But what do couples actually *do* in the evenings?
May 14, 2009 3:35 AM   Subscribe

Mr LyzzyBee and I have been living together for a good few years. I feel we spend too much time apart on our separate hobbies. He thinks no-one spends that much time together these days, apart from watching TV etc. I think we should come away from the telly and do something where we're interacting with each other. And I don't mean intimate stuff, I mean things to do, fully dressed, downstairs or outside. So - what do established couples, no kids, actually *do* in the weekday evenings?

Hobbies - typically of an evening he'll watch an hour of TV downstairs while I do BookCrossing stuff / reading / exercise. Dinner together. Then he watches another 1-1.5 hours of TV while I do BookCrossing, emails etc. Then he comes up and we watch a TV prog upstairs or listen to a taped radio show or some such. I will have got any housework stuff done in the hour or so between me getting home and him getting home. This is in the week. Weekends we are trying for more trips out etc.

Hope this isn't chat filter - it is an issue in our relationship that we feel we need to resolve!
posted by LyzzyBee to Human Relations (46 answers total) 132 users marked this as a favorite
You say "Dinner together". Do you cook together? That can be fun, and can turn weekday dinner into something fun rather than merely acquiring sustenance. Another thing we enjoy is going for a walk together, especially on nice summer evenings.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:57 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

My s.o. and I have developed diner into "us time" and we tend to stretch the meal out for about 2hrs (including prep/cook time), just talking -- but this habit was something we discovered and nurtured over the course of about 5 years. We have made it a game of sorts, to find new and challenging recipes online and make them together.
posted by sundri at 4:04 AM on May 14, 2009 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Problem with the dinner thing, which I appreciate I didn't mention, is that we like wildly different foods - I am almost vegetarian, he likes meats and stuff. I do batches of 2 sauces every 10 days or so and feed myself from them. He cooks for the 2 of us at the weekend. So the cooking together I think we would find more troublesome than useful. But thank you!
posted by LyzzyBee at 4:08 AM on May 14, 2009

Talk. Gossip. Discuss things you've read about on MetaFilter. Tell each other what you think is wonderful about the other. Or about the cat/dog. No TV. Sometimes a DVD, because you can talk about your impressions. Talk and more talk.
posted by RichardS at 4:11 AM on May 14, 2009

There may be some useful suggestions here.
posted by inire at 4:14 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's not terribly exciting, but my boyfriend and I like to watch the news together. We bond over our mutual hatred of Sean Hannity, and afterwards we have plenty of current-events-related stuff to discuss.
posted by arianell at 4:21 AM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

We go for an evening walk together every single night. I need the exercise, and it's a nice time to talk. It's been good for our relationship.
posted by Ery at 4:32 AM on May 14, 2009 [5 favorites]

Games are good. Puzzles, backgammon, chess, cards... etc.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:47 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bummer, I was going to suggest cooking as well. If you're up for it, maybe once a week (or start slow, once every two weeks) find a recipe that intrigues you both?

My fiance and I also play Rock Band once in a while. Even if that's not your thing maybe you can play some board games? Also check out this AskMe.

During the summer months we also take lots of walks. Rambles around the neighborhood, almost getting lost, stopping by random pubs or coffee shops when we feel like it before turning back home. Depending on where you live, perhaps there are venues that offer free live music to check out on a weeknight?
posted by like_neon at 4:57 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

We do the grocery shopping on weekend nights as an "us" activity. It works out well as a dinner planning technique since we have to spend time making a list.

Nthing walks. We have to get back into that habit.

Another thing we used to do when we lived closer by to it, was walks to the main library, where we were generally not looking for specific books, just sort of browsing together.

Could you bring a laptop with you and sit with him as he watches TV? We'll do that---while one of us is playing video games, the other is on a laptop surfing the web. It results in some passive interaction, but keeps us engaged with each other.
posted by chiefthe at 5:08 AM on May 14, 2009

Everything on this list may not apply to you, but here's some ideas as they come to mind:

One of my favorite things to do is read the paper (gasp!) over a meal, trading sections and talking about the interesting articles, and do the crossword together. Read humorous books to each other (I suggest David Sedaris, short sections and funny content). Go on short local adventures with each other to explore places you've never been. Take a walk and discuss the day. Watch a television program together. Find a recipe you can cook and enjoy together at least once a week - I cannot stress how great (and sexy) it is to cook with someone. Make your lunch for the next day, or breakfast for the morning. Go to the gym together. Listen to NPR/This American Life. Play board or card games.
posted by sephira at 5:13 AM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

"Hobbies" sounds like a lot of T.V. Are you in a city? In the suburbs? What kind of options are there for getting out of the house?

Some things we've tried:

1) Going out to see music (works best if you have one musician you both like a whole lot) -- we got lucky and found a standing gig at an almost-free bar in our area, which means a fairly regular, "let's go out and get drinks" date. Maybe you can find some good open-mic nights in your area?

2) Trivia bar night. A friend of mine did this and loved it -- apparently good for dates, too, in the "let's drink while doing something fun" vein. Again, works best if it's local, and if you're in a city, so may not be applicable.

3) Instead of just watching T.V. for hours, find one TV show you both like and watch it on Netflix. We've spent hours (at this point, probably days) parsing Buffy and Deadwood. There are lots of great shows that you can get hooked on, and this is a great way to fill up evening hours together. (also, watching on NEtflix means there's a clear start and end point, which is nice)

4) Take a class. Bonus points if it's a hobby you don't already share with one another. Pottery? Robotics? Cooking? There's one day per week, when you're out of the house doing something fun.

5) This might not be "fun and relaxing," but I'll throw it out anyway. Is there a house project you can do together? Home repairs can be a lot of fun in company. Put on your favorite music and devote half an hour a night to fixing something together. Music, conversation -- and voila! a newly painted cabinet.

(or something like that)
posted by puckish at 5:43 AM on May 14, 2009 [6 favorites]

My first wife and I used to go to yard sales Saturday morning. We'd get the paper and drive around buying fun stuff.

You can also read together, which enables you to periodically mention something you just read to the other person.

We'd also brew beer, but that's a bigger project, and not one for Saturday night.

Have you tried entertaining? Have friends over to dinner? If you don't have kids, you tend to run out of things to talk about, so getting more social "inputs" is important.

My second wife and I have kids, so we don't have a problem of what to talk about...
posted by musofire at 6:08 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

My SO and I spend almost every night together, either watching TV, reading, cooking, going out to the theatre, talking, watching movies, playing cards, and um, other things. :)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:10 AM on May 14, 2009

Before kid, mr. gaspode and I made a point of leaving the apartment in the evening on at least 3 weeknights. For us, the main goal was just to get out; so usually it turned into just going for a walk. We'd always take books, so we could go to a park and read. Often we would end up at a coffee shop, and while away an hour or two drinking coffee and reading and people watching and talking about whatever came to mind.
posted by gaspode at 6:10 AM on May 14, 2009

Best answer: My boyfriend and I also cook together. When we started dating, I was a vegetarian and he was not, and we still managed to both be in the kitchen preparing our own meals together, helping each other out, talking while we fixed, ate, and cleaned up. (Now I eat a little meat and he eats a lot less, so we can prepare a lot of the same meals, but you don't need to make that compromise--it totally worked before). We've also started baking together--cookies, pizza, bread. It's easier than you'd expect, and a lot of fun.

We also game together. We play an MMORPG so we're sitting in the same room and we're also playing together in the game. Totally dorky, but it's a lot of fun. I've NEVER been into video games before, but this has become a really fun way to connect with him.

Sometimes we lay on the couch and read together. We've yet to read out loud to each other, but we might start that. We met at a book club.

When the weather's nice, we'll take a walk in the evening and talk.

