Here’s Why Couples Who Watch Horror Movies Together Have the Happiest Relationships
We love a good date night in. Netflix and chill is so popular for a reason, right? But when you actually get the time to have a movie night with your significant other, what kind of movie do you typically go for? Is it a romantic comedy? A drama? Or are you one of those people who love a good scare filled with blood, gore, and screams?
If you chose the latter, we’ve got some good news for you: Horror movies are actually the best genre of movie to watch with your partner, especially in terms of feelings of closeness with your boo. There’s a misconception that it’s the movies with romance and intimacy that set the mood for a romantic evening, but it’s actually the scarier flicks. Here’s why.
“When we’re scared, our brains pump out the feel-good chemical dopamine, the same chemical we release when we’re infatuated with someone,” YouBeauty Co-founder Michael Roizen, MD. says. “Your heart races and you can become addicted to that feeling—as the euphoric serotonin hormone also shoots up.”
That probably has something to do with why we cling to our spouse during a scary scene, or they put their arm around you to protect you from the screen (and how good all of that can feel).
Plus, not for nothing, but chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, are also activated in our brains and bodies when we’re attracted to someone. And it’s no coincidence that a study by researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University found that scaring mice boosted their dopamine levels. So it’s likely very similar for us humans.
“If you do some scary activities the main thing it’s going to do is increase your overall arousal level. You are much more likely to be more passionate about anything when your arousal is high than when it’s low,” says Psychology Advisor Art Markman, PhD.
There’s actually a scientific term for this phenomenon–it’s called “misattribution of arousal,” which is the idea that sexual attraction is heightened under times of high anxiety.
In one study, researchers had an attractive woman stand at either a safe side of the bridge, or a scarier side.
They had men walk across each bridge and the woman would give him her number. It turns out that the men on the “scarier” bridge were more likely to call the woman. Dangerously interesting, eh?
“If you’re watching a scary movie, you’ll attribute most of the arousal to the movie. It’s an easy explanation for why you’re scared out of your wits,” Dr. Markman says. “That said, when the movie is over, the arousal doesn’t disappear right away. You’ll still have some energy in your system. That energy is going to go into what is going on in your life,” he adds.
You can’t argue with science! So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, get comfortable with a movie date night at home this weekend: Just make sure you pick something scary.
Are you a fan of scary movies? Did you know this genre was better to watch with your significant other?