How important is it to you that you share a similar sense of humor with your partner? For me, it’s essential that there be at least a fair amount of crossover, because laughter is how I feel connected to people. It makes me feel amazing to make them laugh and I am drawn most to people who can reciprocate. However, a sense of humor is far from being the only way you can be compatible with someone. So, what do you do if you are really in sync in every other way, but your partner doesn’t get your sense of humor? Should you just accept that giggling together is not your destiny and just focus on all the other ways you connect? Or is there something you can do about it — and is a shared sense of humor really even that important? To answer those questions and get some advice on how to turn up the funny in your relationship, I reached out to the experts, who agreed that humor is an important part of a relationship that you shouldn't be expected to simply go without.
"A shared mutual sense of humor is very important to me and should be important in a relationship," Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent, tells Elite Daily. "It is part of the glue that bonds partners together as a couple. Humor can be used to lighten a moment of conflict and help loosen someone [up] when they are stuck in their own point of view."
Laurel House, celebrity dating and relationship coach and host of the Man Whisperer podcast, agrees but does add one caveat, and that's if the issue with your partner’s sense of humor is a sign of having different values because it’s offensive. "It is OK to communicate if there are certain jokes or styles of humor that offend you. Because while not finding something funny is one thing, being offended by what they say is another,” she tells Elite Daily. Assuming the issue isn't that your sense of humor disconnect is about differing values, here's how the experts say you can find some common ground and add laughter to your romance.
If you want to make your partner laugh, Bowden says a little self-deprecation can go a long way. “Self-deprecation is considered almost universally charming because it conveys self-awareness and a lack of ego, both of which put others at ease,” he explains. This form of humor isn’t about putting yourself down or insulting yourself; it’s just about being willing to laugh at yourself and not take things too seriously. “Even if your partner doesn’t laugh uproariously, they’ll appreciate your willingness to poke fun at yourself, which will help endear them to you and your sense of humor,” says Bowden.
There is a reason that the Three Stooges are still beloved today, and that’s because we all love a bit of physical comedy. So, if your wit just isn’t landing with bae, lean in to the physical comedy, suggests House. “Go to a physical comedy performance, [or] maybe even take a physical comedy class together that isn’t just about saying funny things but doing funny things,” she explains. This works to help fulfill your need for shared funny because, as House points out, it’s a shared laughing experience. “This way, you are watching and engaging in funny things that you can talk about in the future,” she adds. “Although you aren’t making jokes yourselves necessarily, you are talking about the experience together.”
Want to know what makes someone laugh? Riel suggests asking the people who know how to get those chuckles best: Their friends. “Are you well acquainted with their friends? Try talking to them,” she says. “Ask them what kinds of things they know that your significant other finds funny. Get more insight, it could also just be a part of their personality when it comes to how little or much that they laugh.”
While getting laughs may be your ultimate goal in all of this — after all, the experts agree laughter is a powerful way to connect and helps defuse tension in the relationship — simply going on this quest to find common ground is a great way to get to know your partner better and get closer in the process. And that’s no joke.