If you and your partner spend a lot of time at home, then you should know by now that your days can either be full of cuddling and sex or too much fighting or not talking to each other for days. Maybe you and your partner can strike some sort of middle ground.
Both men and women often say they want a partner who has a good sense of humor, and that's actually for the best. A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality says laughter — whether or not it's shared together or directed at the significant other — plays a vital role in romantic relationships.
Each person reacts to being laughed at differently
Researcher and psychologists at the Martin Luther University (MLU) Halle-Wittenberg asked 154 heterosexual couples questions about their relationship. It includes whether they argue a lot, have sex often, how they handle being laughed at, and their overall relationship satisfaction levels.
Psychologist Professor René Proyer from MLU Psychologists and co-author of the study said there are three ways people react to being laughed at:
People who are afraid of being laughed at as they see laughter as something negative or derogative
People who love being the center of attention, so they intentionally do things that others laugh about
People who enjoy laughing about others to the point of deliberately making them the butt of jokes
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"These three characteristics are personality traits that can occur at the same time, to varying degrees and in different combinations," Proyer explained. All three reactions are typical behaviors, up to a certain point, of course.
People who are comfortable being made fun of tends to be in happier relationships
The study found that a person who sees being laughed at as negative or derogatory tend to feel less satisfied in their relationships and even mistrust their partners.
However, individuals who are comfortable with being laughed at or who often evoke laughter at their expense tended to be satisfied with their relationship. They also felt more attracted to their partners and equally happy with their sex life.
Still, there is always a line one shouldn't cross. The study showed that people who go too far to the point of shaming their partner often argue a lot. No surprise there -- as they say in sports: no hitting below the belt.
As usual, balance is key. Yes to teasing and playful banter but no to mockery and abusive language. If you're feeling over-sensitive about a topic, talk it over with your partner. Maybe you need to loosen up a bit, or perhaps your partner needs to understand why it should be off-limits.
If balance is key, the only road to achieving that is respect and open communication, and you can still do that with a little bit of fun.