Romantic movies may lower the divorce rateIt's the bane of existence for men everywhere, it's been called "female porn," but according to a new study from the University of Rochester in New York, watching romantic movies as a couple can save your marriage. Experts contend that romantic movies will help couples navigate through a variety of complex topics ranging from fidelity, parenting and emotional transparency.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="287"] Film poster for The Notebook (film) Note: This poster is the edited one where Noah does not have his beard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
What do the researchers say about romantic movies?
According to Professor Rogge, if you and your spouse watch five romantic films each month you may be able to reduce your chance of divorce. Rogge argues that watching romantic movies together encourages couples to examine the complexities of their relationship, something more commonly done in traditional marriage counseling. But isn't it more fun over a bowl of steaming hot, buttered popcorn?
"Taking time to sit down and take an objective look at your relationship with your partner is going to be helpful for any couple at any stage," said study lead author Ronald Rogge in a statement. "They can make it a yearly thing they do around their anniversary -- watch a movie together and talk about it. That would be a fantastic thing to do and a great present to give themselves each year."
Experts suggest that if couples watched five romantic movies together each month this could help cut the divorce rate from 24% to 11% at the three year mark. Notably, this rate is similar to what is accomplished if the couple visits a trained counselor- and it's much cheaper.
How was the romantic movies study conducted?
For the study, researchers took 174 couples and divided them into three groups. Each group participated in a variety of marriage counseling methods. One group of couples was given romantic movies to watch each week and then they were asked to complete a questionnaire. Each spouse was required to report back to their partner and discuss the marital issues from the film.
Is it the romantic movies are the time spent together?
But is it the romantic movies or the act of spending time with your spouse that's really important? It could be both. Spending time with your spouse doing any type of creative activity can have benefits. But it also could be that any woman who has found a man who is willing to sit down with her and watch a romantic movie has found a spouse who is willing to sacrificially do a variety of things to keep the relationship healthy.
Conversely, whether you're watching the Notebook, which allows you and your spouse to discuss not only whether or not it's possible to love two people at one time (a dangerous discussion) it also opens the door to deep discussions of commitment and sacrifice. Another great movie is When Harry Met Sally. This movie allows couples to discuss the importance of friendship and finding a mate who you really enjoy spending time with. Who doesn't want to hear they are the first person their spouse wants to talk to in the morning and the last person they want to talk to at night? Or maybe, it's even simpler: romantic movies make women feel romantic. That's a win-win for every relationship.