According To Research, Couples That Make Fun Of Each Other Have Better Relationships
Relationships are hard work. It takes a lot to make a successful relationship happen. All the stress from planning the wedding has nothing on how the actual marriage plays out. Each day is going to come with a new challenge. Like, figuring out how to train your spouse to put the toilet seat down when they’re done going to the bathroom, or dealing with the fallout after they fart really loudly during your Great Aunt’s funeral just because they think it’s funny. If relationships were easy, everyone would do it. But they’re not. And each anniversary should come with a medal as a way of honoring your service.
But it turns out, there are some ways to make your marriage a little bit easier. It turns out, a lot of successful couples have one very big thing in common. And it’s not that they listen to each other. It’s much worse than that.
Butt Of The Joke
It never feels good when the person who you’ve given your heart to makes you the butt of the joke.
But sometimes, a little playful teasing in a relationship isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can actually be the glue in the foundation of your relationship that keeps it together.
A new study found that couples who playfully tease each other might actually have better relationships than those who don’t. So you might want to learn how to take a joke.
No Laughing Matter
Researcher Jeffrey Hall at the University of Kansas conducted whopping 39 studies that examined a grand total of 15,000 people over a time period of 30 years.
Studying a relationship in the short term might give you different results than a relationship in the long term.
In order to see who really had staying power, Hall had to look at couples for three decades of their relationships, not just three years. He found one common denominator.
Laugh It Out
It turns out that the couples with the most staying power had a good sense of humor.
But it wasn’t just that they loved to laugh. They had the same sense of humor. They found the same things funny.
“People say they want a sense of humor in a mate, but that’s a broad concept,” said Hall. Not everyone finds the same things funny, and you’re going to have a bad time if you have to get dragged to Adam Sandler movies all the time.
The Last Laugh
Because “sense of humor” is such a wide term, you should get more specific and find someone with a “similar sense of humor.”
“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,” said Hall.
There’s nothing better than a good inside joke to make your relationship more successful.
Hall isn’t saying that one sense of humor is better than another sense of a humor when you’re in a relationship.
That is, of course, you end up with someone who has a different sense of humor than you.
“Say you and your partner share a quirky sense of humor, but romantic comedies or sitcoms do nothing for either of you… It’s not that any style or a sense of humor is any better or worse,” says Hall.
Two Of A Kind
You should spend the rest of your life with someone who’s going to be laughing just as hard as you when you’re watching the same shows.
“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,” says Hall.
You know what they say. The couple who laughs at people falling down stairs together stays together. Wait, they don’t? They should start.
Take One For The Team
But it isn’t just the fact that couples find the same things funny that makes them so successful.
Couples who can laugh at each other tend to be more successful than couples who take things too seriously.
Hall says that laughing at each other can help build security in the relationship. Of course, if your partner does the thing where they drive off when you’re trying to get into the car, then that might defeat the whole point.
What's So Funny?
Hall says it’s important for couples to pal around. The relationship shouldn’t be 100% romantic. You should also be able to have fun.
“Playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding and establishing relational security. Particularly shared laughter, is an important indicator of romantic attraction between potential mates,” says Hall.
So if you’re partner farts because they think it’s funny, they’re not trying to gas you out. They’re just trying to build your relationship and make it stronger.
Har De Har Har
But there’s a difference between playfully teasing your partner and straight up being mean to them.
You can’t do something cruel and justify it by saying, “It’s just a joke.” It’s not just a joke, and it’s not part of having a successful relationship.
That’s just straight up abusive, and you shouldn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who’s cruel to you like that. There’s no staying power in a relationship with someone who’s a jerk.
Baby Bye, Bye, Bye
Hall sees right through that mean behavior and calls it out for what it is.
“Having an aggressive sense of humor is a bad sign for the relationship in general, but it is worse if the style of humor is used in the relationship. If you think your partner tells mean-spirited jokes, then it’s likely you’ve seen that firsthand in your relationship,” says Hall.
You should probably pack your bags if you find yourself in a relationship with someone like that.
Do You Get It?
We all know that men like it when women laugh at their jokes. And science backs this up.
If a woman goes out with a man and laughs at his jokes, the woman is actually more likely to be interested in dating him.
But if two people laugh together, it’s a stronger indicator of a romantic connections. So don’t laugh at a dude’s jokes unless you want to start liking him. And if he laughs at your jokes, marry him.
Some researchers think that a sense of humor is so highly valued because it’s a sign of intelligence.
But there might be a lot more to this belief than we previously thought. “The idea that humor is a signal of intelligence doesn’t give humor its due credit,” Hall said.
“If you meet someone who you can laugh with, it might mean your future relationship is going to be fun and filled with good cheer,” Hall continued.
Hall actually didn’t find a link between humor and intelligence, but he did find a link between humor and extroversion.
Hall studied the Facebook pages of 35 people, and found that people who were funnier tended to be more extroverted, but not necessarily smarter.
Furthermore, both men and women were just as likely to be funny. So cracking jokes all the time isn’t necessarily a man’s job. Both partners in a relationship should be in on the joke.
Hall actually found that having a sense of humor was an indicator that someone was sociable and had an agreeable personality.
“Part of what it means to be social is the ability to joke along with people,”said Hall.
Hall also said that men might use humor to be able to tell if a woman is interested in him. “Men are trying to get women to show their cards,” Hall said. “For some men it is a conscious strategy.”
Happily Ever After
Hall doesn’t underestimate the power of a good laugh when it comes to having a successful relationship.
“Shared laughter might be a pathway toward developing a more long-lasting relationship,” says Hall. It looks like happy couples are having the last laugh… together.
So if you’re trying to find a potential mate, go see your favorite comedy and see who’s laughing just as loudly as you are. That person is going to be your soulmate. No doubt about it.