Why Netflix & Chilling Is Great For Your Relationship

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
If you're a Netflix lover, it might have been a bit of a bummer to read that binge-watching might be causing us to have less sex. But all hope is not lost: A new study reveals that binge-watching can actually be great for your relationship — beyond the Netflix-and-chill benefits.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, sharing an interest in the same TV shows (or movies and books) increases intimacy, especially amongst couples who don't share a social circle.

For couples who don't really have mutual friends (and let's face it, you're not going to love every single one of your significant other's pals), binging on the same TV shows can mimic the experience of having the same social world, the study's authors wrote.

The study examined college students who had been exclusively dating a partner for at least four months. They answered a survey about their relationship quality, how many friends they had in common with their partner, and how much time they spent together on certain activities every day. The research found that those who had the same social circle as their partner reported having the strongest relationships, but for couples who lacked that shared network, having "shared media experiences" also predicted closer relationships.

Researchers think this may be because consuming the same media "leads people to feel a shared connection to the social world," whether that world is Westeros or Hogwarts. In other words, being stimulated by the same media and sharing an investment in the same fictional worlds can simulate the experience of sharing a real-life network of friends and leads to stronger, more intimate relationships. So couples, go ahead and get your binge on, guilt-free.

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