NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Box sets such as Game of Thrones 'good for relationships' say researchers

Game of Thrones Image copyright HBO/AP
Image caption Emilia Clarke stars in the HBO series Game of Thrones

Couples who watch box sets of a series together can see it improve their relationship, according to researchers.

The University of Aberdeen team said the findings were especially true of couples without a shared social circle.

They compensate by "adopting" the on-screen social groups - such as in Game of Thrones - as their own.

The researchers said the more frequently couples watched box sets or films together, the more highly they rated their relationship commitment.

The research measured the extent to which people shared programme viewing with their partners, whether they had a lot of friends in common and how they rated their relationship.

The university said the results showed that when people did not share many friends with their partner, sharing media strongly predicted greater relationship quality.

Easy fix

Dr Sarah Gomillion, who led the study, said: "Relationships are a very big contributor to our physical and psychological health.

"So understanding how relationships can be better and how you can improve relationships can also improve our physical and psychological health.

"What these results suggest to us is that when people have a hole in their social network that they share with their partners they might become more motivated to share media as a way to compensate for that deficit.

"Watching TV with a partner or watching a movie you both like is a really easy way to improve relationship quality and anyone can do it at any time so if this is something that is good for relationships, it might help us identify an intervention that can improve relationship quality."

The study has been published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

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