The next time you think about skipping ahead and watching that episode of Game of Thrones without your partner, you may want to hit pause on those plans.
That’s because a new study from Aberdeen University found that couples who watched TV together were more likely to stay together. So all those hours you thought you guys were wasting, catching up on the first few seasons of The Sopranos, may not have been for nothing after all.
But like most studies there are some catches. Apparently those couples who don’t have a lot of mutual friends benefit most from watching the boob-tube together. The theory, goes the study, is that when a couple bonds over onscreen characters, they create “fake friends” that they can now have in common and it helps them to bond.
It’s not just TV that’s beneficial either. The same results happen with movies and even books. Also, it’s important to note that the TV thing only works if both partners actually like watching TV. Obviously if one person just isn’t into it the important bonding steps won’t happen.
To dig into the study, the researchers asked more than 250 couples in long-term relationships how close they felt to their partners, how committed they felt their significant other was to the relationship, and how important the coupledom was to their lives. Then they were also asked about their “shared media use” to see how TV and film factored into their lives.
In an interesting plot twist, a second study followed up on those answers and found that when a couple was made aware of the fact that they had few mutual friends, they suddenly became more interesting in watching TV together.
Be warned though — there’s no way to tell how much TV is too much TV. And while we love us a good binge-watching session every now and then, it’s probably a good idea to continue finding other things in common with your spouse — especially as you grow older together.
In the meantime, we hear the colder weather is almost here. That makes this a perfect time to pick out your next series to binge together, so that when the next indoor weekend hits you’re good and ready to go.