They say that laughter is the best medicine, but a recent study shows that it might also be an aphrodisiac. Jeffrey Hall, an associate professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas found that the use of humor when meeting someone is a potential indicator of a budding romance between two people.
“The thing about humor is, humor is not easy to fake,” said Hall. “People usually can’t fake laugh and be very convincing. When you’re laughing along with what someone is saying, or making someone laugh, it tends to be a pretty good indicator that you have chemistry.”
In his article, “Sexual Selection and Humor in Courtship: A Case for Warmth and Extroversion,” Hall explains the role that humor plays when meeting a potential mate. What he found was that the more a woman laughs at a man’s jokes, the more likely the woman was interested in him. If the two are simultaneously laughing, the romantic chemistry is even more apparent.
“If you meet someone who you can laugh with, it might mean your future relationship is going to be fun and filled with good cheer,” says Hall. “Shared laughter may be a pathway toward developing a more long-lasting relationship.”
Ellis Wiltsey, a sophomore at the University of Kansas feels that a strong presence of humor has led her to a healthy relationship with her boyfriend. “Not only does it just feel good to laugh, it helps us connect with each other when we’re both laughing about something,” says Wiltsey. “It keeps positivity in our relationship and helps lead to good memories. My boyfriend and I don’t go to school together so sometimes things can get hard, but we work hard to stay positive and humor helps with that tremendously.”
In fact, Hall also published a study looking at the role that humor plays in long-term relationships and how different humor styles affect different functions in a relationship. In the article, Hall states, “It is not just having a sense of humor that influences relationship satisfaction; it is how that sense of humor is used.”
For sophomore Will Belliel, even after a year and a half of dating he still finds himself trying to make his girlfriend laugh. “I think that we use humor in a lot of different aspects in our relationship,” says Belliel. “We love joking around and using humor in a light-hearted way, but we also sometimes use it during serious situations to kind of lighten the mood. Like after we make up after a fight or whatever, we can usually joke about it afterwards. It helps us not take ourselves so seriously and helps us move past the little things. Doing this has helped us countless times throughout our relationship.”
The bottom line is that humor is attractive because to laugh together is to create a bond together. So whether you’re just starting to date or you’ve been in a relationship for years, use humor to your advantage and remember that a day without laughter is a day wasted.
For a look at the parts of the brain that are activated when you’re laughing and falling in love, look at the graphic below.