Looking to strengthen your relationship? This may be the answer
Just in case you need another reason to binge-watch your favorite show, a new study has found that enjoying TV with your partner could bring you closer together.
The study builds on the idea that a bond is created when both members of a relationship have friends in common. Researchers say that sharing an interest in the same fictional characters from books, movies and TV shows can also increase intimacy, especially if you don’t currently share the same circle of friends.
“Commonalities and shared interests are an important characteristic of any good relationship,” says Dr. Elizabeth Rutha, a psychologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “If you’re just starting out, it can give you an instant conversation topic. If you’ve known each other for a while, embracing a person, even a fictional one, with qualities you admire or aspire to can help spur new ideas or broaden your relationship.”
And for those who think the benefit lies solely in physical contact like cuddling on the couch during TV time, researchers found that even when excluding those factors, bonding over fictional characters was still beneficial.
“The feeling of physical intimacy is important in a romantic relationship,” says Dr. Rutha. “But emotional intimacy can really give you confidence in your relationship, help you get to know each other and build a foundation.”
And, although this research makes getting comfy on the couch even more tempting, remember to get up and move with your partner, as well.
“Intimacy can also be achieved by being active together,” adds Dr. Rutha. “Try finding a sport or exercise you both enjoy, visiting somewhere you’ve always wanted to go or signing up for a class.”
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