The secret ingredient in love is laughter, and as Oscar Wilde once said “relationships are too important to be taken seriously”.
Relationship therapist Tamra Mercieca looks at how laughter can enhance relationships.
Laughter in a relationship is a treasure.
It is one of our primary reasons for even wanting a partner.
All of us can feel the magic power of laugher after we have a good belly laugh, and if someone offers us laughter as part of being with them, we tend to stay.
Each time we laugh we feel better, our step becomes a little bouncier, and we feel closer to the person with whom we laughed.
Everyone in a relationship cherishes the positive feeling laughter provides.
We all want to stay immersed in the love and laughter that brings us together.
But it is not always easy to maintain those positive feelings.
We get bogged down in the more serious aspects of living, doing the chores and paying the bills. No matter how much we love each other, the relationship can start to lose the fun it once had.
Edna Junkins, the author of Belly Laughter in Relationships, says generally couples don’t deliberately sabotage the fun in their relationships.
“Often it is due to a lack of ideas on how to keep playing and laughing while involved in something so important. We all need suggestions now and then on how to keep laughter in our lives”, says Junkins.
There are many ways to bring more laughter into the relationship – joining a laughter yoga group or seeing a comedy – basically sharing experiences that allow partners to connect and laugh at themselves and with each other.
At the end of the day, it’s better to laugh during the heated moment, than to continue arguing because neither person is listening to each other anyway.
Ten ways to bring more laughter into your relationship at home:
- Laugh together for 5-10 minutes each morning
- Do one loving and light-hearted thing for each other each day
- Point out the day’s absurdities to each other
- Seek out the humour in serious situations and share it with each other
- Consciously smile at each other more
- Take turns on being responsible for the humorous thought for the day
- Have a laughter match to see who can laugh the loudest and longest
- Play ‘teasing telephone tag’ by leaving outrageous messages on each other’s phone
- Echo each other’s laugh. Laugh each time your partner laughs
- Develop a fictional phone menu for different laughs. Press 1 for giggles, press 2 for chuckles, press 3 for guffaws, etc.
And most importantly take time out each week to ‘play’ together.
Sing, dance, race each other, give exaggerated hugs, count smiling faces when driving together.
But laughter isn’t just for those of us already paired off.
According to one survey, more than anything else on a first date,women want men to make them laugh.
So always remember that couples who laugh together, last together.