Couples who make 'inside jokes' and 'create humor together' stay together longer, claim scientists
Whether it's making fun of your significant other when they lose to you in a video game or cracking up when they cry while watching a film, scientists have now found out that couples who make fun of each other are likely to stay together longer. Inside jokes are said to be particularly important because, according to the researchers, they "affirm your relationship through laughter".
The researchers have warned, however, that couples who share "mean-spirited jokes" are not likely to last because nasty comments are an indication that there is a problem in the relationship. The research was carried out by the University of Kansas and was led by associate professor Jeffrey Hall from the department of communication studies.
Professor Hall said: "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."
The scientists have also analyzed 39 studies that made up of more than 15,000 participants to see how important humor is when it comes to a lasting romantic relationship. The results — which were published in full in an issue of the journal called Personal Relationships — have suggested that being hilarious or being able to crack a joke does not mean you will be luckier when it comes to love.
Professor Hall has said that couples who can "create humor together" through inside jokes are the ones who are more likely to last than most. He said: "People say they want a sense of humor in a mate, but that's a broad concept."
The professor continued: "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 sense of humour is any better or worse. What matters is 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."
Professor Hall has warned that, before you go and start making fun of your significant other in various ways, it would be wise to not go too far. He said: "Having an aggressive sense of humour 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 that your partner tells mean-spirited jokes, then it's likely you've seen that firsthand in your relationship."