According to a new study, your significant other has probably cheated — Netflix cheated, that is. A study that the streaming service released just in time for Valentine's Day states that nearly half — 48 percent! — of U.S. couples have Netflix cheated, or continued watching a show without their significant other that you had agreed to watch together. And, what's worse is that you may never know if your partner kept watching without you.
"Many American streaming couples are still cheating in secret: 36 percent never admit to their indiscretions," the study states. This is actually the second time Netflix has examined this trend, and it's tripled since the first study was conducted in 2013. In fact, cheating with your favorite Netflix show has since become a global epidemic among couples.
While nearly half of Americans Netflix cheat, Brazil and Mexico boast the highest rate, at 57 percent and 58 percent, respectively. Looking for a trustworthy TV companion? In the Netherlands, only 27 percent of people studied have Netflix cheated. And don't expect remorse from those who have. Of the American Netflix cheaters, 63 percent say they would do it again if they thought they could get away with it, and 48 percent report Netflix cheating three or more times. It seems that clicking on to the next episode is just too hard to resist. You can see even more of the data in the infographic below.
I have to admit, my own relationship has not been immune. Last year, when I was out of town, my husband called to ask if he could watch the new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt without me, as it had been released that day. I felt weird about it, but gave him a "hall pass." For some reason, knowing that your partner is watching without you really stings — that's why this otherwise unremarkable phone call is still memorable a year later. And I feel like such a statistic, since 23 percent of Netflix users cheat when their significant other is on a business trip.
Another common element of cheating? Thrillers. If you break it down by genre, 55 percent of U.S. Netflix cheaters indulge in dramas, not comedies. And while no show is free from temptation, many U.S. streaming partners reported cheating with The Walking Dead, Orange Is The New Black, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, and Marvel’s Daredevil.
Beware: this violation could be happening right under your nose. It turns out that 27 percent of American Netflix-cheating occurs when one partner falls asleep. And, 16 percent hide in another room while cheating. Nowhere is safe.
So, what do you do next? Do you Netflix cheat in retaliation? Do you forbid them from ever watching the show again? Or do you forgive and try to forget, because your partner knowing what happens to Titus and Mikey before you isn't a crime, it's just annoying? Your move.