A cheerful heart is good medicine. Prov. 17:22
My husband, Greg, has always known how to make me laugh. Ever since the night we first met when I was 15 and he was 16. His sense of humor and wit were some of the things that attracted me to him early on. And he loves that he can make me laugh, even without words. All it takes is this certain expression on his face – and I’m a goner!
How wonderful to laugh together and to enjoy each other and have fun!
Humor and Relationship Research
Jeffrey Hall, a researcher in communications at Kansas University, has done quite a bit of study on the subject of humor and relationships.
Hall says, “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.”
In the article “Humor in Romantic Relationships, a Meta-Analysis,” Hall looks back on 30 years’ worth of studies on the topic, concluding that “playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding and establishing relational security” and that laughter, “particularly shared laughter, is an important indicator of romantic attraction between potential mates.”
Hall cautions that research warns a mate not to make his or her partner the butt of a joke. “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…”
Some Benefits of Humor in Relationships
Humor can be a huge blessing in a romantic relationship (or any relationship) – and is a key ingredient for success in marriage. It doesn’t solve everything, of course. But humor – properly handled, at the right moment – can do amazing things like:
- Create emotional bonding for couples and families.
- Forge lasting memories.
- Attract our man to us. (Both initially and throughout the relationship)
- Ease stress.
- Boost romance.
- Increase playfulness and fun.
- Increase satisfaction and contentment in relationship.
- Break tension.
- Give your man more confidence in his abilities by his ability to make you laugh and smile.
- Slice through an awkward moment.
- Calm anxiety.
- Fight fear.
- Counter depression.
- Curb anger.
- Reduce offense and irritability.
- Prevent some types of conflict.
- Help manage conflict.
- Help us cope in times of trial
- Possibly boost our health in a number of ways
When we can find humor together in difficulties, or come up with inside jokes, or share funny quotes and impressions – we bond and grow in our connection together. Life is more fun.
Shared humor makes our relationship stronger. As long as it is done in love, sensitivity, and fun – never with spite, disrespect, or malice.
This bonding helps us weather the less pleasant parts of life together and helps both people feel loved, accepted, and important. It also helps to build a sense of being a team which is critical for long term relationship survival.
Humor is a great way to add positivity to your own life and to your relationship with your guy. It may take a bit of practice. And, it may take some time to study your particular man to learn what kinds of humor really engages him most and what kind of humor you both enjoy sharing the most. But the rewards can be amazing when we find the right style of humor, balance, and approach!
We’d love to hear your stories of how you and your guy use humor to strengthen your relationship. I’m sure many of you have amazing insights to share with all of us that would be such a blessing! Or if you would like to share how you and your friends or family use humor to build relationship and community, we’d love to hear about that, as well!
Laughter Then Love: Study Explores Why Humor Is Important in Romantic Attraction – Kansas University
Managing Conflict with Humor – HelpGuide.org
Laughter Is the Best Medicine – (the health benefits of laughter) HelpGuide.org
Relationship Success Tied Not to Joking But Shared Sense of Humor, Researcher Says– Hall, Kansas University