How Do I Get My Partner to Watch 'Real Housewives' With Me?

- Very Serious: An Advice Column By Kelly Conaboy -
How Do I Get My Partner to Watch 'Real Housewives' With Me?

Dear Kelly,

How do I get my boyfriend to watch Real Housewives with me? I think he would like it, but he says it’s too “screamy.”



Callie, this is a great question. And you know what — the Real Housewives, as an overall franchise, is too "screamy."

My first Real Housewives experience was the Real Housewives of New York, and it genuinely gave me nightmares. I think it might have also made me physically ill. It was unlike anything I’d experienced on television before. The women were always so angry with each other, and always so willing to tell each other — loudly and drunkenly — about their (often misunderstanding-based) issues. Why are these people even friends? I thought. Why do they even hang out? These, Callie, are normal reactions to watching this sort of drama play out on screen. We forget this, after our 400th hour of watching. We don’t even consider it. But in order to get your boyfriend to watch Real Housewives with you, you first have to attempt to return to that mindset; remember what it was like when you were a newbie.

Eventually, of course, your body adjusts. You learn to tune out the screaming, except in the case of Vicki Gunvalson; she cannot be tuned out. But with the rest of them, after some time, the screaming flows over you like water. It blows past you like wind. It’s essentially meditation, the way you learn to deal with the screaming. Your boyfriend just has to get to this point, and then he can enjoy all of the beautiful entertainment that follows. But how do you convince him to begin that path?

I say … here, let me put my suggestions in a list format for you.

  1. Acknowledge that he is correct: the Real Housewives scream a lot. We’re not going to get anywhere “gaslighting,” to use an en vogue term, this man about the screaming he is definitely hearing rumbling throughout the house whenever Bravo is on. “You get used to it” may not work to entice him because I suspect his (correct enough) response would be “Why would I want to get used to that?” (The answer is “for endless hours of incredible gossip-based entertainment,” but he may not get that right away.) So maybe … actually, I’ll move to No. 2.
  2. Maybe begin with one of the less “screamy” franchises. Try Real Housewives of Potomac. They’re fun, they’re funny, they generally control their alcohol intake, and at least in the first few seasons, from what I can remember, they don’t scream too much. Plus maybe your boyfriend knows who Juan Dixon is already, from basketball? (Not to generalize too much about boyfriends.)
  3. How you get him to even agree to watch Real Housewives of Potomac, I don’t know. You know him better than I do … do you think guilt will work? Maybe you can say, “I know we’ve joked around about this in the past, but I love you, and it’s actually really important to me that you share this part of my life.” LOL. Do you think he’ll buy that?
  4. If not, you can trade for your own time. You watch something he wants to watch, he allows you to show him a few perfect hours of reality television. (I think if you can get him to watch four episodes of a really good franchise, he’ll be hooked, and at that point you won’t need to trade any more of your own time. This is the magic of Housewives.)
  5. Hmmm, what else. I guess something you could do is get a lot of really good snacks for the next time you’re watching a new episode, and then you don’t let him have any of the snacks. “Sorry, these snacks are exclusively for participants in Real Housewives Night.” If you do that enough times in a row, with increasingly good snacks, I bet he’ll eventually cave in order to have some of the snacks.
  6. Maybe you can tell him about when Brooks faked having cancer???
  7. Or maybe you can explain the drama with Erika Jayne???
  8. Or maybe you can show him the episode of Salt Lake City where the feds show up for Jen Shaw at Beauty Lab & Laser???????

Listen, it’s hard to make a boyfriend do something, even if that something is one of the few bright lights in an otherwise dull existence. They can be very stubborn. I’m not going to guarantee that he’ll ever watch the housewives with you, even though I do agree that he would enjoy it if he did; anyone would — it’s perfect television. But if all else fails, maybe you can get him to watch Below Deck. I’ve never watched it myself, but from what I can tell boyfriends tend to be more amenable when the drama happens at sea.



You can read all of Kelly's excellent advice here.

Image: andrechinn; stick figures: Kelly Conaboy.

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