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29th Sep 2019

Research shows that couples who always make fun of each other have happier relationships

Paul Moore


This might sound like you and your partner…

There are a litany of reasons why couples stay together but there’s only one reason that makes you perfect for each other.

No, it’s not things like kindess, compassion, love, and friendship – ok, they’re important- but it’s the ability to take the mickey out of each other at every possible chance and still want to be together that’s key.

Are you in a relationship where you feel like the ratio of conversation is 90% gags and joking with your partner, 10% actual relevant conversation?

Well, if this sounds like the dynamic that you have with your partner, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s a healthy one.

If your partner’s jokes at your expense can actually make you laugh without you being offended, science says that your relationship is definitely on the right track.

Jeffrey Hall, a researcher at the University of Kansas, conducted 39 studies involving various factors that can impact relationships.

Hall studied 15,000 people over a period of 30 years.

After three decades of analysing the finer details of relationships, he came to the conclusion that having a sense of humour was just not enough for a relationship to work. People need to find a partner that matches their sense of humour and someone who laughs at the same things that they do.

“What is strongly related to relationship satisfaction is the humour that couples create together. 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,” he said.

Hall adds: “People say they want a sense of humour 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 humour that couples create together.”

Hall added that if you and your partner can laugh at the same things and enjoy the same funny shows together, it reaffirms your relationship. If the two of you can laugh at each other’s idiosyncrasies without either getting offended then it’s much better.

However, the research noted one important point here that needs to be understood and that’s when to know where to draw the line.

Basically, don’t be the type of person that says “it’s just a joke” as an excuse for being a verbally abusive idiot.

“Having an aggressive sense of humour is a bad sign for the relationship in general, but it is worse if the style of humour 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,” he added.

All in all, keep those laughs coming at the expense of your partner but be nice about it.

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge