Ask Him: Couples in Crisis

when all you hear is white noise.

when all you hear is white noise.

I live with my boyfriend, neither of us work. We are together basically 24/7. During the day he does his thing and I do mine, but we are still around each other. Then at night he says I never spend any time with him. I’m right beside him watching TV or in the same room. What more can I do?

Well hello, Mr. and Mrs. Potato.

Although your situation sounds like quite a vacation to the rest of us rats, I understand how detrimental mutual boredom can be to a relationship. What can you do? Pretty much anything beyond what you are currently doing, i.e. not much.

You’ve found yourself in the old quantity/quality paradigm. The redundancy of each others company has established a new baseline for quality time. Sitting on opposite ends of the couch in front of your respective screens, while in close proximity to each other physically, signifies zero meaningful time spent together. What your boyfriend means when he says that you don’t spend any time with him, is that you don’t intentionally spend any time with him. That you are incidentally in each others constant company has come to represent nothing emotionally gratifying.

You need to find a way to remind each other that you’re with each other by choice and not simply for lack of anything better to do. Start finding time to go on dates together, even if it’s just a candle lit supper at home. Find an experience that’s novel to both of you and do it together. Find some way to distinguish between passing the countless hours breathing each others air, and some active engagement. Have sex. Get off the couch. It may feel like he is being greedy for your time, but you’re both drowning in it, and unless you find a way to keep your emotional spark plug above the rising tide, your relationship is going to be all washed up. — Chris Brown

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