Do you need to find the same things funny in a relationship?

Sharing a laugh is a sure way to know you've hit it off, says Alison Taylor

Alison Taylor
Friday 22 January 2016 18:25
Comments

Humour is no joke in relationships. A bit like sex, it could go really well or… be a total flop.

At first, you don't know what the other person's in to – what their boundaries are and what they might find offensive – so it can be difficult to know where to pitch your patter. Some advice websites reckon a comedy night is a good first date option because – and this was Psychology Today – "you can enjoy a laugh without any awkward silences, and see if you both enjoy the same type of humour." My feeling on this is that first dates are often awkward, stand-up comedy is often awkward, so the combination of the two is, well, very awkward.

I once sat through a show where the comedian described how he'd smuggled crystal meth up his bum in Thailand and had to retrieve it with a spoon. He then singled me out to quiz me on my sexual preferences. Not ideal when you're with a quiet, bookish chap on a second date.

Another challenge early on is not being able to tell when they're joking. I get that quite a lot, being fond of sarcasm, which doesn't translate well electronically. Texting "f*ck you" as a joke, say. Not a good sign if you always need to follow up with, "I was joking". Some people favour more surreal humour. An artist I once dated suggested we have a baby together "as an art project". "Haha! That's hilarious", I said, thinking I'd hit the jackpot with Mr Sarcastic. He wasn't joking.

I might not agree with Psychology Today on their first-date suggestion but I do agree that sharing a laugh is a sure way to know you've hit it off. On the first date with my boyfriend, I could tell it was going well because he wasn't looking at me like an alien for a start, and we shared similar disdain for those people who play kids' board games in the pub. Yes! He's a cynic like me! I felt it was right, in my (funny) bones.

@lovefoolforever

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