Nothing says "I love you" like a weekend with no plans and access to your parent's Netflix account.
Some couples like working out together, other couples may enjoy hitting the bars on a Friday night, attending a sporting event or checking out a concert.
My girlfriend and me? We're perfectly content with spending the night at home with Netflix, the only third wheel that won't ruin a perfectly good, awkward-free date.
Half of all American adults admit to binge-watching TV. I'm not embarrassed to say that the blissful love triangle between me, my girlfriend and Netflix is the best thing that ever happened to our relationship.
We spend quality time together doing something we love and the human interaction for hours on end is genuine.
Not to mention, the raw emotion seen and felt on-screen during our favorite shows has had a lasting impact on our own relationship.
While the popular video streaming service provides entertainment value and convenience that no other company can match, it has also heavily influenced the dynamic and complicated relationships of modern Millennial couples.
Netflix bingeing has it's benefits, and I'm here to finally set the record straight:
Binge-watching with your partner is great because after each episode, there's an opportunity to discuss plot themes, character development and predictions for what may happen in the next episode.
Me and my girlfriend may be binge-watching the same show, but that doesn't mean we interpret it the same way.
Movies and television spark the best discussions because everyone views the world differently.
It's an opportunity for me to get a sense of how my girlfriend thinks, what she cares about and the subtle things she picks up in each episode that I often overlook.
We talk for hours about some of the great shows we've binge-watched over the years, and actively listening to each other has arguably improved our communication since Netflix came into our lives.
She values my opinions, I value hers and we communicate in a way that is fair, balanced and mutual.
You're already in bed, so why not take a few breaks in between rounds? The key to any great Netflix binge is sex, and lots of it.
We're adults, and sometimes we don't have as much time as we'd like to have sex during the week, due to conflicting work schedules, finals or other important obligations.
A good rule of thumb is watching at least five consecutive episodes with frequent breaks for food and sex.
Good, frequent sex is essential in any relationship, and a Netflix binge provides the perfect opportunity to spice up the private pajama party that just got a whole lot better.
Netflix bingeing is not only for stoners, slackers and unmotivated people.
It gets the creative juices flowing and helps spark intelligent discussion between two engaged, connected individuals.
When you've been dating someone for a while, it's easy to grow complacent and comfortable with each other. To avoid this problem, get lost in a great show with your partner.
Quality content sparks creative ideas. It keeps the relationship interesting, and bingeing on a brilliant Netflix show inspires moments of creativity and excitement that's an escape from your daily routine.
Brains are just as important as beauty and there's nothing more rewarding than spending time exchanging ideas, taking chances and challenging your partner to step outside of his or her comfort zone.
Silence is comfort
Why does silence have to be awkward? People fill brief moments of silence with small talk, but in many ways, the unnecessary words ruin perfectly good moments.
Silence is amazing, and often under-appreciated. When you can spend an eternity with your partner, staring into his or her eyes without saying a single word, it's one of the best feelings in the world.
Bingeing on a Netflix show provides this much needed silence. Leave the talking to the characters on your television screen, enjoy some cuddles and take a moment to silently appreciate the two beautiful brains blissfully bingeing the night away.
Living in the present
As a couple, we often spent too much time talking about the past or looking ahead to the future.
It took a conscious effort to prioritize living life in the present.
Some of our finest moments in the present involved spending hours on end in front of the television getting absolutely lost together in some of our favorite shows.
We can't change what happened today and we can't control what will happen to us tomorrow.
What we can do is live for right now in search of that next high; that one show that will have us bingeing until the sun rises.
These are the little moments that will remain with you for a lifetime.
Embrace the arguments
When our Netflix binge is in full swing, I find myself arguing with my girlfriend over some aspect of a show that we can't seem to agree on.
The arguments never get heated, and they are usually very respectful and constructive. Netflix bingeing is a huge commitment to the craft.
Minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days and arguments are bound to sprout up after spending that much time with someone.
It's okay to ruffle some feathers every now and then. It keeps your partner on his or her toes, and the more constructive these arguments are, the less likely they are to become aggressive and hostile in the future.
Improved emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
Binge-watching so many Netflix shows has allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of each other on an emotional level, to the point that I can identify an emotion my girlfriend is experiencing and how it's affecting her behavior.
Our favorite fictional characters are human, just like us. We cry with them, we laugh with them, we feel their pain when times are tough and celebrate with them in times of joy.
The sheer amount of emotions seen on screen has transformed our relationship, allowing us to better understand and manage our own emotions during good times and bad.
Empathy has taken center stage in our relationship, and most importantly, we make ourselves available and responsive in times of need.
Easy on the finances
Money can be a common cause of friction for many couples, and a great way to avoid a financial fuss is to invest in a Netflix account.
It's something like $8 dollars a month to stream Netflix, compared to the hundreds of dollars wasted at bars, clubs and other pricey outings each month.
If anything, Netflix gives you another alternative. You can still go out with your friends and maintain an active social life, but it's also completely acceptable to save your funds by barricading your apartment door, turning off all the lights and having a relaxing night in with your other half.
Time is precious
I don't have enough time on this earth to be doing things that don't make me truly happy. Netflix makes me happy. It makes my girlfriend happy, and that's all that really matters.
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.