Dating is a funny business

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dating is a funny business

Humour is a lethal weapon in the dating game, particularly in the tricky world of online dating. People armed with a good sense of humour are ahead of the pack for a range of reasons.

First, they can infuse their dating profiles with humour. If you can make someone smile because of your witty answers to the standard questions, you’ll stand out from the crowd and create a great impression without raising a sweat.

A friend of mine has had great success dating online – he met his wife on eHarmony, because he is funny. But he’s not what you would call handsome, something he would be the first to admit. Before online dating became the norm, he had to take his chances the conventional way. That meant plucking up the courage to chat to a stranger in a bar or at a party, or try his luck with a work colleague.

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But his looks would more often than not stymie his efforts, because women would all too often reject his approaches based purely on his looks. He wouldn’t get the chance to demonstrate that he had a wicked sense of humour and keen intelligence.

The advent of online dating transformed his love life. He was able to pepper his profile with wit and that got him a lot of contact from potential dates. During the online chatting stages he continued that process, putting his potential dates at ease and winning them over before they saw him in the flesh. Essentially, he was able to showcase his qualities through humour before he was judged unfairly on his looks.

The second reason why humour is such an ally when dating is that it is a classic icebreaker. Everyone is nervous on first dates, so if one of you has the ability to lighten the situation with laughter, it bodes well for a successful encounter.

Thirdly, humour is a crucial indicator of compatibility. Choosy women use humour as a sign of intelligence and weed out the less competent. Men use humour to impress women, and the funny ones succeed.

Regardless of sex, those who think of themselves as funny and those interested in finding a partner with a good sense of humour are more likely to also value intelligence in a potential mate, suggesting the two traits are intertwined.

There are studies that show women as a general rule are looking for a man who can make them laugh. Men, on the other hand, want someone who will laugh at their jokes (easier said than done). That’s all very well if the man is actually funny, instead of just thinking he is, and obviously the woman has to think he is too.

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But there are different types of humour, and they don’t appeal to everyone.

Affiliative humour is the type that appeals the most. It involves sharing the fun around, being inclusive, reflecting a bright outlook on life.

Self-enhancing humour involves using humour as a coping mechanism – finding the funny side of everything.

Aggressive humour is derived at the expense of others, through teasing and ridicule.

Self-defeating humour is when you make fun of yourself a lot.

The first two are classified as positive humour styles, the others negative. A rule of thumb is that someone in possession of a positive sense of humour, but especially the affiliative type, will be a better prospect for a match.

The aggressive jokers soon wear thin with their disparaging of others, and the self-deprecators shoot themselves in the foot by always bagging themselves and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There’s one way of ensuring you’ll get a laugh on your first date, and that is to go to a comedy show. It’s the comedy festival season in Australia and the country is awash with some of the world’s funniest people doing shows all over the place.

What better first date than to go see one of these shows where someone else can provide the laughs? At the very least it is a quick way to work out whether you and your date share the same sense of humour.

Do you find humour an attractive trait in a potential partner?  Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.Meet Compatible Matches


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