When I was single, I spent a whole lot of time journaling. I would journal about love and what it looked like. What it felt like to experience it from afar, even when I wasn’t in love or even dating anyone. But the best part about writing about love was realizing and clarifying the type of person I ultimately knew would be my perfect match. Someone who not only was trustworthy, loving, and adventurous, (and I admit, good looking wouldn’t hurt), but someone who had an incredible sense of humor.
I soon realized that having a great sense of humor (and not being afraid to use it) was actually one of the most important factors for compatibility with the people I dated. If you could dish it and take it like a champ, you were a keeper in my eyes! I vowed to myself that it was non-negotiable that the person I was going to be with must have a sense of humor for the relationship to take flight.
So you can imagine how relieved I was to find out that my hard-pressed humor mandate for a relationship is actually a key component to make one thrive! It’s great to know that I’m not being narrow-minded when I say, “sense of humor, OR BUST!”
Couples That Make Fun of Each Other Are Healthy
According to science, the happiest couples are those who can playfully laugh with one another, especially when it comes to (lovingly) joking about the other person. Researcher Jeffrey Hall from the University of Kansas conducted 39 different studies that included 15,000 participants over a 30-year span. 
But what’s important to note is that it’s not as simple as finding someone with just any sense of humor. The key here is to find someone with the same sense of humor as you. Hall believes it would never be enough to just seek out someone with any old ‘sense of humor’, as it’s too subjective.
Hall states, “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.”
The art of healthy relationshipping is shared cultivation. Whether it’s inside jokes or being able to poke fun between two individuals, humor is the essential piece to make a relationship become a union.
To better understand this notion, Hall states, “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 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 Hall’s study, he also writes that there is an elevated amount of security that is shared between couples who can laugh at each other. “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.”
To further the understanding of how important it is to be in the same humor mindset as your partner, Hall states, “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.”
Aggressive humor, especially when you are not on the same humor wave as your partner, can be perceived as, and likely is, just downright abusive.
Take celebrity couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, the duo is notorious for outwardly and lovingly throwing joking jabs at one another. Like that one time she posted her heartfelt Happy Birthday tribute to Ryan by cropping him out of a photo, only to leave a different Ryan, Ryan Gosling, standing in the frame.
But the real reason they are #relationshipgoals is that Ryan started it! Blake’s epic birthday wishes to Ryan came only after Ryan’s Happy Birthday to her earlier that year. His birthday post was none other than a photo of the duo, with her cropped out, leaving simply Ryan Reynolds in the shot. The couple has a long-term track record for these types of quips with one another, and they continue to deliver in the humor department.
And the best part about it is that they get one another. They get the humor, they appreciate the humor, and they return it back to one another allowing for their relationship to thrive.
There is really something magical and about being able to be in a relationship with someone whose sense of humor is both loving and just the right amount of playful. How can you bring some light-hearted humor into your life? It’s time to showcase your quirky side, and get ready for relationship success!