When Charmini Deshmukh swiped right on a popular dating app, little did she know that what followed would turn into a telephonic conversation that lasted a humorous four hours. When Sameer and I first matched, the conversation over the messaging function on the app was fun, but the app kept lagging. I asked for his number and we decided to speak. I dont know what it was, but he loved my sense of humour and I was surprised that someone even managed to get my dry and sarcastic side. He even thought I may have been a catfish, but when we finally met, we just hit it off. Three years later, hes still laughing at my jokes, and I love making him laugh.This begs the question: are couples with a complementary sense of humour happier with each other and enjoy a more satisfying relationship? Is a sense of humour directly proportional to how successful a relationship can be?The fact remains, theres evidence to corroborate the notion that being funny makes you a more desirable mate. According to a personal study by Dr Gil Greengross, an evolutionary psychologist from Aberystwyth University, and as published on Psychology Today, A good sense of humour is one of the most desirable traits in a mate, especially in the early stages of dating. Women are particularly interested in a man with a sense of humour, or more specifically, someone that will make them laugh. Men on the other hand, want a date that will laugh at their jokes, not an easy task at all, as many humourless men find out the hard way.However, humour manifests and affects people differently during different stages of their relationships. Greengross states, For dating couples, the use of positive humour (for example, using humour to cheer up your date) can positively contribute to relationship satisfaction. The use of aggressive humour, on the other hand (teasing and making fun of your partner) has the opposite effect. For long-term relationships, such as in marriages, couples generally share a similar sense of humouralthough similarities in sense of humour are not associated with greater marital satisfaction, nor with longer marriages.While humour may not be the skeleton key when it comes to opening all the right doors in a relationship, it is key when it comes to speaking the language of love. The fact that when people ask me what it is about Sameer that keeps me coming back for more, I can emphatically say, He gets my jokes, because at the end of the day, thats all I really need, says Deshmukh.Socially speakingBut, who are we kidding? Relationships are largely built on social interactionscommunication, that feeling of being accepted, and warmth and comforteverything that comes with being social. Naturally, it makes sense that humour makes up for a large part of it. Besides, what better way to break the ice in any social construct? In a study conducted by University of Kansas, Jeffrey Hall, associate professor of communication studies in his paper titled Sexual Selection and Humor in Courtship: A Case for Warmth and Extroversion, which was published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, discusses three studies he performed that didnt find a connection between humour and intelligence. He said, The idea that humour is a signal of intelligence doesnt give humour its due credit. If you meet someone who you can laugh with, it might mean your future relationship is going to be fun and filled with good cheer.The way you make me feelOf course, relationships arent just about the laughs. After all, theres research to attest to the fact that you dont fall in love with a person, but rather how the person makes you feel when youre with them.Sangeeta Mohan, a freelance communications consultant from Bangalore who recently tied the knot, says, When I first met my now husband, he used to annoy me. Hed crack the lamest jokes and proceed to laugh at them. But I loved his company and we became great friends, and he always made me feel like a princess. I never really felt a romantic connection with him, at least not till he told me hed be leaving Delhi for a better job prospect in Bangalore. Something just didnt feel right, and thats when it hit me, I had fallen in love with him and would miss the way he made me feel. When I finally told him, he didnt waste any time and spoke to my family. Its safe to say that Ive now grown fond of his bad jokes.But, this now forces us to ask: Do men really prefer funny women? A 2019 revision of the study The Value of Humor in Long-Term Relationships published in Humor: The International Journal of Humor, Hall conducted his observations with a gender reversal and was met with an interesting result. According to him, previous studies have shown that during dating and courtship, women value men who show their wit as compared to men who value women for their sense of humour. However, the revision found that, The association between one partners tendency to joke and their partners satisfaction was moderated by sex, but in an unexpected direction. The wives of men who report producing a lot of humour were a little bit satisfied. But the husbands of women who report producing humour were significantly more satisfied. That means that in the courtship stage, women are overvaluing men's comedic skill while men are undervaluing women's, when it comes to projecting what's likely to happen in a long-term relationship.One size does not fit allUltimately, every relationship is unique, and should be treated as such. An attempt to paint every romantic equation with the same brush is never going to become a masterpiece. In the case of Deshmukh, her significant other is likely to laugh himself down the aisle. For Mohan, it was her husbands dad jokes that ultimately won her over. The truth is, theres no exact science when it comes to love and romance. Ultimately, what determines the success of any relationship is how far people are willing to go to make things work.