Woody Allen has snagged some lovely leading ladies, from Diane Keaton to Mia Farrow. And (shocker) it probably had more to do with his undeniable wit than the stereotypical “tall, dark and handsome” qualities.
Whether or not hypochondriac jokes are your style, everyone’s attracted to humor in some way. It’s one reason why “a good sense of humor” tops people’s list of what they look for in a partner. Once you’re in a relationship, humor can help you steer clear of ugly conflicts. It aids your other relationships, too, helping you bond with old friends and make new ones.
Even when you’re alone, appreciating life's comical side can help you cope with more serious issues (some of the best comedians used humor to get through hard times growing up). Here’s a quick list of all the ways humor makes you beautiful.
Humor makes you more attractive. In one study, men who cracked funny jokes received about three times as many phone numbers from women than men who didn’t. Why? Possibly because we view being funny as an important social skill, which moves you up on the social status ladder.
In that same study, the humorous men were not only seen as more attractive, but also more intelligent, funny and sociable. To be quick-witted, you have to be sharp, after all.
So why are women so hot on humor? When something’s funny, certain pleasure centers in the brain are activated more in women than in men—the left prefrontal cortex (which suggests a greater emphasis on language) and the nucleus accumbens (part of the brain’s “reward center”).
The study also found that women had lower expectations that something (in this case, a cartoon) would be funny, so they experienced a bigger mental payoff when the punchlines came. This extra dose of pleasure may be a hint to why women value humor so much.
Bottom line: Whether you’re telling the joke or just laughing, that smile on your face will make you look more approachable. Not to mention, both funny women and men report having more sex.
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