sitting on the couch with your remote in hand. Actress Julia Ormand, who you might remember as Megan Draper’s mom on Mad Men, recently recalled how TV put a strain on her past relationship when her partner watched Mad Men without her: “I was like, ‘You’re toast. We’re done,’” Ormond told the Huffington Post. Sure, it’s a little different when you’re on the show, but still, we feel her. In a relationship, there some unspoken rules of TV viewing that need to be respected.

1. Don’t Watch Shows You Both Love When The Other Person Isn’t Home

Just don’t do that. I mean, I guess you can ask the other person if they’d mind if you know you’re on opposite schedules. But don’t spring it on them that you already watched Game of Thrones so you’d rather not watch that when it’s already Monday night and you suffered a day at work not being caught up. It’s just rude and take it from Julia Ormand: it can break you up!

2. Don’t Delete the Other’s DVR’ed Shows to Make Room For Your Own

This is a general rule of DVR’ing. You should not delete shows to make room unless you’re the one who recorded Titaniceven though you own it on Blu-ray. But, use your judgement: if what’s recorded is a day-long SVU marathon, you can probably get rid of a couple not-so-important episodes without any trouble. It will help if you know their favorite episodes, or just ask me, and I’ll tell you if you can delete them. (Never delete “Wildlife.”)

3. Be Polite When Watching Shows They Love But You Hate

Duh. Don’t be a jerk. When my husband first started watching Breaking Bad, I watched one episode with him and couldn’t handle it (don’t worry, I eventually wised up and learned to love the show) but there was a time when he was watching the show and I didn’t want to. So I’d usually go into another room and read or watch something else on my laptop with headphones on.

And, obviously, the worst thing in the world is to chat through a show your partner loves. Just keep your mouth shut while they enjoy their episode.

4. AND Try to Watch Shows the Other Doesn’t Like When They Aren’t Around

Just try to watch those shows when you’re alone. I am currently catching up on Pretty Little Liars because my husband does not watch that show (shocker) and he is out of the house. But if he comes home to me watching Pretty Little Liars, he’ll either kind of watch it with me or just do something else until I’m done.

5. If You’re the One Fast Forwarding, Pay Attention!

One person usually takes care of the remote (my college roommate called it being the “channel commander”) and that includes fast forwarding through commercials. But if you are going to channel command, you have to pay attention and make sure you don’t fast forward through the beginning of the show. With lots of shows you might be spoiling crucial moments by not hitting play fast enough!

Now, Happy TV watching!

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