Welcome to “Love and Sex Today.” I’m Dr. Doug Weiss and today’s topic is “A Media Budget.” Media is everywhere all the time. Everywhere you go, there is some kind of media you can spend time with. In western culture, we spend a lot of time with media. I’m talking about all forms of media—your cell phone, videos, news, stocks and all kinds of things constantly. How about your computer screen after hours at home? How about that television screen with all the channels you have available to you? How about the video games, movies, and all the downloadable, wonderful things you can spend your time with?
I want to talk about this today because I want you to have a great love and sex life. And if you’re going to have great love and great sex, you have to have some time. I want to talk about the media budget. I’ve work with couples for more than 30 years. Every week, couples fly in from all over the country, all over the world and do three and five-day intensives with me. I have an incredible team of people and we get a lot done. Oftentimes, the couple loses their sizzle and their enjoyment for each other, and they get down to the function-ship of life and kids and getting things done. They find themselves falling out of love. One of the culprits often unseen is how this couple manages their time. So I go over their daily schedules: when you get up, when do you get to work, when do you come home, what are you doing from that time in the evening until you go to bed?
I cannot tell you how many sit down, barely move, watch television, sit on the computer, watch their cell phone, do almost nothing productive for hours and hours and hours. It’s painful for me to hear. They are investing in technology with their heart, their brain, their spirit, and their emotions. Many are watching things that are not really good for you, as far as teaching you things about life. And they do this every day. Every single day. It’s constant.
This is something I just intuitively protected in my own marriage. I don’t watch TV. I get five to eight hours a year. I mean seriously a year—that’s the Super Bowl, if there’s an election cycle, and maybe my wife can talk me into something if it’s really important, but we don’t watch television. We didn’t have a TV in our house until our kids were probably about 14 years-old, because we wanted them to learn how to live life, how to figure out how to use their time, how to read books, how to play games with their family, how to go for walks with the dog. And they have really done better because of that. Neither one of them are absorbed in television or those kinds of things.
It’s really important and healthy for you as a couple to decide on a media budget. What’s a media budget? It’s how long you are willing to commit your face to a screen. See, if you’re going to have great love and a great sex life, there’s one ingredient that both of those need: T-I-M-E. You need time to make good love. You need time to be emotionally intimate, to be spiritually intimate, to be connected, to value one another, to support one another, to laugh with one another, to play a game with one another.
So I have found for many couples, a media budget is necessary. This is something you might want to share with other people, especially families. You want to have a media budget as soon as possible in your relationship. You decide how many hours you need to be entertained. Most western people have never sat down and said, “Okay, I really need to have 24 hours of entertainment. My life is so bad.” If you live in a hut, on a dirt floor, your life is horrible, you drink horrible water, you’ve got to walk five miles to get that water, you barely could eat anything, and your life is really miserable because of a lot of cultural, political situations in your life that you have no control over, I might understand why you need to be soaking your life and escaping that painful reality for 20 or 30 hours a week.
I don’t get that. When your life is good, and you don’t have to think about food. You might be carrying some extra weight because you have enough food. You drive a nice car. You live in a reasonable house. Your life is not painful, not by world standards in any way, shape, or form. Your bad day is when your cell phone dies. I’m not saying it’s not inconvenient, but it’s not painful. Our lives are so good. Most of you listening to this have great lives. We don’t need to be listening to the bad news all the time. We don’t need to be watching every new video or mindless thing that’s on our cell phone. How much media time do you really need? 30 minutes a day? An hour a day? 10 minutes a day? Three hours a day? What are you going to decide? That’s where you start. You decide how many hours a day or week and then you stick with it.
If you say, “Okay, I have to have one hour of media a day,” that’s 30 hours a month. That’s like a part-time job. I can get a lot done in 30 hours. How do you think I get so much done? People say to me, “Dr. Weiss, how can you write 40 books and have all these training courses that are 30-40 hours, and how can you have done all these videos, and I see that you speak all over the country and world. How do you get that all done?” I don’t watch TV.
I don’t spend a lot of time in front of the computer unless I’m doing something wonderful like this for you. I just don’t. It’s not where I want to invest my life. I don’t want to just sit in front of a screen. Do I go to a movie? Absolutely. Do I like quality entertainment? Absolutely. I love going to the orchestra. I love going to a play. I love doing fun things. I like going to the zoo. I like being entertained, but it’s not where I want to spend a lot of my life. I want to spend that with Lisa. I want to look into her green eyes. I want to make her smile. I want to tickle her. I want to play with her. I want to touch her. I want to get to know her, because she’s amazing. She’s worthy of that amount of time.
If you take even half the time you spend on media and give it to your spouse—helping around the house, connecting, playing games, having fun, just having chats—you will find that your love and sex life will improve. So, you want to sit down with your spouse and say, “Okay, as a couple, how many hours a week do we need to sit in front of a screen?” There is nothing wrong with sitting in front of a screen, but how many hours? You could go for a walk and talk. You could do a lot of fun things.
I know right now I’ve lost some of you. Some of you have already left me, because this hits a very sensitive place at home. If you got in the habit of getting sedentary in front of a screen and being entertained all the time, you’re probably going to look at your life years down the road and you’re not going to be as accomplished in your marriage. You’re not going to be as successful in your sex life. What happens is, a guy or a gal comes home and they sit in front of the TV from [spp-timestamp time="6:30"] to [spp-timestamp time="10:30"]. You’re unconscious for those four hours. Your brain’s not really working very much, and your physiologically now tired. You’re not really thinking about sex. You’re thinking about sleep.
I’ve had so many couples make media budgets and it’s amazing how much more sex they’ve had. When a couple tells me they’re not having sex, one of the questions I might ask is, “How much time do you spend in front of a screen when you come home?” It’s pretty consistent that their screen time is really high. So think about this, because you really do deserve to have a great love life, but that takes T-I-M-E. What does your spouse want to do? What do you like to do? Go do that. Have fun. Engage one another. Play with one another. Be with one another. Enjoy one another, touch each other, love on each other, but that takes time.
I can tell you no time in front of a screen is going to necessarily enhance the quality of your marriage, the quality of your relationship, or the quality of your sex life. I’ve never seen it. Again, I’m not saying don’t enjoy some of that. I’m just saying be conscious. So many people with their media are unconscious and unaware of how many hundreds of hours, sometimes a month, they’re throwing away on something that has no return and no significant value long term.
Now I want you to go to loveandsextoday.com, subscribe there, and get a free chapter to one of my books. Please ask questions on the website. We want to hear what topics you want us to cover. We want to hear questions that come right from your heart. Those are the best questions. Review us on iTunes. Tell us how this is impacting your life and your relationships. One of you who comments will be selected for a fantastic conversation with me, where we can accelerate something in your life. I look forward to getting to know you. Remember always, have great love and have great sex, today.