Do you have to be kind, attentive or extroverted to please people on the first date? According to science, a particular character trait could make you irresistible in the eyes of your suitor and give you easier access to love. Guess which one?
There are several details that can come into play during a first date (and subsequent ones) between two people. Listening, kindness, culture why not, or even shared passions can be a good start. But according to a study published last October, it is another personality trait that would hit the mark during a meeting and would be more attractive.
Humor, a quality sought after in men and women
This long-awaited personality trait is humor, which is often cited when we ask the question of the ideal qualities of a partner, both in men and women. But if humor is undeniably attractive, the reasons for this appeal remain complex and multifaceted to this day:
- Some theories suggest that humor serves as a marker for other positive traits, such as creativity, intelligence, warmth, and social skills;
- Others suggest that we are attracted to fun partners because they make us feel good and help us cope with stress.
So complex that two researchers wanted to understand why humor is so sought after: “When I first became interested in humor and attraction, it seemed to me that there were many competing (sometimes contradictory) explanations for why humor is so valued in a partner. I wanted establish a line of research comparing these many possible explanations to see how the data would evolve.”
A fun person perceived as more reliable in adversity
To understand the importance of humor in romantic relationships, Erika B. Langley and Michelle N. Shiota then conducted six experiments involving several hundred participants each time. These offered hypothetical scenarios to participants. One featured a first date where the imagined partner had humor and the other did not. Participants were also asked to attribute characteristics to their interlocutor. The findings of these experiments demonstrated that potential partners with humor were seen as creative people every time.
However, who says more creative, also says, according to the answers, more adept at solving problems. Individuals with a good sense of humor would thus appear more attractive as potential partners. An effect that is true in different types of relationships, from first dates to long-term commitments, and does not depend on the gender of the individuals involved.
Making people laugh, and laughing yourself with someone you meet, is ultimately not just a way to have a good evening. Without knowing it, you may be building a beautiful, lasting relationship.