We also get TV shows in bulk and work our way through them. Some of our favorites: Better Off Ted, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Mythbusters, This American Life, Bullshit, Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, etc. Still working to get some dramas in there, like Deadwood and Big Love. Sometimes we listen to This American Life and talk about the topics that come up.

I try to make a point every day where we have time to just focus on each other. No TV, no computer, not doing anything else, just lying on the couch or in bed and cuddling and talking. Not right before bed, but as its own activity. It's easy to get swallowed up in technology, or in all the things I have to do for work or grad school or around the house, but ultimately, I want to spend my time getting to know this person, and the best way to do that is to talk, no distractions, about whatever comes up.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:40 AM on May 14, 2009 [11 favorites]

Oh yeah--we're also trying to do yoga at home. We did 100 Pushups for a while.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:40 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

My inamorata and I do not watch television aside from an occasional foray into Hulu for Jon Stewart, or DVD movies. We do spend a lot of time together, however. We play cards, we talk, we read, or I will read while she works a crossword -- a favorite activity of hers. We go dancing. We are both writers, so we like to discuss creativity and our own collaborative work. We enjoy cooking and fortunately have similar tastes, so we occasionally prepare meals together. We like gardening, so we will do that as well. In nice weather we sit outside in our back yard with friends having a drink or two, or cook on the grill. We have also taken classes together: dancing, and things to do with her Mac (I'm a PC guy but I like some of the Mac apps and we have created a few DVDs together).

I also play drums, so we go to a local piano bar where I can schlep along my snare and high-hat and join in. She enjoys watching me play, happily enough. But even if I didn't, it's a sing-along place so we will also take the mike from time to time to murder a standard or two.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 6:42 AM on May 14, 2009

Things we do:

- We both have Google Reader accounts, and we share items on there and then discuss them.
- We're thinking about renovating, so we get decor magazines and take turns putting post-its on photos we like, and then swap magazines and see how our tastes match and differ. "What did you like in this photo?" can turn into a very interesting discussion.
- Bottle of wine on the balcony on a cool summer evening makes for long relaxed talks about everything.
- Dr. Mario.
- Podcasts: This American Life, Ideas, Savage Love
- We download documentaries and watch them, often pausing them to discuss points or talk about things they remind us of.
- We go for walks and take photos in the local parks, etc.
- We go to another couple's house for dinner on Tuesday nights and have another friend over for dinner on Wednesday nights.
- We play with the cats.
posted by heatherann at 6:47 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Personally, I look for a balance. I like to have shared activities with my girlfriends, as well as solo interests/ Having some amount of solo time is important to me; I think it helps bring new energy into the relationship.

As for the shared activities, we enjoy going out to shows together (music acts), cooking together, going for bike rides, hiking.
posted by browse at 6:47 AM on May 14, 2009

I'm not trying to sound harsh here...but boy do you need a (metaphorical & friendly) kick in the ass! A couple without kids who can't find something to do other than watching TV and doing crossword puzzles needs to consider a massive change in their lifestyle.

There are places (so-called "cities") where you can literally walk out your door any night of the week and find something worthwhile to do. If you live in a place where there isn't anything fun to do after work, MOVE. If you ever have kids, you will claw your eyes out regretting how few fun things you did when you were younger.

Not everything you do has to be something you like, or something familiar, or something relaxing, or something easy. Those things are fine, but they won't get you somewhere new.

Unplug the damn TV. You need to quit cold turkey. Immediately, since Lost has already wrapped up for the season. From there it'll probably be easy.

