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Picture it: you’re in a relationship with someone who “ticks all the boxes.” They’re considerate, kind, great with your friends and family. They make a decent amount of money, they’re responsible, and they’re good-looking. They can also be pretty funny sometimes, which is always a plus.

However, they absolutely can’t stand it when you make a polite joke at their expense.

When I was younger, I was definitely the type to get overly sensitive about jokes girlfriends would make about me, because I’m an emotional wreck of a human being. Which was super whack because I’d make some pretty great jokes about them — not a good relationship to have. So it’s something I promised I’d never do again and, lo and behold, my relationships with everybody improved after that. I pride myself on the fact that I can both dish it out and take it in the insult-joke department.

It feels me with absolute dread of being in a relationship with someone who’s constantly looking to get offended by gibes here and there, and it looks like my fears are confirmed by science: because research shows that the happiest couples are those who can playfully laugh with one another. Especially when it comes to joking about each other. Lovingly, of course.

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Joyscribe writes that University of Kansas researcher Jeffrey Hall has conducted 39 different studies involving 15,000 people over a span of 30 years. That’s three decades of analyzing relationships to determine what makes them sink or swim.

Hall says it isn’t enough to seek someone with a “sense of humor,” because that’s too subjective. You need to find someone with the same sense of humor as you.

“People say they want a sense of humor in a mate, but that’s a broad concept. That people think you are funny or you can make a joke out of anything is not strongly related to relationship satisfaction. What is strongly related to relationship satisfaction is the humor that couples create together.”

That’s the key line: the humor that “couples create together.” That act of creating something, shared inside jokes and whatnot, are what really make a strong union.

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Hall adds, “Say you and your partner share a quirky sense of humor, but romantic comedies or sitcoms do nothing for either of you… It’s not that any style or a sense of humor is any better or worse. What matters is that you both see quirky humor as hysterical. If you share a sense of what’s funny, it affirms you and affirms your relationship through laughter.”

So basically he’s telling me that I’ll be happiest with someone who howls laughing at the opening scene of Gangs of New York, where the woman rips off that dude’s ears.

Time to show that movie to my wife.

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Hall also wrote in another of his articles that couples who can laugh at each other build a certain amount of security between them, which I can totally understand. If my wife jokes about my big butt in a loving way, I know that she not only acknowledges the fact that I’m insecure about it, but that she’s cool with it.

“Playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding and establishing relational security. Particularly shared laughter, is an important indicator of romantic attraction between potential mates.

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If you’re the type of person who thinks saying “it’s just a joke” is a foolproof way to cover for being an abusive jerkwad, then Hall’s got your number, too:

“Having an aggressive sense of humor is a bad sign for the relationship in general, but it is worse if the style of humor is used in the relationship. If you think your partner tells mean-spirited jokes, then it’s likely you’ve seen that firsthand in your relationship.”

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Good-natured quips and comebacks are just the perfect thing for #RelationshipGoals. When it comes to famous couples who have no problem roasting each other on the regular, look no further than Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.

Remember the time she posted that wonderful Happy Birthday message to her hubby, by cropping him out of the photo and posting a picture of the “other” Hollywood Ryan, Mr. Gosling?

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This was in retaliation to Ryan’s Happy Birthday post to his wife that just featured a photo of himself, cropping her out of it. Then there was their Twitter “fight” to promote Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick’s film, A Simple Favor. Or how about the time Blake said she made a “mistake” marrying Ryan and that she should’ve gone for his hotter brother, Gordon, instead.

Then there was the instance where Ryan responded to rumors that he and Blake weren’t spending enough time together.

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Don’t worry, she got him back, and by complimenting her own hair.

So if you get someone who finds the same things funny as you and wants to be a good sport about everything and the two of you support the heck out of each other, you hold on to them and NEVER EVER let them go. NO MATTER WHAT, you hear me?!


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