Obviously there are going to be limits here, everything in moderation and what not, but a study has found that some light-hearted mockery between you and your partner can work wonders for your relationship.
Over the last 30 years, Jeffrey Hall from the University of Kansas has conducted 39 studies, involving over 15,000 people, and he discovered that humour is a critical part of building a strong relationship.
More specifically, he concluded it’s not enough to find a partner who simply has a sense of humour – they must share your sense of humour if you want the best results.
In a paper, shared by the University of Kansas, Hall said:
People say they want a sense of humor in a mate, but that’s a broad concept. That people think you are funny or you can make a joke out of anything is not strongly related to relationship satisfaction. What is strongly related to relationship satisfaction is the humor that couples create together.
Say you and your partner share a quirky sense of humor, but romantic comedies or sit-coms do nothing for either of you. So it’s not that any style or a sense of humor is any better or worse.
What matters is that you both see quirky humor as hysterical. If you share a sense of what’s funny, it affirms you and affirms your relationship through laughter.
In his paper, titled Humor in Romantic Relationships, a Meta-Analysis, Hall added that playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding because it increases the feeling of security.
So not only should a couple be able to laugh at the same things, being able to joke around with each other is just as important.
The study also demonstrated that shared laughter is an important indicator of romantic attraction between potential couples, so if you find yourself laughing with your partner you know you’ve got something good.
The ability to laugh together, and indeed at each other, has another massive benefit for couples as well, as it’s a highly effective way to deal with stress.
So if you’ve ever wondered why Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, or Jim and Pam from The Office are ‘couple goals’ and you aspire to be more like them, try injecting some more humour, laughter is the best medicine and all that…
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.