The researchers, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recorded 71 heterosexual couples telling the story of how they first met. They then counted how many times the couple laughed, and whether they were laughing together or alone.
Couples who laughed together more reported having higher quality relationships, defined by their feelings of closeness and support.
The laughs also exposed some gender differences. Of the nearly 1,400 laughs the researchers recorded, 62% of them came from the women. But men’s laughs were more likely to be contagious, causing their female partner to laugh with them. And this reciprocation had a special effect on the men.
The sample size of 71 couples is too small to know whether there’s a similar effect in the general population, but previous research supports this association. This research established that memories of positive events have a beneficial effect on relationships, and that laughter plays an important role in this. Couples who reminisce about the times when they laughed about something together on average more highly evaluated their relationships.
Scientists believe that laughing together is potentially a way to make your relationship more harmonious and a whole lot stronger.
So, here’s some simple advice for you: laugh at things together more often, tell jokes and fool around with each other as often as you can. It might be the simplest and most effective way to achieve the relationship you’ve always wanted and deserve.