If your idea of a great Friday night is cosying up in front of the TV and binge-watching a box set with your significant other, congratulations; it could actually be good for your relationship.
Researchers from the University of Aberdeen say that watching Netflix, TV shows, movies and the like helps couples who don’t have solid social groups to “compensate” for it, and makes their relationships stronger as a result.
They wrote in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships that while sharing family and a social network does boost the quality of a relationship, not every couple has this opportunity - so they decided to analyse how much ‘sharing media’ with ones partner does this instead.
Examining “the influence of sharing real and fictional social worlds on relationship outcomes”, they found that when couples lacked shared social circles, sharing TV shows, books, movies and more instead compensates for this and “restores closeness”.
“Our research suggests that watching beloved media together may strengthen relationships when partners lack a shared circle of friends and family members,” the researchers concluded.
“In this way, the current studies highlight the remarkable flexibility with which close relationship partners maintain their shared social worlds and promote satisfying, lasting relationships.”
In other words, if you’d much rather stay in and binge watch Stranger Things than go out, screw it - it certainly won’t do you and your partner’s relationship any harm.
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