real life

Television is ruining your relationship. Face it.


Are you in the living room watching Orange, and he’s in the bedroom watching Walking Dead? Uh-oh.

Asking yourself, ‘is television ruining my relationship?’ is kind of like asking ‘is this 700g roll of raw cookie dough ruining my diet?’

Television is a bottomless, swirling vortex, which will swallow your precious Couple Time whole.

It will engulf your weekday dinner conversations, your Sunday morning breakfast outings, and every other fleck of meaningful home time, without even spitting out the bones. Alongside electric toothbrushes and Segways, television is my least favourite modern invention. Go on, shoot me.

I’ve never been a television type of person. Just like pencilled in eyebrows and fedoras, television has just never been my thing.

My aversion to the silver screen has always been much to the chagrin of previous housemates. Telling them that I didn’t own a television was akin to announcing that I thought Moon Cups were a really great idea. In other houses where the television took prized place in the living room and attracted friends and foodstuffs far and wide, I would roll my eyes and send passive aggressive messages from my bedroom for them to turn down the volume.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not preaching that I’m perfect, either. I love nothing more than binge-watching a vintage television series (read: Buffy), or losing myself in hours of ~swoon~ Louis Theroux.

Netflix is my main #bae and I am in a committed relationship with Game of Thrones just like every other living, breathing Gen Y-er out there. But plonking myself down in front of a TELEVISION to watch hours upon hours of shitty reality television, and ads for things like a Zinger Taco (why, KFC? Why?) – well, that’s just too far.


Contrary to the image currently taking shape in your minds, I’m actually pretty functional. I have a flat, a cat, and a boyfriend. So enough about me, let’s talk about him – and our relationship. Is it in fact better without TV?

When my lovely chap and I moved in together, there was a TV in the apartment. This TV was the first thing you would see when you walked into the house, the only thing you looked at as you sat in the living room, and acted as a big square black stain on my existence. Day in, day out, I would fantasise about how and when I would dispose of the television. So, within a few hours of him leaving on one of his regular work stints overseas, the television was gone, meeting its timely end in the depths of Spare Room Storage. Never to be seen again.


The dark chill of deep winter swept over our sun-loving pals, and my neighbourhood went into some kind of hiding (IT’S OK PEOPLE, YOU CAN’T DIE FROM HYPOTHERMIA WHEN IT’S ONLY 18 DEGREES OUTSIDE, JUST WEAR SOME SOCKS WITH YA BIRKENSTOCKS) my poor partner begun to show signs of madness. Here he was, just months into a new living arrangement, holed up in a freezing apartment with nothing more than my favourite Spotify playlist – dubiously named ‘Weekday Acoustic Chill’ – and a pile of books that were…how can I say…challenging. Maybe putting the book, “The Only Bush I Trust Is My Own” on the top of the pile wasn’t a great idea.


So out came the television, and an unsteady truce now exists. I allow the TV to exist (in the spare room only), and he and I choose shows to watch together. Series like GoT has us both equally hooked, and it’s actually become a kinda nice Sunday night tradition that we both curl up and watch people get burnt to death and impaled and stuff.

It’s a television diet, a quality controlled process, a gastric banding of Foxtel and Netflix and live streaming and all the other onslaughts of brain mush that’s robbing our younger generations of realistic expectations of what a 16th birthday party should be like or the ability to make eye contact.

Is our relationship stronger because we don’t own a TV? Yes. I make my boyfriend do something that most television owners don’t bother with: I make him talk to me. I demand good music can always be played without having to compete with a TV commercial. I force the appreciation of the wonderful sound of rain on the window during the night, not the blaring noise of late night talk shows.

We have been drawn together so much closer, challenged to explore the almost extinct art of conversation, and – don’t fall off your chair now – even eat dinner together at the kitchen table, ‘like they did in the old days.’

Go on, I dare you. Hide your television away for a month and see what you learn about your partner. And just in advance? I take NONE of the blame.

Could you live without your television?

Want more like this? Try these:

How Orange is the New Black compares to life in a US women’s prison.

The Game of Thrones scene we should all be talking about.

Orange is the New Black perfectly explains abortion.