It was a chilly Friday evening in March – St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Drinks at a local pub were the order for the night. I met up with my brother and our good friend Luis, who I hadn’t seen in a while. We joked and caught up on everything that’s been going on since we last met – the stuff that isn’t typically posted on our Facebook feeds. Eventually the Guinness and Scotch’s started to do their job, and we got into some philosophical, (at many times raunchy,) conversation. The topic of past relationships came up, and we started talking about what we think went wrong.
“One of the things that showed me that things weren’t going well was that we weren’t laughing together anymore. The playful vibe was gone,” I mused.
“That was the beginning of the end.”
Luis, who recently got engaged to his girlfriend of nearly ten years, provided some crude – yet profound – relationship advice:
“The best oral sex you will give or receive is still being able to make each other laugh after 10 years”
To me, humor is huge. I love to laugh, and love to make others laugh. It’s not about being a comedian and constantly being “on”, but about having fun and being playful. It’s especially true in a romantic relationship. A woman who can match me in wit is intriguing, to say the least. Some of the most memorable times are when you’re laughing together and just thoroughly enjoying the moment. It’s fleeting, but when you look back on those memories you can’t help but remember those good feelings.
Most women would agree that one of the most important traits that they look for in a partner is a sense of humor. Again, not a comedian or clown, but someone who they can laugh with – not laugh at. Why is it important? Because life has its own ways of knocking us down. There are already so many moments where we have to be serious. Take away the opportunity to laugh and there’s not much left to enjoy.
Was there ever a time where you and your partner shared a random, laugh out loud moment? Of course you have. Maybe it was when you first met, witnessed something outrageously funny, and broke out into simultaneous fits of hysterical laughter. It becomes one of those fond “Remember that time when…” stories that you tell, and remind each other of from time to time. A connection is made between you two right then and there. It can’t be recreated because it just was, and it’s something only the two of you will ever share – it’s an intimate moment.
Humor is a way to establish comfort with one another as well. It creates a playful vibe between the two of you, and allows you both to be childlike. All the stress, anxiety and frustrations of daily life can melt away, even briefly, with a good, hearty laugh. It allows you to relax in each other’s presence, and forget about the rest of the world for a little bit.
Science has even proven that laughter is pleasurable, especially to women. In a 2005 study by a team at the Stanford University School of Medicine, 20 adults (10 men and 10 women) were shown a series of cartoons and asked to rate whether or not they found them funny. Responses were recorded while the participant’s neurological reactions were measured by fMRI. While responses were mostly similar between the sexes, there were a couple of key differences involving the areas of the brain which were stimulated by humor. Men mostly expected the punchline to happen, and weren’t very surprised when it came. Women, on the other hand, generally did not expect the punchline. When it did come they were pleasantly surprised. (Azim, Mobbs, Jo, Menon and Reiss. “Sex Differences in brain activation elicited by humor”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 2005.)
So what, you might ask? Well, women had a higher activation of the reward centers of the brain than men when they found something funny. The study shows that there are differences in humor appreciation between sexes and that women find a lot of pleasure in laughter – more so than men – yet another reason to make her laugh fellas!
While humor isn’t the one thing that will make your relationships work, it’s a vital piece to the puzzle. Couple it with other critical pieces such as trust, honesty and commitment, and you’ll have built a strong foundation. So let loose. Be childlike with each other. Have fun. Make her laugh. Make each other laugh. And never lose sight on how to do it.