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Fri, Jan. 12th, 2007, 09:08 pm
How to Use Humor to Find and Keep a Mate, and how Most People Are Doing it Wrong

How to Use Humor to Find and Keep a Mate, and how Most People Are Doing it Wrong

A sense of humor is a proven method to find and keep a spouse. Many people know this and try to use humor to improve their mating habits. Most people get it wrong.


Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink was a best pick read for 2006, and is exploited to maximize creativity and whatnot. None of the buzz explains Gladwell's useful insights on how to get and keep a mate. Blink reveals how humor helps people stay together, the difference between how men and women define "a sense of humor," and how to exploit it.

In Blink, Gladwell talks about longevity studies of marriage where scientists record a couple having an argument for the sake of the experiment, and the couple answer questions about what’s important to them for a good marriage. One of the questions was "it is important that my partner have a sense of humor." The researchers track the couples to record how long they stayed married.

Turns out that men and women have different definitions of what it means for their partner to have a sense of humor. Women interpret "it is important that my partner have a sense of humor" to mean "my husband should be funny." Men interpret the same statement to mean "my wife should laugh at my jokes."

Ironically, the couples whose sense of humor kept them together the longest were couples with men who reported that their WIVES were funny and the MEN were the ones laughing at jokes told by their wives.

So what? So if and when my son introduces me to his girlfriend, my first sentence to her will be "tell me a joke." I tell women to marry the man who laughs at their jokes, and I tell men to marry the woman who makes them laugh.

I tell wives to tell jokes to their husbands about the shared stress of their life together. I tell husbands to be an "easy crowd" – stay in a mindset where it’s easy to laugh at their wife’s jokes.

Tell me how you use humor to find and/or keep a mate.


Basil White