In this day and age where divorces and break-ups are aplenty (we’re looking at you, Kermit and Miss Piggy), we’re left wondering, what does it take for a couple to stay together?
We all have different answers — be it common interests, communication and compromise. While all of these are instrumental for a healthy, long-lasting relationship, one point that is often overlooked is laughter.
That’s right — a couple that laughs together stays together.
In a recent study by Laura Kurtz, a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina in America, 77 couples were recorded on video while recounting the first time they met. From the recordings, Kurtz and her team measured the number of times each couple laughed together and how long each moment lasted.
Three years later, the team reviewed their results. “In general, couples who laugh more together tend to have higher-quality relationships,” Kurtz said in an interview with Time. “Participants who laughed more with their partners during a recorded conversation in the lab tend to report feeling closer to and more supported by their partners.”
Seeing all the positive benefits laughter has on us physically and mentally, the results actually come as no surprise. Laughter not only boosts the immune system and lifts our mood; it also releases oxytocin, also known as the empathy or bonding hormone, which helps us build connections with other people.
So how can you create a relationship that’s built to last? Kurtz's study suggests that laughter that only one partner participates in does not work, so sneak in a comedy movie night every week or head out for a stand-up show for some humour you’d both LOL at. Whatever it is, never forget to have fun together.