SOFA SECRETS: Relationship expert Mel Schilling reveals what couples’ streaming positions say about them

Research shows 1 in 3 couples spend over 43 days a year streaming their favourite shows

  • Sitting at opposite ends of the sofa revealed as most popular position to watch streamed shows
  • Most popular time for watching Netflix being 9pm on a Sunday, according to new network data from TalkTalk
  • Just four per cent of couples in the UK cuddle on the sofa when streaming TV, which Married at First Sight psychologist Mel Schilling says could be a warning sign

A third of Brits spend the equivalent of 43 days a year streaming TV with their partner, yet just 4% enjoy a cuddle while doing so according to new research from connectivity provider TalkTalk.

The way couples watch TV could reveal significant insights into their relationship, according to Married at First sight psychologist Mel Schilling. The relationship expert has partnered with TalkTalk to help couples understand what their sofa streaming position says about them, following the launch of the connectivity provider’s Fibre and Netflix packages.

Sofa distancing can be good news

According to Schilling, when engrossed in Netflix our subconscious minds take over, so the body language we use can be a precise gauge of what is going on in a relationship. The top 5 streaming positions according to TalkTalk’s research are:

  1. Sofa Distancing: Sitting on opposite ends of the sofa (31 per cent) – This can mean one of two things; extreme independence and trust or a relationship in need of an intimacy boost.
  2. Two Peas in a Pod: Sat side by side, touching but not cuddling (29 per cent) – Typically indicates that a couple is very comfortable in their relationship, potentially a pair that has been together a long time.
  3. Leg Jenga: Lying down with your legs over your partner (25 per cent) – This usually suggests that there is an ‘alpha’ partner in the relationship, one who typically ‘leads’.  
  4. Corner Cuddlers: Cuddling in one corner of the sofa (11 per cent) – In this case, the partner in the corner of the sofa is holding the power whilst the one cuddling is seeking attention or reassurance.  
  5. The Snugglers: Cuddling in the middle of the sofa (4 per cent) – The most compatible viewing position in my experience, a pair coming together to meet in the middle, suggesting a deep and satisfying bond. 

For any non-cuddling couples concerned this might be the end, fear not, Schilling says that some distance and independence isn’t always bad for a relationship. A good sign for the 17 per cent who prefer cuddling their pet than their partner when streaming TV.

But while couples may not want to cuddle when tuning into Netflix, it appears they more affectionate when it comes to choosing what they watch. TalkTalk’s research shows 58 per cent will watch a show they hate because their partner loves it. Schilling says it’s important to strike a balance:

Partners shouldn’t compromise on their taste too much. Most couples have TV shows that they watch exclusively on their own and others that they share with their partner, this is a sign of a healthy balance between togetherness and independence.” 

Sex scenes in TV shows and films can also leave couples feeling a little flushed

Over one in 10 polled by TalkTalk admitting to finding raunchy scenes awkward to watch with their partners. Perhaps this could be because one in five (18 per cent) don’t admit it to their partner when they find the actor on screen attractive.  But no matter if its crime or comedy – British couples take their streaming time seriously.

Sunday evening most popular time

Network data from TalkTalk shows more people across the UK sit down to watch their favourite show on a Sunday evening at 9pm than at any other single time.

Other research findings:

  • Almost one in four (23 per cent) insisting on pausing the TV if their partner wants to talk
  • Over 20 per cent get annoyed if their partner doesn’t pay attention and then asks questions.

The most popular genres to enjoy as a couple:

  1. Crime/police drama (62 per cent)
  2. Documentaries (50 per cent)
  3. Comedy Shows (46 per cent)
  4. Period Dramas (33 per cent)
  5. Sci-fi or fantasy (30 per cent)
  6. Romantic Comedies (24 per cent)

Lindsey China, Head of Partnerships, said: “Our customers want great entertainment but don’t want to pay the earth for a big bundle TV package. That’s why we’ve launched affordable new Fibre and Netflix plans that enable customers to enjoy fast, reliable broadband and award-winning entertainment, without having to pay more for an additional TV package – ideal for those looking to forgo the traditional TV box.”

Mel Schilling, Married at First Sight psychologist, said: It’s important to understand what our streaming habits say about our relationship, and, like so many other aspects, communication is key.  For example, telling your partner if you need more intimacy when streaming your favourite shows or agreeing to try a new genre or show you’ve previously not watched. When you have different interests, you have the opportunity to broaden each other’s horizons and to develop as a couple.”

For more information on TalkTalk’s Fibre and Netflix packages, visit:

TalkTalk’s NEW Fibre and Netflix Packages:

  • TalkTalk’s Fibre and Netflix packages don’t require customers to pay for an additional TV package if they don’t want one - ideal for those looking to forgo a TV box.
  • The package comes with Netflix Standard, which means customers can watch unlimited films and TV programmes in HD quality on two devices at once. And with Netflix and Fibre on one bill, it’s easy to keep track of all the great value you’re getting.
  • Super-busy households who are looking for the ultimate viewing experience, can upgrade to Netflix Premium for just £4 extra per month. Customers that upgrade will have the ability to watch content on four devices at the same time, and in 4K Ultra HD video quality.

Current offers available:

  • Fibre 35 Broadband and Netflix Package, with average speeds of 38Mb/s, for just £29.95 a month for 18 months (save up to £175.59 vs major competitors BT, Sky and Virgin Media)
  • Fibre 65 Broadband and Netflix Package, with average speeds of 67Mb/s, for just £31.95 a month for 18 months (save up to £229.59 vs major competitors BT, Sky and Virgin Media)