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You shouldn’t date someone with bad taste in television. Period. I mean, why would you? I don’t mean disagreements on which season of The Wire is best or which clone on Orphan Black is your favorite – those are awesome signs of a healthy relationship and make for great brunch conversation. They mean you agree on the big picture – you both know what’s good, and the nuance lies in how good. But date someone with incompatible tastes? Or worse, someone who doesn’t like TV at all? Share a bed without sharing a Netflix account? That’s just not the type of love I want.

[quote_right]”You can’t suddenly choose to have a life and start taking regular showers and wearing pants”[/quote_right]So how do we media connoisseurs navigate our love for TV with our dating lives? We combine the two. Now, you can try to share your favorite shows with your partner, living in a mixture of hope and fear that they see your favorite show the way you want them to. And they can live with the pressure you’re putting on them, no matter how many times you try to lessen the weight and lie, like “you might not like it” or “it’s not for everybody.” We’ve all been there. It’s stressful for both parties and often it just doesn’t work.

And somehow, technology isn’t catching up yet for some reason. Can you imagine a successful Netflix dating app? Imagine your feels after reading “7 other singles also just watched six straight hours of Bob’s Burgers in your area.” After the failure of Yoke (Facebook’s bad attempt at the idea) and the subsequent failure of My Show Mate (a Kickstarter of the same kind), no popular app yet exists so I’m just settling into the idea of dying alone.

In this Golden Age of Television you need to judge potential partners based on their taste in TV. You’d be remiss not to, y’all. And by following a few simple rules, this game of love could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. All you have to do is avoid the Cardinal Sins of Netflix Dating:

Selfish Choosing
You might have the same tastes but that doesn’t mean you’re the same person, so naturally when it’s time to choose a new series you might have different priorities. Always pushing for your choice is the first cardinal sin of Netflix dating, and you know you’re wrong if you do it. Hogging the remote earns you no love, so take turns, check reviews together, or take the recommendation of a mutual friend.

Cheating Ahead
The worst of the cardinal sins, this type of betrayal could be a deal-breaker after several offenses. Don’t do it, y’all. It’s tempting, but don’t do it. Your schedules are busy and sometimes you’ll have to take a lull in the action but you have to be a good partner and take that L for the team. If you do cheat… lie. You have to. It’s better for the both of you. Atone by rewatching the episode with your partner and pretend like that murder is a startling new event you never saw coming. Take it to your grave.

Dragging Behind
This is no excuse for cheating, but it’s dirty to drag behind on a show you’re watching together. Delayed a day? Sure, your schedule was probably busy. 3 days and you’re pushing it. Fall back a week and you’re officially a selfish ass viewing partner and your apologies fall on deaf ears. You can’t suddenly choose to have a life and start taking regular showers and wearing pants and whatnot. Don’t even say you’re sorry. You’re not sorry. Your apology is a lie and just wastes time that should be spent catching up. Netflix asking “are you still watching” is funny when you’re binging with your partner, but you can’t put someone through that emotional turmoil alone. It can get sad. It can get… emotional.

When Netflix judgmentally asks if I’m still watching, I want a partner who presses continue without even hesitating. I want to say “one more episode?” 2-3 times like the adulthood equivalent of “no, you hang up first.” I refuse to settle for less until streaming services are bought by Time Warner Cable in the last signs of the apocalypse.

Can you really trust a partner who breaks the rules of TV dating? Could you love someone who doesn’t love the small screen? Don’t you deserve a person with as good a taste in TV as you?

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  • Jordan Calhoun is a writer and pop culture savant in New York City. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and an M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. He might solve a mystery, or rewrite history. Find him on Twitter @jordanmcalhoun

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