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Watching box sets with your partner can benefit your relationship

04 September 2017

Watching TV and films together can bring couples together, particularly if they lack a shared world of friends and family members, say researchers.

That is the conclusion of a new paper discussed on our Research Digest blog.

A team of psychologists led by Sarah Gomillion at the University of Aberdeen asked 259 students in an exclusive romantic relationship (the average length was 16 months) to complete questionnaires about the quality of their relationship, how many friends they shared with their partner and how much time they spent watching TV shows or films, or reading books, together.

The participants who said they shared more friends with their partner tended to rate their relationship more positively, as did those who said they spent more time consuming TV, films and/or books together, although the latter associated was weaker. However, among the participants who said they shared few friends with their partner, sharing media together was strongly associated with rating the relationship more positively.

Next, the researchers asked 128 more student participants in an exclusive relationship to either spend time thinking about the friends they shared with their partner or to think about all the friends they did not share. The participants also rated how much they are into films, TV and books. Finally, they said how motivated they were to share media together with their partner, and they rated the quality of their relationship.

Participants into TV and other media and who were primed to think about their lack of shared real-world friends tended to say they were more interested in consuming more media together with their partner, as if sensing intuitively that this would be beneficial. 

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