Watching TV or reading a book together with your partner is good for your relationship.

Let’s confess: How often do you watch TV, or read a book? Like often? The television has been one of the most revolutionary yet influential piece of technology ever invented by humanity. Approximately, 4.5 billion people watch TV daily. That’s a really big deal. What about book reading, not so much, right? But here’s the catch: Is the television a good technological revolution or somewhat a device meant to make us lazy at home unproductive? Whatever, according to a new study, couples who watch TV or read a book together stand the chance of maintaining a healthy relationship.

Related media: How Watching TV Can Save Your Relationship

Let’s Binge Watch Or Read?

In a 2016 study, a team of researchers sampled 259 college-aged students and quizzed them on the details of their relationship. Each participant had been dating for an average of roughly 16 months or so, what the researchers called an “extended period.” They were specifically asked about two main characters of their relationship.

First, the participants were asked about how often they enjoyed different forms of media together — such as books, TV shows and the like — and second, how many friends they had in common. Finally, they were asked to rate the overall performance of their relationship’s health by ranking statements like “I am committed to maintaining our relationship.”

The Couple That Binges Together

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that the couples who enjoyed a lot of the same media together and had a lot of friends as well, were the couples with the strongest relationship ties. This is not a matter of common sense, its  scientifically true as well — shared activities, including watching TV, and improve relationship quality. However, one of the most interesting finds of the study, was the fact that sharing media had a much larger effect on couples who didn’t share a lot of friends.

In other words, if you and your significant other aren’t having the same preference in friends, you’ll bond a lot more closely over ‘Friends.’ Or interestingly, perhaps, even more couples do not really need to be watching those TV shows or reading books together to get their relationship on track.

In an article published on Scientific American, Dr. Sarah Gomillion, a psychologist at the School of Psychology in the University of Aberdeen, and the study’s led author, noted:

“In long distance relationships or among working couples with conflicting schedules, for example, outings with mutual friends or family gatherings may be few and far between. In these circumstances, sharing TV shows and movies with one another might allow couples to maintain closeness by creating a sense that they share social connections.”

So, Should You “Binge” Or Not?

Couple reads the Bible in bed
Image: Build Your Marriage / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Intrinsically, you can watch ‘Spiderman’ from The United States while your partner watches it in the United Kingdom — you’ll still be able to bond over how Mary Jean should have dated Peter Parker the whole time.

The reason, says Gomillion, is that media might actually be taking the place of a friendship with flesh-and-blood people. It’s not a completely unknown phenomenon — we’ve written before how you often build real relationships with fictional characters, and how binging a series all the way to the end can feel like breaking up. The good news is that even once that TV friendship ends, your real relationship might be stronger than ever. So after all, it seems you can seriously get back to Netflix & Chill.

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Sat, Mar 09, 2019.


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