When developing new relationships or strengthening existing ones, studies suggest a shared interest and experience in television and media has been shown to benefit close relationships. A new study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships suggest that sharing a TV show with your partner can be good for the relationship.
The study compared couples that shared real and fictional social worlds and how these impacted the outcome of the relationship. A key factor in a close relationship is interdependence; where both parties are mutually dependent on the other. This is not just a means of providing for the other financially or building a home together, it is also about building a social identity.
Couples that share a social circle or group of friends are said to have greater satisfaction, commitment, intimacy and optimism about their relationships future. They are also less likely to terminate the relationship, with social networks contributing to relationship quality and stability.
Where sharing a social group is not possible in cases like long distance relationships or for those who have recently moved to a new town or city, it is suggested that sharing TV or media interests can assist in creating a social identity for couples. This may compensate for the lack of a real social group and foster interdependence in a romantic relationship.
For individuals, sharing a fictional social world with the likes of Phoebe, Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Joey and Monica, can help meet the psychological need for human connection. Although movies and TV shows cannot reciprocate our affections, they can provide a sense of belonging and develop meaningful connections with their world.
So don’t binge watch that show you’ve been waiting for alone, share the experience with a friend or partner to help strengthen the relationship while getting your Netflix fix.