Laura Kurtz is a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina who’s been interested in the idea of shared laughter in romantic relationships for a while. “We can all think of a time when we were laughing and the person next to us just sat there totally silent,” she says. “All of a sudden that one moment takes a nosedive. We wonder why the other person isn’t laughing, what’s wrong with them, or maybe what’s wrong with us, and what might that mean for our relationship.”
Her team talked to 77 heterosexual couples who had been together for an average of four years. They recorded them talking about how they first met and counted how many times they laughed spontaneously, when they laughed together and how long that lasted. The couples also filled out a survey about how close their relationship was.
And what the researchers learned seems like common sense. “In general, couples who laugh more together tend to have higher-quality relationships,” Kurtz says. “We can refer to shared laughter as an indicator of greater relationship quality.”
So hopefully you and your partner have lots of shared laughter that bring you closer together!