We all know a good sense of humor is vital in a long-term relationship (and in life in general), but a new study has gone so far as to reveal that making fun of your partner could actually help bring you closer—and it kind of makes sense if you think about it.
The proof is in the pudding. Jeffrey Hall from the University of Kansas conducted a whopping 39 studies of more than 15,000 people over the course of 30 years to come to this conclusion, so the result seems pretty clear-cut: poking fun at your partner is good news for your relationship.
There is a major caveat, of course. It’s all fine and well playing around with your S.O. but not if you’re the only one laughing. Relentlessly teasing or making fun of your partner can verge on abuse if you’re the only one who finds it funny and your partner is clearly upset, offended, or both. After all, if you’re using humor to disguise frustration or happiness, it’s no longer lighthearted.
Being able to laugh together makes you feel more secure. If you know that your relationship can weather tough times with the help of some humor, you’re way more likely to feel secure in it. It lets you know that there’s nothing too hard that you can’t face together, especially when you’re both capable of the bright side. Hall’s studies confirmed this time and time again.
It’s all about finding what tickles both of you. As Hall explained, “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… It’s not that any style or a sense of humor is any better or worse.”
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