Binge-watching TV shows has gotten a bad rap, often because it can be misconstrued as being in a zombie-like in front of your TV or device and wasting hours — or for some, days — absorbed in a show with several seasons of episodes. It may not seem like the most social of activities, but if the streaming sessions are planned with a partner, they can be fun, romantic bonding experiences.
Experts share how an occasional binge-watching session can actually bring you and your partner closer together.
1. It creates a shared comfort zone.
Who doesn’t love to binge watch a TV show, comfortably covered in a snuggly blanket at home in your PJs? Now, imagine doing that with another person who is equally as comfy and cozy.
“It’s a totally relaxed state. It’s the exact opposite of being dressed up for a night on the town,” explains relationship coach Dave Bowden. “Inviting somebody to join you in that state requires a pretty high degree of comfort with that person, meaning it’s actually a pretty intimate gesture.”
Because of this low-key setting, your partner will be more at ease. You’ve create a safe space to be together.
2. You’ll bond over the characters you love.
Watching shows can bring couples together because it allows them to jointly form an emotional bond and attachment to the characters in whatever they’re watching, says Bowden.
“At the beginning of a relationship they may not share a lot of common friends, but by jointly following the lives of characters in a show or movie, they gain common ground with each other. Having someone else deeply understand and share your urge to watch one more (even when you should really get off the couch) can be incredibly affirming, and help bring people closer together,” he says.
3. You’ll learn more about each other.
What’s especially nice about streaming services is that they have an inventory of both classic and new programs. Binge-watching creates an opportunity for couples to experience something new together, or to introduce each other to your old favorites.
“If you have a favorite show from 20 years ago that you loved and your boyfriend never watched, it gives you an opportunity to introduce them to something new,” says relationship expert Crystal Irom. “It’s a way of bringing them more into your world and getting another glimpse into what you think and how you see things. Laughing together, crying together, and generally experiencing the pleasure and entertainment that comes from TV can be a great shared experience.”
It’s really the same if you watch something neither of you have seen — it’s a shared experience which cements in feelings of closeness and unity, she adds.
4. It’s a hassle-free date.
Since planning is easy, streaming can allow you and your partner to spend time together without pressure. In addition, hanging out without all the bells and whistles of a traditional date will prove that your bond is genuine.
“It’s a good sign of the health of a relationship if you can be together without always needing to entertain each other,” adds Irom. “If you can be happy in each other’s presence without feeling the need to always do something, it shows a level of ease that is positive.”