We're tired of relationship tips like "have better communication skills" and "say 'I love you' more often." We've heard it all a thousand times. But I bet you've never heard you should watch more Netflix or tease your spouse to improve your relationship.
As surprising as it might be, there are some pretty unconventional ways that can help you and your sweetheart get even closer:
Studies have found that watching the same show on Netflix as your sweetie can have great benefits for couples. Yes, the snuggling and streaming together does your relationship a lot of good, but it actually goes deeper than that.
Researchers actually found that the relationship benefits of Netflix happened whether or not the couple watched the show together. It was beneficial even if the couple streamed separately.
"Having a shared connection to the characters in a TV series or film might make couples feel like they share a social identity even if they lack mutual friends in the real world," said lead author Sarah Gomillion, PhD.
Yep, having Michael Scott, Andy Dwyer and Ross and Rachel as your "friends" is far from a bad thing - by both being familiar with the same Netflix characters, you and your sweetheart grow a stronger bond.
Yep, you read that right. Teasing can be a good thing. Psychology professor Dacher Keltner explains: "by engaging in light-hearted teasing, couples can broach topics that they might otherwise keep bottled up." It's a sign a couple is happy if they can light-heartedly tease each other about something that is bothering them.
Happy couple "tease in ways that allow them to express issues of conflict, but in a cooperative and pleasant way." Keltner says.
Of course, teasing should in no way demean or hurt your sweetheart - there's a difference between teasing and mocking. Every person has a different level of tease-tolerance, so make sure to understand your partner's comfortable level of teasing before giving them a hard time about not doing the dishes.
You've probably heard that texting is bad for relationships, but as long as it's not replacing face-to-face communications, a friendly or flirty text can go a long way.
One study on texting and relationships found that while texting is not a good way to discuss a disagreement, "expressing affection via text enhances the relationship." A friendly reminder that you care or even just checking up on plans for tonight can strengthen bonds.
Your text can be flirty, sweet, funny or passionate - whatever you choose, your sweetheart will see their phone light up and won't be able to stop smiling.
Wait, but doesn't jealousy ruin relationships? It can, but we're not talking about the type of jealousy where you're constantly checking up on your partner and always making unwarranted accusations. Rather, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D says "A little bit of jealousy in a healthy relationship is fine. It's going to wake you up. When you're reminded that your mate is attractive and that you're lucky, it can stimulate you to be nicer [and] friendlier."
The jealousy shouldn't be chronic, debilitating or annoying for your partner, but just a little visit from the little green monster every once in awhile is a good sign that you love your sweetheart and want to be together always.
Apparently, binge-watching Stranger Things, poking your partner, sending emojis and getting a bit protective of your sweetheart when a good looking girl enters the room are all great for your relationship. What are some unconventional relationship tips you'd give?