Just because you love someone, doesn’t mean you love their taste in television shows.
Sharing a password for video-on-demand sites is fast becoming a modern relationship milestone.
Sure, leaving a toothbrush at your significant other’s house is a pretty big step, but in 2015, if you really want to see into someone’s soul, try taking a peak at their Netflix account.
Opening up the embarrassing can of worms that is your personal viewing preferences to another human being is undeniably a big step.
It’s a gesture of trust, your way of telling the world that you believe wholeheartedly this person will not leave you, in spite of your affection for re-watching episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
On a practical level, it also proves you’ll be spending more time together than apart and that perhaps you’re ready to let them pick the movie. At least on some nights.
Also, if your partner is a big judgemental jerk, like this guy, you’ll soon find out. Then you can dump him before you commit to sharing a VPN to access American Netflix.
According to a recent survey of video-on-demand users in the US, almost half of 18 to 29-year-olds questioned said they share at least one account with someone outside of their home.
It’s a money-saver and a relationship make-or-breaker to be sure, but what happens if you split up?
An article published in Slate looked into these burning questions, asking: how soon after breaking up can you change your password. Or, alternatively, when do you give up rights to your ex’s account?
Even when a relationship has ended on good terms, it can still be a minefield.
Jacob, 32, told Slate that he gets a “quiet, unexpected familiarity” every time he logs on and has to choose between his name or his ex-girlfriend’s.
“I think it’s the simultaneous sense of persistence and distance, the way that it keeps her in my life as a mere fragment,” he said.
Another 26-year-old woman, Mandy, continued to share her Netflix account with an ex and his sister for years after breaking up.
“If I was watching something and see Law and Order in the ‘continue watching’ section, especially on a weekend morning, I’d think, ‘Oh, hi Taylor! I hope your hangover is going well!’” she joked.
“Actually, Netflix should introduce a messaging system for this purpose.”
Unfortunately, things aren’t always so rosy.
25-year-old Nicole said she hated the constant reminder of her cheating ex, who had facilitated his betrayal by contacting another woman by Facebook and email.
“This felt like another way technology was screwing me, or letting him take advantage of me,” she said of his continued use of their shared account.
“I was slightly baffled how he had the nerve to cheat on me after three years and then still exploit my family’s resources.”
Starting a new relationship? College Humour has a whole lot of ways to say ‘Netflix and Chill’ without actually having to say it (post continues after video):
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that break-ups pretty much always suck; whether you’re throwing all of your ex’s undies in your neighbor’s wheelie bin or changing your Netflix password, letting go is going to be a process and it’s different for everyone.
However, don’t let the potential awkwardness of having to untangle your digital lives keep you from the opportunity to tease your new partner about their affection for Nashville.
Would you share a Netflix password with your significant other?