Selfishness ends a relationships. It has to because it's not a singles sport like ... oh, what's a single's sport? Bocci? Is that a thing? You know what sports are. It's not one of those.
Affectations of speech are kind of cute and quirky at first. Hell, we even celebrate them in children. It's just adorable when a baby says "shit" for the first time when they're trying to say literally any other word. When you hit adulthood and still bust out the words "berfday" or "libarry," well, that's a thing that takes some getting used to. The newness of the relationship still makes those mispronunciations kind of delightful. And even if you don't think it's cute, it's small. You may just pause a conversation long enough to tell them that the "C" in scissors is silent and move on.
But After a While...
If you're with someone who legitimately thinks that big, orange squash is called a "punkin" and refers to it as such every Halloween, by Halloween number four you're going to start getting that little twitch around your eye and gritting your teeth to keep from exploding like a landmine made out of suplexes. There comes a point where you need to wrestle with the realization you may be in a relationship with a dullard. And not just a hapless dullard, a committed dullard who, even with repeated corrections, will not undull themselves.
I once knew someone who continually called deodorant "derodorant." I don't know why. I don't know what they thought the word meant, or how it related to actually deodorizing things. Was it in their minds de-roderant, and roder was a thing you needed to get rid of? Or was it der-orderant and der somehow vanquished stank? I can't say. The one time I asked what deroderant meant, they looked at me like I was the idiot for not knowing. Because they didn't get it, and that's what's infuriating about someone who doesn't know they don't know something.
From the other perspective, they may not have the linguistics game down but at least they're not an asshole. No one likes to be corrected, we're not grade schoolers here. The situation feeds off itself -- one person can't figure out that there's an "r" in brisket and the other can't quit pointing out that there is until you both hate interacting with one another because your partner is either making you constantly feel like a dullard or they're making you feel like they just love being one. Neither of these feelings are a good way to foster any kind of positive emotion so expect the whole thing to fall apart pretty quickly.
The great thing about Netflix is not just the micro-budget horror movies produced in countries you've never even heard of, it's the ability to make an entire day of sitting and staring while simultaneously calling it "couples time." You can binge-watch Stranger Things and never move a muscle, and that's an entire date night. Good work, team!
This etiquette extends to anything you do as a couple, anything involving even the slightest group effort, such as the kind you exert by both sitting on a sofa and looking at a TV together.
But say one of you has to work tomorrow and one of you doesn't, so you get to the episode when Barb gets monster shanked and you call it a night, you down a few shots of Robitussin to keep the night terrors at bay, you give your crotch a quick spritz in the sink and it's off to bed. Next morning you get up and- FUCK A DUCK! They're on the episode where they find Barb's monster-shanked corpse farting up that shitty slug baby in the woods. What gives?
But After a While...
This kind of self-centered thinking tends to fester. And Netflix is really just a placeholder here, standing in for anything that represents the idea of you two as a couple: going shopping together, meeting up with friends, setting old barns on fire. You do these things only partially because you need to do them, and partially because you want to do them with that other person. That's how it's supposed to work, anyway.
When someone disregards the couples aspect, when they finish a movie on their own, when they go buy that new set of decorative cat armor on their own, it's like saying your half of the relationship is only relevant when they want to put the time and effort into including you. And you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, either. Watching it together later is always less satisfying, it's like a pity watch. And it's made so much worse if they're the sort of person who will randomly say "Oh man, this is a good part, watch this!" like they're now your helpful guide to how TV works.
If you can't be considerate of your partner on even a basic level, enough to hold off on your own whim long enough to include them in something you planned to do together, then you probably suck and the rest of us don't want to watch Netflix with you. Or do anything with you because you're shitting on the idea of couplehood. Go watch Iron Fist. Watch it twice.
Remember, if someone can't love you at your Netflix, they don't deserve you at your Prime Video.
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For more check out The 4 Easiest Ways to Accidentally Ruin Your Relationship and 5 Ways You Sabotage Your Love Life (Explained by Science).
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Angels are real, and they are bad frickin' news. Robert Brockway's Vicious Circuit series is a punk rock, dark fantasy full of horror and humor. Check out the first two books, and pre-order the third, Kill All Angels, available December 26th.