Rent movies you both want to see, or rent movies that neither of you want to see but that will be good for you. Start with Metropolis and stop when you've gotten through Truffaut and Godard. Can you name all your government representatives? Go to city council meetings. Plant a garden. Paint a room. Work in a homeless shelter. Make it your mission to visited every bar, restaurant, music venue and theater in the area. Walk every street in the city. Go geocaching. Find friends to play board games with. Learn a language and prepare for a trip. You: start eating meat. Him: start eating vegetables. Buy a cookbook and make everything in it. Take in a foreign exchange student. Smoke some dope or have an orgy. Prepare for a marathon. Get a puppy and train it. Really, ANYTHING new is fine, because "new" is all it takes to break out of your rut.
posted by paanta at 6:48 AM on May 14, 2009 [28 favorites]

Best answer: We solved this very problem by taking a subscription/package deal for the whole season at one of the theatres in our town. We saw a lot of mediocre/downright crap concerts/plays/shows, but also stunning performances that I will never forget and that I would have most certainly overlooked if I had to book it all by myself (Robert Wilson's I la galigo, was more than three hours of pure bliss). Those crap performances are the most fun to discuss over drinks afterwards, by the way.
Now that we have kids, I more or less took a subscription with our sitter, who shows up every fortnight. We take turns booking last minute tickets to anything and keep the destination secret for each other as long as possible. Sometimes the results are priceless, like last year when I found myself suddenly in an audience watching Michel Houellebecq in discussion with some old school feminists. Andy Kaufmann lives and he is French now. Other evenings we just make it to the bar on the corner and that is great as well. It's all about getting out together. We need to plan it ahead like you have to as well. Because we've got that same couch potatoe thing going on, that you guys seem to suffer from.
posted by ouke at 7:16 AM on May 14, 2009 [5 favorites]

I read to Mrs. Booth while she cooks dinner. It's entertaining, and we're together, but I'm not in her way ruining our food.
posted by booth at 7:22 AM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

Take dancing classes, play racquetball, go bowling, fly kites, go to a Mefi meetup, ride bikes, go on a photo expedition, walk, go to mass, tend the garden, visit friends, etc. The local universities around us offer plenty of free programs, whether they are foreign films, guest speakers, etc
posted by JJ86 at 7:23 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Does your local library rent DVDs? Take walks there together, pick out films to watch, walk home, and watch them.

And, man, I love TV, but he's watching a ton of it. It doesn't sound like he's getting much exercise done, so I think walking, generally, is a good way to get him off his tuchus and moving, as well as interacting with you.

Also, consider inviting other couples over for dinner. Cooking for other people will help you find compromises on things you can cook together.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:32 AM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great ideas so far. I feel a bit defensive so I wanted to point out that I run / do bookcrossing / do charity stuff by doing both those / read a lot of interesting books / see my friends for dinner and fun / do needlework / garden -- I'm not criticising Mr LB as he's always enjoyed TV and computer games (he does a LOT less of the latter now) for relaxation and I really just don't like many TV programmes (I love documentaries but try to keep my viewing down to an hour or so a night) and I have tried many kinds of computer games and really don't like them.

I love the idea of the theatre/venue subscription and will look at that too. The walks in the evening thing is cool too - we already walk to and from work once or twice a week (3 miles each way) and talk then so that's a good idea to extend something we already like doing together.

We do live in a lovely city that has a lot to offer and our nice times in the neighbourhood have involved mooching round the shops and having a long hot chocolate in one of the many cafes, but we've seen that more as a weekend thing. When I say we live in the city; we live in a quiet suburb but I'll have a look at which places might be open in the evenings.

Also - I have to have my own-time and I wouldn't want to lose all of that, esp as I will be the one at home if mini-Bees appear in time and I'll certainly lose it then.

Will show this to Mr LB and we will pull some ideas out of the hat. In fact we might *make* a hat to pull ideas out of!
posted by LyzzyBee at 8:05 AM on May 14, 2009

Response by poster: Oh - forgot to add - films is not great for us, I have a very low tolerance to violence and upsetting scenes and *so* many films and TV dramas have those. Seriously low, like those people that kindly post about being the same and how do they deal with it.
posted by LyzzyBee at 8:06 AM on May 14, 2009

Oh - forgot to add - films is not great for us, I have a very low tolerance to violence and upsetting scenes and *so* many films and TV dramas have those. Seriously low, like those people that kindly post about being the same and how do they deal with it.

Can't you guys go see/rent documentaries?

I realize that you're trying not to be critical of your SO, but from the sounds of it, he's watching at least 4 hours of TV a night. That's a ton, and unless he's willing to relinquish, say, half of that (which would still give you a nice chunk of alone time), it's going to be really, really hard to carve out time for a the two of you as a couple.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:26 AM on May 14, 2009

Dump the TV now and get out of the house. I didn't have one until my last g/f insisted on one so she could watch soaps. Eventually it became Fahrenheit 451, but as you say, it's what he did before, so unless you can find something that takes his interest, then little will change.

PS I don't know many men who 'like' walking.
posted by fistynuts at 8:28 AM on May 14, 2009

paanta has some great suggestions. There are fun things to do in the house (electrical engineering and general hacking, crafts, painting and drawing, get baked, printwork, reading, etc., etc.) but the best thing to do is make some friends to hang out with, turn off the TV and get out of the damn house. I'm immensely jealous that you have free time in the evenings when there's so much interesting stuff to do: improv, eating out, evening walks, stand-up, live bands, clubs, bars, pubs, pool, art galleries, talks, theatre, dance, concerts, volunteering, evening classes, jazz bars, peoplewatching. Even if you've never done some of these things or don't like the sound of them - try it, give it a go. Do something new!

As for the violence in film thing, you might want to consider therapy for that.
posted by turkeyphant at 8:40 AM on May 14, 2009

PS I don't know many men who 'like' walking.

I like walking.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:18 AM on May 14, 2009 [6 favorites]

I play board games with my wife at least one evening a week, and we both really enjoy that. Slough off the miserable memories of interminable Monopoly and Risk games in your youth and get on top of the fun, interesting, theme-rich and challenging two-or-more-player games available today.

My wife, incidentally, was an avowed board game hater until we had a few games of Cockroach Poker at the bar with some friends (an awesome game over drinks), which convinced her that not all games are exercises in pointless tedium; from there, I eventually convinced her to try Carcassonne, which gave her an enthusiasm to try even more great games, so we followed that up with Lost Cities and later Ticket to Ride.

We still disagree on games -- I'm passionate about Agricola, but she finds it fiddly and annoying, and she definitely isn't into my "harder" games like Tide of Iron and AT-43, but we have lots of fun with board games. Here's a link to a thread on BoardGameGeek that I posted asking for recommendations before the last time I went to visit her prior to our marriage; it asks about games where the rules are relatively simple, you get to talk smack, and there aren't any overtly "geeky" themes (the No Hobbits No Robots rule).

Finding a few games you like will also whet your appetite for playing games with other couples, leading to even more time out of the house and interacting with folks. Give it a shot!
posted by Shepherd at 9:41 AM on May 14, 2009 [3 favorites]

As for the violence in film thing, you might want to consider therapy for that.

Seriously? I'm also someone who doesn't like violence in films, and this is not remotely something that I would go to therapy for. Why on earth should anyone try to inure themselves to being disturbed by blood and gore or gratuitous violence? What purpose would it serve to be able to handle such images?
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 9:58 AM on May 14, 2009 [5 favorites]

Best answer: As for the violence in film thing, you might want to consider therapy for that.

Oh, pshaw. I really really dislike violence in films, too.

LizzyBe, it sounds to me like non-TV and non-movie activities might be more fun for you two, but if you DO want to watch stuff together, there's a ton of stuff you could enjoy without violence. Lots of comedies, including smart sitcoms; also, lots of non-violent dramas, like My So-Called Life or even The West Wing. (There WAS some violence in The West Wing, but I don't recall much of it being shown onscreen, and I don't recall any of it tripping my delicate sensibilities.) Not everything is The Sopranos or The Wire.

For non-TV activities: jigsaw puzzles can be fun.

Also: get some plays from the library and do the plays together - you take one (or five) parts and he takes the other. I read about a homeschooling familiy once that did all the classic plays, from the Greeks to Shakespeare, with stuffed animals. That'd work with anything - chess pieces, condiment jars, whatever. Heh.
posted by kristi at 10:11 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the backup on the violence, recent posters! It's not a problem for me, just means a few things are out!

Um, and we do have friends! Maybe not in couples, but do all a couple's friends have to be other couples? We do spend time with them of course and do things like going round each others' houses, going out for meals, going to local religious festivals (big multicultural community here, city council lays on events for Vaishaki, St George's Day, Diwali, Eid... doing BookCrossing things (ps snarky person that's putting books around for people to find and interacting with friends worldwide not sitting on our bottoms doing crosswords!) but what I was looking for (and have got - thank you) was ideas for those run of the mill weekday evenings.

Oh and it's more like 2.5-3 hours per night TV maximum and that's OK if other stuff is done too.

Gosh, I am feeling defensive! Anyway I've marked a couple of best answers simply because they draw together a number of themes I like in one post - anyone else with those ideas, consider yourselves marked as best answers too...
posted by LyzzyBee at 10:35 AM on May 14, 2009

Mr Allstar and I enjoy taking day trips to other near by towns or parks on the weekends. Or camping on the weekends as well. We also enjoy playing Scrabble together.
posted by All.star at 11:20 AM on May 14, 2009

Best answer: Now that the weather's nice again we've been going on hour-long walks around our neighborhood. Meanwhile, we've been teaching each other the foreign languages we learned in school--he's teaching me Spanish and I'm teaching him French--so we practice during our walks. It's fun.

I've been working on redecorating, even though we rent--rearranging furniture for a new feel, potentially painting the walls (finally!!), picking out new framed wall art, fixing minor flaws, changing the purpose of different rooms, etc. It sounds like a chore, and it is sometimes, but it can be a lot of fun if your partner is similarly determined to make your space more homey and comfortable. And when my partner goes through his old junk while cleaning to make a room serve a new purpose, we can spend all night reliving memories and learning about each other's pasts. And you can daydream out loud together about all the fun new things you'll be able to do as the project progresses! It's fun.

It's fairly obvious, and others already mentioned it, but the whole "dinner is us time" thing, definitely. We totally do that thing mentioned above of spreading the meal out over like 2 hours, where I make fancy pants things and serve cocktails and he puts on great music and talks with me from the breakfast nook table, and then we heartily enjoy the supper and lay sprawled across our chairs patting our bellies in post-orgiastic delight afterward. Good food, good music, good conversation, good times. And can feel surprisingly intimate.

We play board games or word games together. Settlers of Catan (the 2-play modified version), Scrabble, Uno, Carcassone, stuff like that. Word association, never would I ever, etc. type conversation games before bed. And best of all in my opinion, the New York Times Crosswords for the DS. You can work on a puzzle collaboratively DS to DS, which works a lot more smoothly than trying to do a puzzle on paper together. It's so much fun; my new favorite couples hobby, no lie. You get a cheesy sense of accomplishment and teamwork as you watch your par time and graded scores improve drastically together. I never thought we'd even make it to the Thursday and Friday and beyond puzzles--now we're acing them all the time.

Massages, silly bath time. Sometimes we exercise together--yoga, pilates, or faux-walking type cardio stuff--though I admit it tends to end in giggles more than effective form. But it's amusing.

It's lame, but sometimes we surf the internet "together." This only works for certain internet things--we seem to enjoy rating and browsing Netflix movies while both present at the screen. We do LibraryThing stuff together sometimes too.

Go out for ice cream cones after dinner, now that it's summery. Or to weird hole-in-the-wall places that aren't necessarily bars, if your town has them. It'll make you remember getting excited as a kid to go out for such things.

Gardening together can be fun if he's like-minded. It worked best for my parents when they delegated jobs--my dad did the soil-priming and landscaping (using rocks and whatnot) while my mom chose the specific plants each year and how they would be arranged in the plots my dad had made. Even if all you can do is have a little urban sill herb garden, you can take care of it together. I was surprised how thrilled my partner was when my herbs started to thrive.

Listen to music together, without any distractions. You know--lie in bed in the dark with a record and listen to it the whole way through. Talk a bit if you wish, but don't think it necessary. This is strangely intimate, almost uncomfortably so (though I'm sure for some it's just awfully boring :). Charles Simic said as much, IIRC...

Read to each other in bed. Molly at Orangette mentioned in an entry about Edna Lewis' The Taste of Country Cooking that she had a ritual with her then-boyfriend of reading aloud to him entries from it each season. I fell in love with the idea. My guy just bought the Richard Burton deluxe translation of The 1,0001 Arabian Nights; we're going to take turns read to each other from it. I'm pumped!

Day trips, mentioned above, are awesome. Not stressful, expensive, or taxing; just fun and intimate. I highly recommend them. Go to little nearby lakes and picnic, or check out that "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives"-type historical hot dog stand an hour away for the afternoon. Feels strangely freeing; keeps you out of a rut.
posted by ifjuly at 11:44 AM on May 14, 2009 [6 favorites]

CoolGirl and I work different schedules and have minimal time together, so we have at least 1 "date night" per month, grocery shop and go out for coffee every weekend, and work out together 2-3 early mornings per week (usually followed by coffee). We also do a fair number of home improvement projects together.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:30 PM on May 14, 2009

Don't feel bad! My partner usually works after dinner for two to three hours during the week. We'll put the news or the Daily Show or whatever on or I'll read a book. We also love watching tv series. If you enjoy tv, it's fun to go through an entire series. The X-Files might be too dark for you, but something like The West Wing could be fun. We do try to make a point to take a walk outside together every night though, even if we have to make up an errand so that the walk has a purpose. During the summer we take our baseball gloves to the park and play catch. This is perfect for when we are arguing with each other or in general bad moods- we get into a rhythm that is relaxing. I do think it is really important for each person to have time alone every day though. Different people have different levels how much time they need. For me that means being in another room or in the house by myself.
posted by betsybetsy at 1:29 PM on May 14, 2009

I asked the same thing.
posted by desjardins at 2:47 PM on May 14, 2009

I made several other suggestion and only said to consider therapy. It's assuredly abnormal and, although it wouldn't necessarily serve any "purpose" as such, ruling out ~90% of the best films ever made seems pretty sad to me.
posted by turkeyphant at 6:54 AM on May 15, 2009

Response by poster: Desjardins - thanks - didn't find that one when I searched. As that was a couple of years ago, I'd be interested to know if you took up any of the things the other posters suggested?

Turkeyphant - I don't think I'm abnormal. So don't a number of other people, I'm not sad and I'd like to stop discussing that now thanks. Thanks for your input and consideration.
posted by LyzzyBee at 9:10 AM on May 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm a guy and I like walking too.

2.5-3 hours per night TV maximum

That's still an awful lot if it's shows that you have zero interest in, because it means that time is entirely lost. Can he tivo or hulu those shows and watch them on weekends? That's probably about half the available time you have for the entire evening, if not more, right?

That's part of the problem. If you are automatically deciding that those hours aren't open to re-negotiation, you're already really limiting yourselves as to what you can do together. Have you talked to him about this? Are these shows he's passionately interested in, or just watching because he can't think of anything else to do?
posted by canine epigram at 1:52 PM on May 15, 2009

The worst thing for a loving couple to do is spend too much time together.

The romantic ideal is that, when you're in love, you become a single entity. Well, fuck that. I like to play Xbox while what she likes to do, it seems, is complain about me playing Xbox. So you see, differences of opinion. Makes a relationship stronger.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:40 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Three hours of television a night might be a bit much?

That, and spending all of your time together will limit what you each can do best yourselves.
posted by talldean at 7:38 AM on May 22, 2009

The ability to sit companionably in comfortable silence is the hallmark of a good relationship.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:02 AM on July 6, 2009

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