Q. My boyfriend and I have very distinct tastes when it comes to watching movies. He swears by one of the biggest Khan of Bollywood and I can’t stand Bollywood. Inevitably this would cause problems and arguments when we went out to watch a movie. Now, with the lockdown it’s taken a turn for the worse. He hogs the TV set and watches his favourite actor’s (the Khan's) movies at full blast. Even with my sound cancelling headphones I can’t enjoy my episodes. I have tried reasoning with him but he just won’t listen. What should I do?
Ans: There is nothing wrong in having different content preferences but when in a relationship, it might be worth asking why we have them. For some people movies and shows are just ‘time pass’ but for others they are narratives loaded with meaning, especially if you are a serial watcher.
Maybe start asking your boyfriend why he enjoys that particular actor’s movies and share with him why you don’t. It is easier for our partner to empathise with us when we express how we feel when we are triggered and why. Talking about your media preferences might actually help you both take a break from your screens.
Start creating other rituals of connection with him by identifying some commonalities. Do you both like playing games, eating different foods, learning new skills, dancing, singing? Or simply talk to each other about your dreams, fears, memories.
There is so much more about a person than movie preferences and it’s up to us to initiate this journey of discovery. If your boyfriend still rather watches ‘the Khan’, you might want to reconsider your relationship. Lockdown has been a dealbreaker for many couples, and thankfully so.
(The writer is an Intimacy & Relationship Coach and an Independent People and Culture Specialist focusing on relationships, sexuality, youth and social media in South Asia. Have a query? Send it on email@example.com)