Love, Marriage and TV News
By Rebecca Coates Nee
November 26th, 2001
Heres an idea for a new reality-based TV show: Take
ten single broadcasters,
follow them around for a month and see if any of them can
last that long in
Ok, maybe Im being unfair but lets face
it, TV news is not a breeding
ground for successful mergers (even if you are Ted Turner).
obvious problem of moving around every few years and working
Theres also the stress of the job and the tendency to
inbreed only with
those in the business.
But I think the root causes of our dating dilemmas go much
deeper than the
external circumstances of our jobs. Take it from me. When
I finally did get
married at the age of 37, my newsroom colleagues seemed a
that I was canceling my membership in the jerk of the month
club. No matter
how bad their personal lives got they could rely on
me to show up the next
day with an even more shocking story.
Now that I actually have been married successfully
and happily for
almost four whole years, I am reflecting on why so many journalists,
included, have such difficulty forming and keeping lasting
Here are some likely culprits:
1. We are highly competitive. If we werent born that
way, the business
quickly taught us the rules of competition. Not only did we
compete with our
own news staff but at least two others. Well, the competitive
spirit may get
you far in TV, but it will be like a cold shower to a smoldering
Couples who compete with each other dont stay together.
Friendly sparing may
seem playful at first, but wont take long to turn ugly.
competitiveness also can drive us to pursue a partner just
for the sheer
thrill of victory. Then, once weve won its
time to hunt for another
2. We are highly suspicious. Whether you decided to go into
the Watergate era or the Clinton era, you know you cant
trust what other
people tell you. Need I say more?
3. We are highly negative. We have to be! Were reporters!
And everyone knows
good news doesnt get ratings. Were trained to
look for the downside, the
conflict in every story. Unfortunately, this habit transcends
relationships as well. Were fault-finding missiles
even on a first date.
I once stopped dating a guy because he had a strange laugh.
I dropped another
after he used the word "lovely" to describe a restaurant.
4. We are highly sensitive especially those of us
on air. (Ok, I was going
to say insecure but I wasnt confident enough.) How can
we help it when
were judged not by the quality of our story but by the
style of our hair,
the application of our makeup and the shape of our heads?
look or comment from an unsuspecting partner is liable to
set off a highly
emotional chain reaction, ending with something like "So
you really do think
Im fat, dont you?" Trust me. Ive said
5. We are highly cynical. Again, our wit may be fun at first
but when its
directed at your mate or his/her family and friends, its
not so clever after
6. We get bored easily. We love breaking news! We need to
be doing something
different every day, thats why we got into this business
(and are afraid to
get out). Being with the same person day in day out can never
compare to the
stuff weve seen and done.
7. Were news snobs. Anyone who is out of the loop must
be illiterate and
therefore uninteresting. How can we possibly associate with
such poor slobs?
So whats the moral to this depressing picture of love
and marriage among
broadcasters? Be aware of your natural and news-induced tendencies.
realistic expectations you are dating a human arent
you? Trust your gut
instinct. Respect each other. And, most importantly, put those
communication skills to good use on the home front.
Also, try dating outside the TV news gene pool. Its
pretty tough to make a
relationship work when you both have all the traits listed
above! I married a
pharmacist who was so far out of the news loop that he couldnt
even see it.
Its been the best decision of my life (even though he
does sneeze really