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.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies