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Boost your love life with laughter

Life coach and writer Sarah Abell offers ways to improve your romantic life

by Psychologies

The project

Do you love a good giggle, mucking about, teasing or initiating fun games? Yes? Then it’s good news for you, because according to research, you have more chance of attracting a long-term partner than your more serious friends.

The aim

Let your light-hearted side out on a date. A new study by researchers at the University of Zurich* discovered that both men and women put kindness, intelligence, love of fun and humour at the top of their list of characteristics they value most in a potential partner.

The theory

The researchers interviewed 327 students and asked them to look at a list of 16 characteristics. They were then asked to indicate which ones of those they found the most desirable in a future long-term relationship.

The results showed that both men and women largely agreed on what they valued, although women on average ranked sense of humour more important than men, and more men than women appreciated an exciting personality.

According to the research, friendliness, humour, fun and playfulness are more important traits than having a degree, good genes, earning potential, good housekeeping skills or being religious.

It also transpired that participants who considered themselves to be playful were more likely to value playfulness in a mate and were more likely to be in a relationship than those who didn’t.

Now, try it out

Whether you’re single, dating or in a committed relationship, it’s never too late to let your playful side out.

  • Get playing. What did you love doing as a child? Whether it was playing Lego, colouring, kicking a football, climbing walls, board games, building sandcastles or dressing up – why not give it a go?
  • Go on an adventure. Stick a pin in the ‘What’s On’ section of your local paper and go to whichever event you land on. Get on the first train at your local station, go three stops and see where you end up, or order something you’ve never heard of in a restaurant.
  • Make time to laugh. What makes you and your friends or partner giggle? Whether it’s watching a good comedy, tickling, having a pillow fight or telling jokes, make sure you get chuckling soon.
  • Keep a record. Write down jokes, amusing stories, embarrassing moments or fun memories to remind yourself of them when you need a smile, or share them with your partner or potential date.

Do you want to improve your relationship? Our new Life Labs Practical Wisdom online course entitled 'How to Save Your Relationship' with top relationship coach Sarah Abell, gives you the tools and insights to singlehandedly change your relationship for the better. Find out more at nakedhedgehogs.com. To buy her LifeLabs Practical Wisdom online course How to Save Your Relationship, please click here. You can try a free 3-day taster trial first too.

*Proyer, Rene T and Wagner, L, ‘Playfulness in Adults Revisited’, American Journal of Play, February 2015

Photograph: iStock