Could Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black be the key to staying together? A new study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships seems to think so. The authors of the study found that when couples do not share many friends, they have a tendency to want to binge-watch shows together. Further, the sharing of media meant their relationship was stronger. What is fascinating about the study is that it isn’t just that couples share an activity, it is that watching media (television or movies) helps form a closer bond.
As intimacy deepens, couples increasingly share aspects of their lives. These shared experiences allow people to incorporate aspects of their partners into their sense of self, effectively expanding the boundaries of their identities to include their partner’s traits, skills, and resources, a process known as ‘‘self-expansion’’ (Aron & Aron, 1986). Self-expansion, in turn, fosters closeness and feelings of love (Aron, Paris, & Aron, 1995).
We’ve all had that moment where we tell our significant other that they, “better not watch that show/movie without me”. The reason for this is that sharing those experiences is part of our sense of “us” or who we are as a couple. According to the study, if you don’t share many friends in common, this need to binge-watch together becomes stronger. The act of watching a popular show like Orange is the New Black gives the couple and their friends a “shared social network”. Who hasn’t had an awkward moment with your S.O.’s friends sitting in silence waiting for your S.O. to get back from the restroom or to show up at a bar. Talking about the latest episode is a great ice-breaker and gives you a shared experience. It is a great way to bond. Geeks have known this forever and is why proclaiming your love of Star Wars and Star Trek immediately makes you part of a community.
This study lends evidence to Rori Sassoon’s advice on how to tell if your relationship will go the distance. The New York based relationship expert tells you to look for three things: honest and open communication, support from friends, and support for your goals from your significant other. Binge-watching shows helps foster communication and strengthens the bonds between each other and your friends. Also, if your goal is to watch the entire Supernatural series in a month and your partner supports that goal, well, you should probably marry that person.
Also, if you head over to our Facebook page you’ll see we’re having a contest. We’re giving away a Vera Smart Mini-Rabbit. To enter just comment with a joke the cornier the better. Here’s one: I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop anytime. Ba-Dum-Tis. Share your own joke and tag a friend who you think could use either a rabbit or a laugh.