Does Being Funny Help You Get a Girlfriend?

Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

You’re thinking: That guy’s not the most attractive and is definitely not rich, so why is he the one who always gets the girl? A man’s ability to gain or sustain an intimate relationship with a woman may be directly related to his sense of humor. Some 77 percent of women "ranked a sense of humor as their number one must-have in a man, beating out intelligence, passion, confidence and generosity," according a Men’s Health survey of more than 1,000 American women.

Funny? Or, Good Sense of Humor?

Before you practice your knock-knock jokes, or sign up to take comedy courses, know this: being funny isn’t the same as having a good sense of humor. In fact being funny can actually be a turn off to some women. That loud, obnoxious guy who tells inappropriate jokes at the dinner table may be funny to some, but a gentlemen who is able to laugh at his own mistakes or flaws is endearing to all. You want to avoid acting like the class clown who takes being funny a little too far because he doesn’t know when to quit.

Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

A woman who says she wants a man with a good sense of humor may really want a man who does not take himself or life too seriously. According to research by Ocean Village Holidays on the Laughter Gym website, "82 percent of women are more attracted to people who laugh a lot.” A man that doesn't take himself too seriously can turn an awkward situation into something that does not feel so awkward. He’s calm, cool and collected under pressure. He is laid back and makes everyone feel at ease.

Humor Is a Sign of Intelligence

A sense of humor is also defined as good timing, with the ability to say a funny thing at the right time to the right people. This requires a high level of emotional and social intelligence. An overwhelming majority of women feel that intelligence is a highly desirable trait in a man. “If a man can make a woman laugh, it relaxes her and makes her feel that he ‘gets’ her,” according to David Buss and Cindy Meston, psychology professors at the University of Texas at Austin and quoted on Buss adds that "a good sense of humor also conveys some key qualities women want in a mate: intelligence (It’s hard to be witty if you’re not too bright), the ability to gauge her emotional and social perspective having the mind-reading skills to know what she will find amusing), and social verve or confidence.”

Humor as a Coping Skill

Having a good sense of humor is also a good coping skill. Nearly half of all women surveyed by the American Psychological Association said their stress has increased over the past five years, compared to four in 10 men. It is a relief to be able to have a boyfriend, husband or significant other who can help make light of a situation or literally laugh away the stress.