Looking for someone with a “good sense of humor” may fade into the superficial and unimportant when a physical attraction is so strong; but, I assure you, similar senses of humor make a huge difference in a relationship. Proverbs 17:22 (NLV) says “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Let’s face it, life is hard. There will be a number of days when it is all you can do to get out of bed and face the day. Having a sense of humor about life and about yourself is a small thing that makes a huge difference in your outlook. Additionally, humor is a crushing blow to continuous negativity, as long as it’s not bitter, sarcastic humor. When life throws circumstances at you that are beyond your control, you can complain, scream, and play the victim role – or, you can look for the good and the ways you can laugh at the situation.
At my last job, I had a number of stressful situations come up and there was often no way of predicting them. Working with large numbers of people, you never know if you are going to get one issue that day or seventeen of them. When I would have a rude e-mail or a demanding voicemail from someone, I would immediately feel overwhelmed and angry. How could they talk to me that way? Do they not know that I’m here to help them?!?! Across the room one of my co-workers dealt with the same thing, but every time she’d get an e-mail that was rude or demanding, she’d let out a huge laugh. She would see their empty threats and demands as humorous… and when I stepped back and looked from her perspective, I found out that mine were just as humorous! When I approached my job with humor, my days were automatically better. When I allowed stress and negativity to fill my day, it didn’t matter what happened, I found the negative in it. This co-worker I spoke of earlier was almost never in a bad mood. She juggled many problems with an even attitude. She worked faster than most of us and she even offered to help others catch up. Her good sense of humor not only blessed her work day, but her co-worker’s work days as well.
While it’s great to have co-workers with a positive sense of humor, it is far more important that your spouse have a sense of humor about life, and that it is similar to your sense of humor about it. You don’t have to be concerned if you don’t laugh at everything your significant other does, but if you go days without laughing together, then that is not a good sign. Initially, laughter might not be on your mind as much because you are caught up in an exhilarating love feeling which can be intoxicating. It is fun, years after you’ve been married, to look back on those days and relive those feelings; however, it is not wise to count on those feelings always being in the present. The intoxicating feelings grow into deeper, more mature, more realistic feelings. Some days you may feel little or nothing for your spouse… and that is when commitment comes into play. Laughing together brings people closer together. After a long day, or during a trying time, it is such a comfort to know that your spouse can help you through with a positive outlook and an appropriate humor.
There have been a number of times I have cried at the stress of life and Eric was there for comfort, and then when it was appropriate, said something that he knew would brighten my spirit and make me laugh. These moments remind me that nothing is so hard that we can’t get through it together. It reminds me that life is full of good things and takes my focus off of the challenges.
There are many things to look for in a potential spouse, but be sure that you don’t overlook this sense of humor. More than just loving your spouse, you want to also like them. And after thirty years, you want to be able to say, “If I wasn’t married to you, I’d still want to be around you.”