Getting to know a man through his humor

A recent press release announced a new dating site, Funny Passions, for “singles with a sense of humor.”

This strikes me as odd. I’ve never met anyone who thought him/herself humorless. Nearly everyone thinks they have a sense of humor, even if it’s obscure.

Nixon laughingWhy is this site different? The release says “an entire site focused exclusively on bringing together people who consider a sense of humor to be important in their friendships…and in their romantic relationships.” Doesn’t everyone think humor is important to their relationships? So what’s the big deal here?

The release says they bring together like-humored folks, “a few of the groups on the site are Amateur Comedian, British Humor, Camp, Dry Sense of Humor, Political Humor, Sarcastic, Slapstick, Twisted and Life of the Party…. It will be easier to find others who can make them laugh, and who ‘get their jokes’. While everyone enjoys a good laugh, it’s also great when you find others who you can make laugh.”

While I agree that laughing and making others laugh is important, laughter is not the only thing that determines compatibility. In “He makes you laugh — is that enough?” I talk about how a man’s ability to make you laugh can block out deal breakers if you let it. One man I met online makes me laugh like no other. Yet we are not a match in other areas. We have transitioned to friends so we can enjoy the parts of each other we like, and not get irritated with the parts that make us not a match.

Humor can be a way to avoid talking about deeper, serious topics. If someone is always making a crack when you’re trying to be soulful, it can get annoying. I wonder, “What’s he hiding? Is he uncomfortable talking about this?” I’ll ask if he’s uneasy, and if he still tries to hide behind humor, I know we’re not a match.

Humor is sometimes an attention-getting device. Think of the class clown — s/he got a lot of attention from being funny. I know that was part of my motivation for taking that role. But if someone is not willing to relinquish the spotlight — if he is always “on” — it can get old.

Also, if he doesn’t laugh at your attempts at humor, it shows that it’s all about him being the focus. Humor can be a form of control. He likes it when he makes you laugh. If you can get someone to do something involuntarily, it is a powerful position. Why do comedians get paid so much? Because they let us leave our worries behind in a pleasurable way. They make us laugh.

I look for the tone of the humor. If it is focused on making fun of others, it can be a form of aggression. If his cracks make fun of you, it can be a way to express anger that he doesn’t know how to communicate openly and maturely. Humor, at someone else’s expense, can be abuse.

Not to say funny people are self-centered powermongers and control freaks. But in excess, this can be true.

Woody AllenI like occasional self-deprecating humor, but if all the jokes are Woody-Allen like, it can be a sign of low self-esteem. I like people who are confident and humble. People who can laugh at themselves, but not always putting themselves down.

Would you join Funny Passions? Why or why not?

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,,


One response to “Getting to know a man through his humor”

  1. Elena Avatar

    I agree with you. The Funny Passions gimmick is lame. Everyone thinks that they have a sense of humor and everyone says that having one is important in a relationship. Another problem is that there are some people who can be extremely witty on paper (in writing) but in person, in a one-on-one conversation, their jokes and attempts at humor bomb. So to make humor the primary basis for forming a relationship is a recipe for disaster. I don’t think or Yahoo Personals or any of the other bigger online dating services have anything (competitively) to worry about.