July 12, 2019
We moved in together. He didn't want cable. We cut the cord, and here's what happened.
A few years ago, I moved in with my partner. It was an exciting step in our relationship; we got to combine our kitchen equipment, pick out new furniture, install cable and internet…but wait, he didn't want cable. That's right; I had inadvertently moved in with a “cord-cutter." Oh no! After several debates, we decided not to subscribe to a television service. The following is a true account of what happened next.
I won't sugar coat it—at first, cutting the cord was rough. Having grown up in a household with very few TV limitations, I was used to the freedom of watching what I wanted, when I wanted. Being suddenly cut off felt like an unwarranted punishment and the injustice of it all gave way to anger. Why even have a TV without cable?
My then-boyfriend suggested that we look into alternatives to cable TV, and we found several. We subscribed to things like Hulu, Netflix and Prime Video. These options were great and provided lots of shows and movies we loved, but there were still things I missed about live TV.
First off, I longed for the ritual of watching things in real time. My partner and I used to designate certain nights of the week to viewing new episodes of our favorite shows…but without cable, we had to wait until they were released to streaming. This was especially problematic for big season finales, as there were usually spoilers all over social media. Yes, cutting the cord was going to be harder than I thought, but for the sake of my relationship, I was determined to make it work.
Fast-forward two years, I had learned to live with the whole “cord-cutting" thing, and was actually doing quite well. I knew where to find most of my favorite shows, and with streaming networks creating their own original content, I was even able to watch new episodes as they were released. In addition, my partner had figured out how to stream live events like the Tony Awards and the NCAA tournament.
Sure, there was a delay, and since our walls were thin we could usually hear our neighbors' reaction to a big play before we saw it for ourselves. That kind of ruined the experience…but hey, a small price to pay, right? And yes, some of the services would randomly log us out and we'd have to remember which password to use, then enter it five times before being able to resume our watching. Or sometimes we'd sit for twenty minutes while the system buffered for no apparent reason . . . but it was all worth it, right? I was doing this for my boyfriend. Plus we were saving money, weren't we?
One assumes that by cutting the cord, you're also cutting your cable bill. However, we soon realized that with all of the streaming services we subscribed to, we were actually paying more each month than the cost of a cable subscription. We also learned that because we already had internet and phone, we could bundle our services together for a great value. That did it!
My then-boyfriend finally agreed, and our cable was restored. Right away we noticed it was different than we remembered—it had gotten even better! It still has the traditional benefits of cable TV, but with the added bonus of streaming apps like Netflix and Prime Video wrapped into one. Literally everything we loved existed all in one place - we didn't have to switch around anymore. With services like Contour TV from Cox, you get live TV plus access to their extensive On Demand library. You can say things like "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and "Stranger Things" into the voice remote, and they launch. Just like that! And to keep you from logging in over and over to your different streaming subscriptions, most passwords can be saved after logging in once. It's so easy!
The struggle was finally over. My partner and I not only survived the cable draught, but our relationship was stronger than ever.
Shortly after our service was restored, we got married. True story.