Is A Shared Sense Of Humor The Key To A Relationship?

By Erika Ettin
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dating expert Erika Ettin says that when it comes to finding a partner, you don’t have to agree on everything or find humor in all the same things. But, you do have to take pleasure in what makes the other person laugh, and if you don’t, it’s time to assess how important the humor element of a relationship is to you.

Tribune News Service

From 2009 to 2013, I was in a serious relationship, one where we talked about the “M” word (marriage, not mugs or mattresses, like the ones we bought together).

In that relationship, I was blinded by my partner’s “on paper” perfection, prestigious schools, high-profile job, wonderful family, etc. And it didn’t hurt that I was really attracted to him. But, how did we relate to each other?

Really well … for the most part.

I’m a bit kooky. I sometimes like to skip while crossing the street. It’s not unusual for me to write an entire to-do list in hot pink marker. And, my favorite thing in the world to do is to make a great pun.

Sarcasm is not part of my range of humor; puns are.

My partner’s humor was the opposite. He’d make jokes with a deadpan face, always leaving me wondering whether what he was saying was supposed to be funny or not, whereas I’d laugh at my own jokes, often before even getting the punchline out.

He wasn’t usually amused. I can count on entirely too many fingers (and hands … and toes) how many times I said (seemingly in jest, but not really), “At least pretend you think I’m funny.”

2018 Erika sees, in hindsight, that our differences in humor were a red flag in the relationship. He didn’t need to laugh at everything I said, of course, but I wanted him to at least respect what I found funny.

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