Forget the cheesy pickup lines, and focus on learning how to make a girl laugh if you want to win her over, a new study suggests.
Researchers have found that when two strangers meet, the more times a man tries to be funny and the more a woman laughs at those attempts, the more likely it is for the woman to be interested in dating.
However, an even better indicator of romantic connection is if the two are spotted laughing together.
“The idea that humour is a signal of intelligence doesn’t give humour its due credit,” said Jeffrey Hall, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas.
“If you meet someone who you can laugh with, it might mean your future relationship is going to be fun and filled with good cheer,” said Hall.
To find out how humour use by men and humour appreciated by women played a role in romantic attraction, the study brought together 51 pairs of single, heterosexual college students who didn’t know each other.
The pairs sat alone in a room and talked for about 10 minutes. Afterward they filled out a survey.
The results didn’t indicate that one sex tried to be funnier than the other.
However, it did suggest the more times a man tried to be funny and the more times a woman laughed at his jokes, the more likely she was romantically interested. The reverse was not true for women who attempted humour.
It also showed that when the pair laughed together, they were more interested in each other.
Humour points to having a sociable and agreeable personality and men use humour to gauge if women are interested in them, the researchers explained.
“For some men it is a conscious strategy,” he said.
When men make jokes and women laugh, they may be performing a script in courtship. Men acting like jokers and women laughing along may be part of it, too.
“The script is powerful and it is enduring, and it dictates everything from asking someone out to picking up the tab,” Hall said.
“Shared laughter might be a pathway toward developing a more long-lasting relationship,” he said.
The findings were published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology.