Can Humor Make Or Break A Relationship?
Advice For Determining the Importance of a Good Sense of Humor in a Date
Dear April Masini,
I'm considered the "class clown" type of person, and I just started dating this guy who is fabulous. He has a great job, great friends and family, and treats me really well. The thing is, he's not funny. AT ALL! He'll laugh at my jokes, but he's just not the joking-around type. I find that I miss this in my relationship, but at the same time, I've never had a relationship that was otherwise so perfect before."
Can a funny girl make it in a relationship with Mr. Serious? I need some dating advice fast!
Sincerely, Laugh a Minute
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Laugh a Minute,
Humor isn't necessary in all relationships, but as a dating and relationship expert, I believe it is certainly a great tool to have in your bag of marital aids or family and friend savers.
What is humor?
Humor is a social exchange that can be verbal or visual. It is most common between two or more people, and relies on shared reference points. Private jokes are things that two people find funny because they share reference points that other people in the room do not. That's why some people "get the joke," and others don't.
What does humor do?
Humor diffuses tension and anger, and causes a physical reaction that is a release of energy. Nobody ever died from laughing. They have died from the physical stress of anger, the physical exertion of sex and there is some speculation that loneliness and sadness can cause depression that is so acute, it manifests in physical symptoms that can lead to death.
Humor, however, is the anti-death. It's the Vitamin C of depression!
Having a fight or a bad day can be diffused -- or even stopped -- with a good laugh.
How does this translate to relationships?
Fights between people in relationships -- whether they're romantic relationships or family relationships -- often become tangential and narrowly focused. They lose their perspective. A joke, which is funny because it references another level of the fighting, can help shake off the anger, and allow the people fighting to remember that there is more to life than the narrow tangent they're fighting about.
Dating advice when it comes to humor:
Humor can be a great relief – literally when first dates get awkward, or sex becomes a litany of faux pas’. Rather than focusing on the discomfort at hand, a good joke or a reminder of bigger things in life, can help us feel better about the sex that wasn’t so great or the date that didn’t work out the way it was planned.
On the other hand…
Some people use humor to avoid real life problems. If you find yourself frustrated because a dating or a sexual problem continues to happen without resolve, and your partner keeps laughing it off, the joke’s not funny, and the humor isn’t working. If you don’t think it’s funny, don’t laugh. Humor doesn’t work if one person is laughing and the other isn’t.