Humor plays an important role in relationships from initial attraction to long-term commitment. In new relationships, humor can be an effective tool not just for attracting the other person but also for overcoming any awkwardness or embarrassment that arises during dating and the process of getting to know one another. In longer-term relationships, humor can keep things exciting, fresh, and vibrant. It can also help you overcome conflicts, disagreements, and the tiny aggravations than can build up over time and wreck even the strongest of relationships.
Sharing the pleasure of humor creates a sense of intimacy and connection between two people—qualities that define solid, successful relationships. When you laugh with one another, you create a positive bond between you. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, disappointments, and bad patches in a relationship. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing someone laugh primes you to smile and join in on the fun. But don’t worry if you’re not naturally a lighthearted, humorous person—you can learn to access your playful side and develop your sense of fun.
Humor in relationships and managing relationship problems
Humor isn’t a miracle cure for relationship problems but it can be an important tool to help you overcome the rough spots that afflict every relationship from time to time. Whether your relationship problems stem from issues connected to money, sex, commitment, health, employment, parenting styles, or growing apart, you can use humor to help resolve problems and strengthen relationships.
Humor can help you and your loved one:
Form a stronger bond to each other. Your health and happiness depend, to a large degree, on the quality of your relationships—and laughter binds people together.
Smooth over differences. Using gentle humor often helps you address even the most sensitive relationship issues, such as sex or in-laws.
Diffuse tension. A well-timed joke can ease a tense situation and help you resolve disagreements.
Overcome problems and setbacks. A sense of humor is the key to resilience. It helps you take hardships in stride, weather disappointment, and bounce back from adversity and loss.
Put things into perspective. Most situations are not as bleak as they appear to be when looked at from a playful and humorous point of view. Humor can help you reframe problems that might otherwise seem overwhelming and damage a relationship.
Be more creative. Humor and playfulness can loosen you up, energize your thinking, and inspire creative problem solving for any relationship issue.
While certainly not a cure-all, humor is a vital ingredient in a successful relationship.