Click on anyone’s online dating profile — I dare you. Chances are, all of them say they have a great sense of humor and are looking for someone who also has a great sense of humor. Yawn! What does that mean, anyway? Doesn’t everyone like to laugh? (OK, almost everyone — but if you don’t like to laugh, you’d never admit it, right?) By zeroing in on just how you’re funny, you’ll be more likely to attract someone with a similar funny bone — and most likely be more compatible in other ways, too. You’ll also develop a better idea of what types of humor you’re seeking in your matches’ personalities and profiles.
Where along the “humor spectrum” does your own sense of what’s funny show up? Find out by reading the 10 descriptions below, and then learn how to make your date laugh — and what potential pitfalls to avoid before you crack wise in front of someone new.
1. Laugh-at-life humor
Your profile probably says, “I don’t take myself too seriously.” When something bad happens, you’re likely to take a deep breath and look for the absurd in the situation — and then laugh about it. Dave Barry and The Onion are among your favorites. You don’t even need an audience, as you’re very happy to laugh about something annoying all by yourself. People like to be around you because of your sunny outlook. Just make sure your date knows that you can take things seriously at times, too.
2. Bonding-in-the-moment humor
“We’re in this together, and isn’t it fun?” is your general outlook. You’re the type to crack a joke at just the right moment or toss a witty, lighthearted remark into a conversation before it turns too serious. Down to earth, warm and good-natured, you make people feel happy and good with your attempts at humor. This is a very likable type of humor to express, but be careful to make sure someone isn’t feeling hurt or excluded by what you’re joking about during conversation.
3. Slapstick comedy
You think "Airplane" was the best movie ever made. Charlie Chaplin and the Three Stooges are classics in your book. Slapstick comedy relies on physical humor, pranks and absurd situations for laughs. List some of your favorite goofy slapstick movies in your profile, but avoid slipping a Whoopee cushion onto your date’s chair during your first outing together.
4. Sarcasm: Bitter much?
Your sense of humor is dark, biting and sharp. The Daily Show is on your list of favorite programs. Be careful with the way you word your profile and emails, because sarcasm can come off as unnecessarily harsh without the benefit of tone of voice and facial expressions to soften the delivery. Save it for when you’re together with someone in person and can temper your biting wit with a smile — and don’t go overboard with it.
5. Self-deprecating humor
You feel most comfortable laughing when you’re making fun of yourself. You like to play the clown and feel some kinship with famously self-deprecating comedians, like Chris Farley and John Belushi. While this can be endearing and charming in small doses, too much of it can make people feel uneasy around you. You’ll really want to use this type of humor sparingly with a brand-new date. After all, you don’t want him or her to start to believe you and look elsewhere!
6. Dry/Deadpan humor
You can deliver a hysterically funny line without cracking a smile or raising an eyebrow while everyone around you falls down laughing. British comedies often produce great examples of this type of humor. The only problem? Sometimes, people don’t realize you’re kidding — and then the joke ends up falling flat. Make sure you have already developed good rapport with each other before you break out a really deadpan line on date night.
7. Highbrow/ Witty humor
You’re clever, and your jokes show intelligence. You’re the type of person who can find the subtle humor in a situation and tease it to the surface by using a brilliant one-liner that’s made that much funnier because no one else thought of it first. While this can be a great style of humor to employ on dates, just be careful not to come across as a know-it-all instead.
8. Jokes at others’ expense
You don’t have a problem making fun of other people. In fact, it’s the way you’re most likely to make a joke. Ridicule, teasing, and sarcasm can be aggressive and downright mean, and following up such statements with “just kidding” doesn’t dull the sting. Be careful! This is a tough type of humor for most people to relate to, especially when it’s your go-to method of cracking a joke. Maybe you can dig deep and find a way to be funny that isn’t done at someone else’s expense?
9. “Bathroom” humor
Fart jokes? You’re all over it. If it’s something gross or gory, you’ve got all the details — and you think it’s hysterical. Now, while this type of humor can lead to riotous laughter, it’s definitely something that you might want to hold back on using during a date until you know someone fairly well. This kind of talk can come across as crude and lowbrow too easily when you’re trying to make a good impression.
10. Quirky cultural references
You’ve got a movie quote for every situation in life, it seems. The only problem is, your date hasn’t seen — or even heard of — the film you’re quoting from. And maybe you’re the person who will burst out laughing at something no one else in your group finds all that funny. You’re offbeat and unique, and your sense of humor shows it. “Quirky” doesn’t always equal “weird” or “strange.” It can be endearing — and you might find someone with the same appreciation for such unconventional humor, so you don’t want to try to change your own personality to “blend in.” But in the early stages of a relationship, you might want to think of some funny things that are a little more commonly known and appreciated to riff on instead so that your date will get the joke instead of staring blankly in confusion.
So, what’s the upshot here? Almost any type of humor can be done to death, and is probably best sprinkled into your conversation in small doses while on a first date or in your online profile. Feel things out and see how people respond to you and what type of humor your date seems to have first, if possible. And if you can see yourself in more than one of the types listed above, mix it up! Variety means you’ve got more opportunities to share a laugh with someone.
Now that you know how best to describe your own sense of humor (and what to look for in a romantic partner that’s guaranteed to make you laugh), I hope this helps you find someone who tickles your funny bone in just the right way… either online or in person!
Lauren Ware lives and writes in northern Vermont. Besides crafting new dating profiles for clients of Match.com’s ProfilePro service, she writes about medicine, science, food and farming for such publications as Proto and Wondertime. Read more of her work at www.LaurenWare.com.