Christmas is just around the corner—shut up, it totally is—and that means it’s time to break out the seasonal movies and get into the holiday spirit. Whether you love The Grinch and The Santa Clause or something like The Holiday is more your style (it is mine!), experts say that watching Christmas movies with your partner leads to a way happier relationship.
1. SCIENCE PROVES IT.
A study from the University of Rochester and University of California looked at 174 couples and split them in half. One group was told to watch Christmas movies together while the other group refrained. Three years later, the Christmas movie watching group was still together and thriving while the control group couples had either already broken up or were on rough ground.
2. IT’S ALL ABOUT DISCUSSING WHAT’S HAPPENING ON SCREEN.
Sounds crazy, but talking about movie characters and plots with your partner can help strengthen your own relationship, researchers discovered.
3. IT WORKED BETTER THAN CONVENTIONAL THERAPY.
Therapy is expensive and while it works and is sometimes necessary, this study proved that simply talking to each other, even if it’s just about what you’re watching, can have similar effects. The movie-watching couples reduced the divorce and separation rate from 24% to 11% in three years, which is pretty impressive.
5. EVEN THE RESEARCHERS WERE SHOCKED.
Ronald Rogge, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rochester and co-author of the study, said, “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. The results suggest that husbands and wives have a pretty good sense of what they might be doing right and wrong in their relationships. 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.”