10/23/2013 04:51 pm ET Updated Dec 23, 2013

Netflix Continues to Upend the Ways We Forge and Maintain Romantic Bonds


When evening comes and my significant other proposes we go out on the town, I'm like, "You want to get on a train? Can't we just... Netflix it?" Indeed, Netflix has rendered the "date night out" nearly antiquated.

Whether it's binge-watching a Netflix exclusive or sifting for 45 minutes through various subpar suggestions, Netflix is bringing a generation of people together in new, saucy and sometimes several-day-long ways. Netflix has not only reinvented the concept of "binge-watching," it has succeeded in transforming it into a socially acceptable practice.

It's not just changing things for one generation though; my parents, for instance, take their Netflixing very seriously.

Netflix has also made it slightly easier to get onto that special someone's furnishing of choice a little earlier on in the game.

You can share your Netflix password (a true sign of commitment), or swap saliva while pausing that "free" movie that's never going to expire or have to be returned. Or, maybe don't pause it -- it's pretty boring, right? Indeed, Netflix continues to approach market saturation with a "quantity over quality" modus operandi.

Netflix has all but monopolized the movie- and television-watching experience, and is extra favorable for the non-committal scatterbrains amongst us. Some might argue Netflix is helping perpetuate such collective agitation and inability to commit, but really, who wants to waste their time when Netflix is here to remind us there are so many options out there if we just keep searching.

Netflix is also a shortcut to learning more about the person you're courting, not just based on viewing history and recommended watching (red flag potential here, though empirical evidence reveals just about anything can be blamed on a younger sibling), but also through hypothetical scenarios like the following:

Woman begins searching the word "Blue" -- she's got a thirst for David Lynch.

Man unabashedly squeals at what pops up on the screen. "Oooooooooh! Blue Crush!"

Pause. Whether or not this moment is a deal-breaker, it's certainly an opening for some honest and enlightening conversation about the direction of the relationship.

As Netflix ups the ante, making it easier to tuck in for the long haul, so too do businesses and other dating destinations that thrive on the couple's "night out." They contrive desirable deals, urging couples to get out and experience the "real world" beyond that bright red and ever-welcoming menu screen. But once the pre-packaged "night out" approaches, Netflix, with all its options and the freedom to abort at any time, looks more appealing than ever. Thinking about that "real world" leaves a wake of disillusionment and fatigue.

Even my significant other has been converted to the hypnotizing Netflix doctrine; he rarely suggests going out anymore.

As our work days feel longer and socializing pricier and the couch plusher and public transit busier and food delivery more appetizing and convenient than ever, I have a feeling Netflix isn't worried about competition. Soon Netflix and food delivery companies will be in collaborative talks if they are not already.

And if you ever have the misfortune of going through a break up, guess who, for a mere eight dollars a month, is always there to lovingly welcome you back (though you never really left). Netflix will pull you into its safe embrace -- the embrace of knowing you (and your love of strong female leads and serial killers) better than you know yourself.

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