They Recycle Laughter
The happiest couples keep each other laughing—and the best part is, they don't even have to come up with new material year after year; a mere nod to the classics will do the trick. Couples who reminisced about a time they laughed together showed an increase in relationship satisfaction compared to couples who thought back to another good time in their relationship (or to a time they laughed apart), a 2007 study showed. Interestingly, the moments couples recalled together often weren't the ha-ha funny stuff (comedy bits, their best jokes). Many couples described events that seem, from the outside, downright unpleasant, like the pair who recalled a time they cracked up while racing through the airport, desperate to catch their flight before it left the gate, carry-on bags flopping around them. When confronted with a tense situation, harebrained escapade or vacation gone very wrong, sometimes you'll share a hysterical moment, says Doris Bazzini, a psychologist at Appalachian State University, who led the study. "When you find something funny with someone else, it's like you're sharing a worldview in that moment," Bazzini says. Reminiscing about the funny times, then, may remind you of that two-of-you-against-the-world feeling that laughing at a terrible—and somehow terribly funny—situation can stir up.