Couples who laugh together stay together, scientists discover

Couples who laugh together DO stay together! Scientists discover relationships are more likely to last if you poke fun at your other half

  • Inside jokes help to ‘affirm your relationship through laughter’
  • ‘Playfulness’ is a ‘crucial component in bonding and relationship security’
  • But ‘mean spirited jokes’ may indicate an underlying problem in the relationship 

Whether its poking fun at their football team always losing or jibing that they cry over Attenborough documentaries, scientists have discovered couples who poke fun at each other are more likely to go the distance.

And inside jokes are particularly important because they ‘affirm your relationship through laughter’, the researchers claim.

But, they warn, couples who share ‘mean spirited jokes’ are unlikely to last, with nasty jibes indicating a problem in the relationship. 

Scientists have discovered couples who laugh together are more likely to last (stock)

The research was carried out by the University of Kansas and led by associate professor Jeffrey Hall from the department of communication studies. 

‘Playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding and establishing relational security,’ Professor Hall said. 

‘Particularly shared laughter, is an important indicator of romantic attraction between potential mates.’ 

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People in open relationships are no more sexually and emotionally satisfied than monogamous couples, research suggests.

As long as couples have sex to be close to each other or to fulfill their desires, there is no difference in how content people are with their partners, a study found last June.

Those who get intimate for less personal reasons – such as to avoid an argument – are less likely to be happy in their relationships regardless of whether it is open or monogamous, the research adds.

Lead author Jessica Wood, from the University of Guelph, said: ‘We found people in consensual, non-monogamous relationships experience the same levels of relationship satisfaction, psychological well-being and sexual satisfaction as those in monogamous relationships.

‘This debunks societal views of monogamy as being the ideal relationship structure.’ 

The scientists analysed 39 studies made up of more than 150,000 participants to determine how important humour is in a romantic relationship. 

Results – published in full in the next issue of the journal Personal Relationships – suggest that people thinking you are funny or can make a joke out of anything does not mean you will be more lucky in love.

But couples who ‘create humour together’ – via inside jokes – are more likely to last.  

‘People say they want a sense of humour in a mate, but that’s a broad concept,’ Professor Hall said. 

‘What is strongly related to relationship satisfaction is the humour that couples create together.

‘Say you and your partner share a quirky sense of humour, but romantic comedies or sit-coms do nothing for either of you. 

‘It’s not that any style or sense of humour is any better or worse. What matters is you both see quirky humour as hysterical. 

‘If you share a sense of what’s funny, it affirms you and affirms your relationship through laughter.’ 

But before you laugh at your other half’s receding hairline or moan about your mother-in-law, Professor Hall warns couples not to go too far.

‘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,’ he said. 

‘If you think that your partner tells mean-spirited jokes, then it’s likely you’ve seen that firsthand in your relationship.’ 


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