Wouldn't it be great if there was an official study that proved watching rom coms is actually good for you and your relationship.
There is. Hurrah! Next time you find yourself desperately trying to persuade your partner to agree to watching Notting Hill for the 25th time, remember this. A recent study in the US, involving 174 couples, has shown that the topic of rom coms could cut divorce rates in newlyweds.
Ronald Rogge, associate professor of psychology at the University of Rochester and leader of the study was surprised by the results.
"We thought the movie treatment would help, but not nearly as much as the other programs in which we were teaching all of these state-of-the-art skills," he said.
"The results suggest that husbands and wives have a pretty good sense of what they might be doing right and wrong in their relationships," he explained. "Thus, you might not need to teach them a whole lot of skills to cut the divorce rate. You might just need to get them to think about how they are currently behaving. And for five movies to give us a benefit over three years-that is awesome."
So - what did the test couples watch? After lectures on the importance of relationship awareness, they viewed a screening of 1967 romantic comedy, Two for the Road (it covers young love, infidelity and the pressures of work on marriage.)
The couples were sent away to watch one rom com a week for the next month. The movie-related discussions that followed proved to be "just as effective as more intensive skills-building programs."
"You might not be able to get your husband into a couples group, especially when you are happy," said Rogge. "But watching a movie together and having a discussion, that's not so scary."
Going through a spot of relationship trouble? It might be time to dig out those chick flicks...
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