With the warm summer months officially behind us and the cool crisp of fall starting to drive us inside to cuddle up with pretty throw blankets and pumpkin spice lattes, it’s time to finally turn our attention back to television—and the absurd amount of Ellen episodes stockpiled on the old PVR.
We know, we know. Tons of research tells us that too much TV is bad for your health. But we’re of the mind that TV can be a lifesaver, too—especially when it comes to your relationship. Here’s some proof.
1. It gives you something in common
There’s a reason for the saying “opposites attract.” But while you may appreciate having time for your book club, and he loves blowing off steam at his weekly hockey game (or vice versa) sometimes you need to find some common ground, too. Binge-watching a series together not only brings you physically closer, but it gives you something to geek out together over too.
2. It arms you with conversation
You don’t even need to watch TV together in order to benefit from this one. TV news, the aforementioned Ellen episodes or that Jimmy Fallon clip from last night is great conversation fodder that makes you seem well-read or hip, too. That’s better than the standard, “Who’d you see? Where’d you go?” a la Aidan from Sex and the City. And it’s way better than awkward silence.
3. It stops you from over-sharing animal, food and baby pictures
Ever feel like you’re one of those couples who post nothing but photo after photo of your cat? Or last night’s dinner in a bid to show him how much you appreciated him cooking for you? Or your cute-as-a-button baby that basically always looks cute enough to post, even if he or she is pooping? Thankfully there are so many great video clips and articles about your new favourite show that you now have an excuse to post something else. Something else that other people will actually appreciate and “like” for reals.
4. It’s the perfect excuse for cuddling time
Not all couples are made for the bedtime snuggle — especially if one partner can’t go to sleep with her neck craned at an awkward angle or his arm falling asleep. That’s where couch time comes in. Get your snuggles in there so that you can have a more restful sleep later on.
5. Or foot rub time
Couches are the perfect venue for that head-to-toe position once made popular on Seinfeld. So why not just reach out and rub each other’s footsies while you’re at it? Not a fan of feet? Rubs with your cute socks on are just as glorious after a long day’s work.
6. It takes the stress off
Let’s face it — no one wants to talk to their partner all the time. Sometimes watching a show together is just a nice way to spend a comfortable silence, pressure free.
7. It can inspire you as a team
Ever watch a weight-loss show with your partner? You’ll quickly find that sharing a bowl of popcorn or ice cream on the couch loses its appeal. You might actually migrate to the floor for some impromptu sit-ups instead. What about a food show with a fun new recipe? Maybe you’ll go out and buy the ingredients to make it yourselves the next day. Then there’s the ultimate series about travelling, which could easily inspire you to pack some flip flops and head to an all-inclusive, or maybe even backpack across a new country.
8. It can give you culture
Not all television is about hypothetical superheroes and power struggles for mythical thrones. Some reality television (OK maybe not the singing and dancing variety) can open your eyes to new ways of living. And isn’t that always the best backup knowledge for the next time you’re roped into a double date with that smug, has-their-crap-perfectly-aligned couple you sometimes see out of habit?
9. It can improve your budget
Sure cable television can be pricey, but depending on your package and use, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than going for dinner and a movie a couple of times a week. Or dancing with drinks. Or bowling. Or really a lot of other activities that have to be cut out when you’re trying to trim the fat from your budget during the cold winter months.
10. It can pump up your sex life
We dare you to watch Masters of Sex with your significant other and not think about heading into the bedroom. Or any other show with lots of nudity and sex scenes. Consider them your adult video alternatives — ones you can actually talk about watching.
11. It can make you appreciate each other
Everyone knows that good drama means unstable relationships. So long as you realize that you and your partner aren’t supposed to act like crazy TV characters, you can probably sit back and laugh at their antics, while appreciating your rock-steady bond.