Psychologist Steve Wilson Says a Funny Valentine Could Be Serious - Studies Show Sense of Humor Tops Lists of Desirable Traits in a Mate

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Couples Who Want to Insure Lasting Love Will Work Through The Terms and Conditions of a Successful Modern Marriage as Well as the Predictors of the Future of Dating Relationships Both of Which Include Healthy Doses of Humor

A relationship without humor is like shaking hands with gloves on.

Psychologist Steve Wilson makes a perennial check of divorce statistics. Once again, they are discouraging if not shocking. According to the McKinley Irvin blog, "In America, there is one divorce every 13 seconds. That’s 6,646 divorces per day, and 46,523 divorces per week."

For couples who are dating and those whose marriages may have fallen into unsatisfying ruts of boredom, anger, and misery, Wilson advises that humor is a skill worth developing.

Brides-to-be who were asked what they admired most in their man, most often mentioned sense of humor (outranking romantic nature, intelligence, and good looks). It seems that women take the decision to marry seriously, but the courtship has also got to be lighthearted. Humor also topped the lists in reports by Newsweek and in Men's Health. But, it takes more than just telling jokes.

Here are some of Wilson's suggestions for adding a touch of humor to romance.

  • Waltz your partner around the room while you hum their favorite song.
  • Leave little surprise notes around the house for your partner, such as, in the freezer: "Honey, the meatloaf was great!" or, about 100 pages ahead of the bookmark in their bedside mystery or Fifty Shades book: "I don't know whodunit, but I'd like to do it with you."
  • Slip a new CD into their car stereo if they've been complaining about traffic jams on the way home.
  • Use a waterproof marker to draw a heart encircling your initials on the hand-sanitizer dispenser they take to the gym.
  • Put a candy bar in their briefcase if you know they love chocolate.
  • In the middle of the stack of papers they bring home from the office, slip a note that says "I love you!"

He offers 14 tips for predicting the future of a dating relationship ecause, “Even when relationships are doomed to disaster, most people do not heed the warning signs. Caught up in the thrill of infatuation, social pressures, or emotional neediness, people ignore, dismiss, and rationalize the signals of eventual failure. Practical predictors prevent heartache." For example:

-Is your prospect really available? Are they truly free of past relationships legally, mentally, and emotionally? If your prospect is legally divorced, are they emotionally divorced as well?

-Does your prospect have a good sense of humor? Do they laugh and smile easily and often? Do you bring out the laughter in each other? Can they ease tension by finding humor in sticky predicaments without trivializing them? Is their humor good-natured rather than mean-spirited or angrily sarcastic? “Yes” to these questions is a very good sign.

"Commitmentphobia," Wilson suggests, "can arise because the terms of the traditional love contract are vague." When the traditional marriage vows were written when life expectancy was a lot less. “Now that we have the potential for 80 years of marriage,” Wilson says, "those are not enough." He suggests that modern couples negotiate 27 commitments as the basic terms of the love contract.

He advises couples to negotiate and agree on specific term like these.
-I realize that fairy-tale romance doesn't really exist and that "happily ever after" demands a lot of work and that "getting married" is a life-long process; I will be patient..
-I promise I will confront problems as they come up, not wait and hope they will go away.
-I promise that I will never be too busy to sit and watch the sunset with you.
-I will develop my sense of humor and invite you to laugh with me.

Wilson enumerates many more of the insights he gained during his years as a marriage counselor in his http:// book of romance advice, "Toilet Paper, Toothpaste, and Tuna-Noodle Casserole."

Some of the strongest ideas are taught in his recorded one-hour class, Authentic Intimacy: Finding Lasting Love.


Award-winning psychologist, Steve Wilson, also known as The Joyologist and The Cheerman of the Bored, has spent nearly 50 years in psychological practice, and 30 years specializing in applied and therapeutic humor. As Director of National Humor Month (April) he intertwines substance & humor in ways you never imagined. More than six thousand people have completed his unique training in how to create therapeutic laughter, and tens of thousands more around the world have been uplifted by his talks, classes, books, and articles. He established the World Laughter Tour, Inc., in 1998, to educate and illuminate the role of laughter and humor in well-being. For more information

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