Humor is a lovely thing, and it can change the entire mood of a room. It makes you feel happier, boosts your outlook on life, and brings other people up with you.
In relationships, that kind of power in a simple, genuine action is essential. However, it’s relatively common for humor to diminish in partnerships the longer a couple is together. Don’t let that happen to your love life!
Here are four ways to keep humor alive in relationships.
1. Create Funny Situations
The easiest and most obvious way to begin creating humor in your relationships is by creating situations where comedy is natural. This allows you to fall into the habit of laughing together and with each other! Studies have shown that couples that laugh together often enjoy more positive relationships, better relationship satisfaction, and more happiness overall. Here are some ways to create funny situations that keep the humor going!
Comedy specials are designed to make you laugh! They’re all-out belly-laugh-makers, and they’re great for date nights. You can even go to comedy clubs and shows to watch stand-up artists work their magic live. Maybe you’ll find more comedians you love and can watch through there!
· Watch Funny Shows
Most couples enjoy watching shows together, and a fair few even have “special” or “reserved” shows that they don’t watch without their partner. Why not make one of them a funny one? Find a good show that you’re both interested in binge-watching and has comedic elements. You’ll get the bonding from a shared investment in plot and bonus laughter to boot!
· Find Common Ground
It’s not unusual for partners to have different senses of humor. Sometimes, it takes a while until you find things that make both of you laugh. It’s okay to need to work on finding comedy and humor that you can enjoy together! Once you find those extraordinary things that make you both chuckle or get to the point of cry-laughing, you’ll know that you can always go back to these things and enjoy them together.
2. Bond Through Humor
Humor plays a role in a relationship from the very beginning. Making each other laugh at a first meeting makes both parties more attractive to each other – often more so than any physical attractiveness that may also be at play. Humor showcases compatibility, wit, positive thinking, compassion, fun-loving thoughts, intelligence… so many different factors rolled into one!
This is why humor continues to be significant long-term. It’s a reminder of what you love about each other, and it’s a great way to come together and bond. Here are some ways to bond in a relationship while keeping humor alive:
· Laugh Together
Laughing genuinely together is a pivotal way to bond with anyone, not just a partner. Laughter releases the feel-good hormone endorphin into your mind and body, boosting your positive thinking and making you feel closer to the person you’re laughing with.
· Create Inside Jokes
There are few things more connective in a relationship than secret knowledge only the two of you share. Inside jokes have that magic plus the benefits of the humor that comes with it! It’s like having a cute little secret, but better, and it’s a testament to the fact that in life, you’re a team.
· Plan Unique and Creative Dates
There’s nothing wrong with a fancy sit-down dinner or a simple trip to the movies, but there’s also value in spicing it up now and then. Some of your dates should be unique! What does this have to do with humor? Well, there isn’t much opportunity for laughter at a particular restaurant where you’re dressed to the nines. So instead, go to a museum and point out funny details in art. Take a class together and laugh, and you learn. Do some people-watching and crack jokes about fashion senses. You don’t even need to try to find humor in creative dates actively – fun usually arises on its own in these situations!
3. Use It In Conflict Management
When tensions run high, humor can diffuse them and remind you and your partner that you love each other. It helps both parties look at situations with a little more open-mindedness and a little less anger. You take yourself less seriously and can approach without defensiveness or negativity when you can find humor in a situation. This is because:
· Humor Makes Things Spontaneous
You aren’t stuck in conventional behavior or manners of thinking, so you view conflict in a different light and can seek more out-of-the-box solutions.
· Humor Lifts Your Inhibitions
You can express yourself in genuine but less aggressive ways when there’s humor in a conflict. Your deeper feelings will feel more comfortable being put forward because you don’t feel judged or excessively vulnerable to an intimidating degree.
· Humor Makes You Open To Criticism
You hear and interpret things less seriously when you’re in a mindset of humor. This allows you to listen to genuine critique on your actions or behavior without becoming defensive, as it’s less painful to hear.
