Picture of a cartoon couple from 50s advertising sitting at a table together, with the title above them, Humour and the Light Touch 600

Humour and the ‘light touch’ in relationships

Recap on last week’s episode

Last week I wrote a post about the intangible qualities of love which was a reaction to an article where a a psychologist had described love as being one of the least important things in a relationship, as it fell by the wayside very early on in a marriage.

Well, I don’t really believe this. Of course, I’m not married, so I am not in a position to comment. But I still don’t believe it, and if it was true, then I would say, what is the point of a marriage? If it’s to raise kids, then fine I understand. If it is to survive the hardships of the world, then I accept that, too. If it is for companionship – good!

But no love?

What’s the point of that?

Love I believe is something that keeps on going, if you nurture it the right way. Why would someone pine for an ex? Or visit a grave of a former partner, year after year, unless they had loved them to begin with.

Maybe love doesn’t always survive the realities of the daily grind, and that’s why it often sours, once a couple get into the more challenging phase of staying afloat financially and raising children.

But I don’t think that love dies, unless you let it. You purposely neglect it – or put some selfish interest before it, and that wipes it out of the equation; it doesn’t die of it’s own accord – it dies through neglect.

Anyway, a bitchy recap was not the point of this particular post, but really, to add one idea to the list other qualities that keep a relationship afloat.

Humour in relationships

I do not alway feel my heart brimming over with love. I don’t feel it burning away when I am sitting on the train in the morning, on my way to work, thinking about how crummy the world is, and why I’ve become such a sour bastard.

But if there is a quality that helps to dispel this heaviness, it is humour. Being able to laugh things off.

And in a relationship humour becomes even more important. It is the light touch between a couple who know each other well enough to be able to make a joke, that is both clever but subtle and submerged enough not to be understood by outside ears.

Humour is the ability to make light of the world, despite personal suffering. Often, people that suffer the most are able to make the funniest jokes. Making jokes is tied into creativity, a very immediate and spontaneous form of creativity. Sometimes you do not even realise that a joke is leaving your lips – but in the next moment, you and your partner are rolling on the floor laughing.

Joking is also a subtle form of game play between a couple. It makes your relationship more exciting. It might be lewd innuendo, but in a very funny way. It’s also an indicator that your relationship is still okay. For instance, if you have do something terrible, like cheat on your partner, you become so ridden with guilt and the need to hide the evidence, that your brain only has time to process this misguided survival instinct; there is no room for joking.

When things are good between you and your partner, you often find that you have a light touch, which this act of joking embodies. Genuine truth and trust between the two of you has created this — and when you break this trust, you also break the humour in your relationship, and you lose the light touch.

So if you look at this way, humour is also an agent of renewal. Anything creative always has the power to heal and renew. So being able to laugh between yourselves, is like being able sleep at night and dream; you wake up feeling restored with the strength to keep going through the day.

If you think about someone you’ve loved, and how you met, you will also think about those first few weeks of getting to know each other. The first sign of humour and the light touch comes through flirting. Through this, a person can open up and share some of their feelings, without getting hurt.

But it’s also exciting, like a game between the two of you – of how much you can disclose, while risking getting rejected, to find out what feelings are mutual. Joking and humour allows the person to take a risk, but not completely get hurt by opening up their vulnerable side; the real opening up comes with trust, which grows over time.

So humour is often right there from the start between a couple. It’s not an ‘attraction’ feeling, like love or lust – but an actual avenue of expression, open to all of us. You may add it to your list . . . but it’s probably already there!Icon of two people with heart symbols in their heads - Graphic for Humour and the Light Touch in Relationships

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