Marilyn Monroe once said, “If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.”

While the “anything” part is certainly debatable, new research from the University of Kansas supports that the more times a man can make a woman laugh, the more likely she will become romantically interested in him.

For the longest time, previous research has focused on a connection between humor and intelligence, suggesting that women appreciate humor in a potential partner because it implies he will also be intelligent. However, after performing two distinct studies, which included looking at humorous posts on Facebook and comparing a humor survey with SAT and ACT scores, the results concluded that humor and intelligence are not connected.

New research is now focusing on humor by itself and seeing what role it plays in the courtship process. In a third study, researchers had 51 pairs of heterosexual, single college students who didn’t know one another talk together for ten minutes, which was then followed up with a survey.

The results from this survey showed that the more a man tried to crack jokes and the more a woman laughed, the more she would want to date him. The study also showed that the opposite scenario, where a woman attempted to make a man laugh, did not necessarily lead to a romantic interest from the man. Also, if a man and a woman laughed together, then they both became more romantically interested.

So, why is humor so important when we’re looking for love?

  1. Humor shows that we’re social people.
  2. Men try to be funny, sometimes as a strategy, to see if women are into them.
  3. When men are funny and women laugh, they are both playing roles and engaging in a courtship ritual that has gone on for centuries.
  4. It just is! Laughter can bring people together and provide the basis for a long-term relationship.

So, men, perhaps it’s time to dust off that sense of humor and get the ladies laughing! If you need help bring laughter back into your relationship, contact a Portland marriage counselor.