· Humor Puts A Wrench In A Power Struggle
In many conflicts, both parties struggle for “power,” specifically to be heard or to be seen as the “correct” person. You’ll be able to see things with brand new perspectives and reconnect with your partner if those chains don’t bind you.
Research has indicated that humor and positive thinking are good for conflict resolution, but the trick is to learn to do it right. If you don’t already have a humorous vibe in your relationship, using humor to diffuse tension may not be as useful, to begin with. But beyond that, here are a few tips for using humor in the management of conflict:
It’s valid and fair to use humor as a general coping mechanism, but it should not be a stand-in for real emotions. It would help if you used humor as a way to make it easier for you to express your more complex feelings, not as a way to deny that you have those feelings at all.
· You Don’t Need To Be A Genius Master Comedian
It’s common for people to feel too intimidated by the idea of rejection or feeling silly to want to try humor in conflict. Remember, you’re not a stand-up master. You’re a person trying to find common, loving ground with your partner. You love and trust your partner, so trust that they will not judge you for a bad joke. They may find it even funnier when your comedy is terrible!
· Make Sure Your Partner Is In On The Joke
Your partner has to find a funny situation as you do for humor to be a workable tool. You want to laugh with your partner, not at them. So if your partner doesn’t find anything about the situation comedic and doesn’t engage with an attempt at humor, stop and focus on a different approach.
· Get Better At Smart Humor
Smart humor means being empathetic, emotionally intelligent, and aware of yourself and your partner. Notice if your partner is uncomfortable through their nonverbal cues. Avoid using humor when it’s clear the situation is too tricky or heartfelt for that. Never be too harsh or mean with humor as a shield if you’re unsure if you’re capable of a cheerful, smart mood yet. Practice in non-conflict situations first until you’ve honed the skill!
4. Don’t Fear Making A Fool Of Yourself
We all have goofy sides that we’d feel too embarrassed to show to most people. But your partner is likely one of the closest people you have! If you live with them, you probably already know them at least almost as much as they know themselves, and they know the same about you.
So why worry about being silly? A person you love wouldn’t judge you for letting loose and messing around. Making a fool of yourself is one of the most fun ways to keep humor alive! Here are some great ways to do this:
· Be Goofy
Let your weird streak fly! Dance like a monkey. Jump around like a kid. Make silly faces to express your feelings. Sing horribly out of tune. Do all those things that are entirely whacky, and let your partner see how much fun you can be! The humor can’t possibly die when you both create it regularly!
· Make That Risque Joke
Think about the more “improper” types of humor you enjoy. Toilet humor? Crude humor? Dark humor? If your partner likes these kinds of humor, too, then show off your mutual love of laughing this way by pulling jokes and other comedic acts in this regard. It tells you both not to take life so seriously and find joy and happiness in the things only both of you can share. It’s also just a very vulnerable sort of humor, which ups the bonding levels!
· Use Humor In The Bedroom
People often paint intimate activities as a sacred act, but let’s face it – it’s nothing like the books and movies entail! Studies show that humor can create a more positive and satisfying intimate life. Sometimes, things get awkward in the bedroom. Learn to laugh about it, and you’ll be rewarded!
· Give A Gag Gift
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a bouquet or a sweet card. Still, gag gifts are fun and add some variety to the generic romanticism that most standard offerings provide. They can be just about anything, from a simple card with a joke to something purchased from a novelty store. If it’ll get a chuckle out of your partner, it’s worth a shot; after all, laughter can be a gift, too. (Remember that, when it’s a gift for an important event like an anniversary or birthday, it will likely be a good idea to get a “real” gift alongside the gag gift!)
· Tease Your Partner
Lighthearted teasing is a beautiful way to develop comedic banter in your relationship. Learn to tease your partner in ways that they enjoy and don’t feel uncomfortable about. Remember what we said about smart humor? That applies here!
Humor, used well, is a powerful tool that can bring light and joy to a relationship. So many relationships begin with good humor that it’d be a shame to lose it, so do what you can to keep the spirit alive in yours!