Girl Talk: Laughter is a key component in healthy, lasting relationships
It is a well-known fact that my inspiration for being a columnist originated from my love of “Sex and the City.”
While most of my adoration for the show comes from the true-to-live experiences of Carrie Bradshaw and her lady friends, the most poignant take away from the show came from the character Mr. Big. When referring to choosing a life partner, his character had dated and married many business women, models, actresses and philanthropists, but still his heart and soul remained unsatisfied. He came to a revelation that really stuck in my mind: After a while, you just want to be with the one who makes you laugh.
Why is laughter such a key part of a relationship? Beauty fades over time, so chasing after the pretty things never leaves anyone feeling fulfilled. When someone makes you laugh, it is because they have the ability to touch your soul. Laughing eases tension and sets the internal butterflies free to fly. Couples who laugh together share a bond that the “pretty couples” never achieve. Conflicts in relationships are resolved easier when you are able to make each other laugh and the relationship feels more like you are hanging out with your best friend instead of just a piece of arm candy. Orange may not be the new black, but hilarious is absolutely the new hot.
This past weekend I hosted a Fourth of July party. There were couples present that were in every stage of relationships — people there that were dating, engaged, married one year, five years, thirty years, fifty years and so on. I have always been a people watcher, so even though these were all my friends and family, I spent the day observing the dynamics of all the couples present.
What I found most fascinating was the level of laughter between them and how much or how little they seemed to actually be in love. My aunt and uncle, married over fifty years were still giggly like the high school sweethearts they were so long ago. He has always been a prankster and she has always been sweeter than apple pie. Together, they have gotten through life, with all of its adversities by laughing together. At the end of the day, they are still the best of friends. I want a love like that.
Another couple present hardly spent a minute together. They weren’t laughing; they barely even spoke. It felt as if they were together by consequence and not choice; they lived two separate lives. She stared longingly at the happier couples and tried more than once to get his attention, but it never came. The relationship seemed more like people who shared a carpool, not a couple who shared a bed. There was no fire left, just an obligation held together by aged vows.
While these two couples were different in as many ways as two couples can be, it made me realize just how much the laughter matters. When looking for the perfect mate, don’t settle for the arm candy. Instead, find yourself some soul candy. Laughter adds intimacy to a relationship on a deeper level than great sex ever could. It relieves stress and physically makes you feel better. Couples who laugh together never lose their playfulness and are in it for the long haul. So, in the words of Mr. Big, after a while, you just want to be with the one who makes you laugh.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live and WBRE.