Science Says Netflix Improves Your Relationship For This Interesting Reason

by Sheena Sharma

It looks like Netflix may not be a waste of brain space, after all.

In an interesting finding, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships published a study saying when couples don't have mutual friends, there are still ways to make each other feel like part of the same social circle. Those things include watching the same TV show or movie on Netflix.

In the study, college students who had been dating someone for four months or longer took a survey about the quality of their relationships and how many friends they shared.

Researchers found that partners who spent time on "shared media experiences" because they didn't have friends in common with each other had healthier relationships. Without a real-life social circle to share, they were able to use fiction as a social circle to fall back on together and even were likely to consider TV characters their real-life friends.

And last year, in an article called "Love in the Time of Binge-Watching," the New York Times wrote,

In modern-day romance, resisting the impulse to binge so that you may watch with a lover is the new equivalent of meeting the parents or sharing a sober kiss.

So there you have it. Welcome to the modern world of dating, folks.

Citations: A Great Excuse for a Netflix Binge: It Can Make Your Relationship Better (NY Mag), Let's stay home and watch TV (Journal of Social and Personal Relationships)