Looking to have a lasting, meaningful relationship? Well, hopefully the person you're dating doesn't tell shitty jokes.
According to a new study published in the journal Personal Relationships, couples who laugh together will have stronger and more loving relationships.
Social psychologist Laura Kurtz from the University of North Carolina studied 77 heterosexual couples who had been together for about four years each, Time reports. Kurtz asked the couples to tell her how they first met, and counted how many times they broke into laughter while recalling the story, analyzing when it happened and for how long.
"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."
While it may seem obvious that shared laughter would make for a happier couple, there actually hasn't been a lot of research on laughter's influence on social relations. "Most of the existing work documents laughter’s relevance to individual outcomes or neglects to take the surrounding social context into account," Kurtz says.
Kurtz found that women laughed more frequently than men, but men's laughter is "more contagious." Which is to say... they sound dumber? "When men laugh, they are 1.73 times more likely to make their partner laugh," she says.
The study's participants also reported feeling more supported by their partners when they were laughing together. Conversely, couples who shared awkward or clearly forced laughs seemed to have problems with their relationships.
Now you have more reason than ever to yell at your boyfriend when he doesn't laugh at every single one of your jokes!
Lucy Meilus is a staff writer for Thrillist and yells at anyone who doesn't laugh at her jokes. Follow her bad ones on Twitter at @Lucymeilus and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.