Not being able to stand your significant other’s friend group is the worst. But besides the fact that it's annoying to hang with people you don’t like, your totally separate squads might take a toll on the quality of your relationship, too.
According to research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, sharing one cohesive social circle makes your relationship stronger than if you maintain separate spheres. In two studies, researchers looked at college students who had been in exclusive relationships for four months or more. They asked them questions about how many friends they and their partners had in common, how much time they spent on certain activities every day, and how they felt about the overall quality of their relationships.
The researchers found that people who shared a social circle with their significant other felt closer to their partners and more solid about their relationships overall than those who hung with different crowds.
But if your social circles just don’t line up (we get it, you can only tolerate so many Pokemon Go parties), you’re not totally doomed. The study also found that having “shared media experiences,” whether through books, movies, or TV shows, predicted a stronger relationship as well. That's right, bonding over Game of Thrones can help you reap some of those closeness benefits. (Afer all, we all feel like we're besties with Danaerys by now.) Bring on the Netflix (and chill).