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Chick Flicks For Better Relationships


When was the last time you took your spouse to see a chick flick? If you can only think back to the beginning of your relationship (i.e. the courting stage), then you may want to revisit that idea after you read this.

“Chick flicks” that tend to have women in tears, and that men find boring, can actually help to strengthen your relationship. According to a study conducted by the University of Rochester, couples who watched movies like “Steel Magnolias” and “Love Story,” and talked about the issues raised, were less likely to divorce or separate than couples in a control group who received no counseling or self-help assignments. This intervention proved to be as effective as intensive couples therapy in keeping couples together. “A movie is a nonthreatening way to get the conversation started” says Ronald D. Rogge, the lead author of the study.

The study compared four groups of couples in a total of 174 couples studied. The first two groups each received one of two types of therapy led interventions called CARE and PREP. The CARE method focuses on acceptance and empathy in couples counseling, and the PREP method focuses on a specific communication style couples use to resolve issues. The third group received the movie intervention, where couples were asked to watch five movies and then take part in a guided discussion. The fourth group, or the control group received no counseling or self-help assignments.

Researchers expected the CARE and PREP methods to have a more profound effect on relationships, and the movie intervention to carry little weight on improvements to relationship quality. Surprisingly, the movie intervention worked just as well as the CARE and PREP methods in reducing divorce and separation. Furthermore, couples who received marriage counseling or the movie intervention were half as likely to divorce or separate after three years when compared to the couples who received no intervention.

Some more recent “chick flicks” that may promote healthy discussions to improve your relationships, as well as laughter to elevate your endorphins, include “Couples Retreat,” “Date Night,” “Love and Other Drugs,” and “She’s having a Baby.” So the next time your spouse wants to watch a movie, make it a chick flick for a better relationship.

Also, for more information on the study visit

For more information on Mental Health Counseling, visit our website at, or

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