Cancel the fancy dinner reservations, order takeout and queue up the Netflix instead. If your SO asks why, say, “Because, science.”
The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships recently published a study about the correlation of media and closeness in romantic relationships. The abstract of their study says, “…when people lack shared friends with their romantic partners, sharing media predicts greater relationship quality and people become motivated to share media with their partners.” This is great news for collegiettes in LDRs or those who may not totally click with their SO’s friends. And you don’t just have to be watching Stranger Things together—this study found the a similar connection when couples read the same books or watched the same movies, too.
To conduct the study, researchers followed 259 students in relationships around at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland for 17 months. They made it a point to confirm that the couples were bonding over media, rather than just the time spent together, reports Well + Good. You may be wondering, “What’s the connection?” Researchers concluded that when you watch television and movies or read books, you think about what’s going on in the story and form opinions, which allows you to have a great conversation (or maybe argument!) with your SO. These shared discussions help bring you closer. This connection may seem obvious when it’s pointed out, but it’s good to remember that it necessarily doesn’t take a wild adventure to spice up a relationship—you might just need to have a good long talk about Making a Murderer.
So, next time you’re looking for a new show or book, talk to your partner and pick one together. It might be exactly what you need. Plus, what better way to show your SO the “real you” than by wearing sweats, going makeup-less, pigging out on Chinese, and ugly-crying during The Notebook?