Why are humans so dumb? We prefer to persevere with a familiar habit that brings about a negative result almost always rather than try something new that just might produce a better outcome. Relationships, the vast majority of them, get dull and the love fades, yet the most common question coaches are asked is “how can we make the love last?”
Thinking Outside The Box
If the number of relationships that get dull or end outnumber those that start fun and stay so for years and years (even after a mortgage and kids, money issues, in-laws, and so on), then we need to realize that whatever advice is being given by family, friends, and experts is just not working. We need to think out of the box, it’s a no brainer. Continuing with the same regurgitated wisdom will continue to produce the same negative, annoying, dull results. What is enraging is that the answer is literally staring us in the face:
If you don’t want things to get dull, don’t use a gauge that measures dull things, use one that measures fun.
Whenever people are asked, “what makes a relationship work?”, their answers include words such as respect, communication, compromise, patience, listening, kindness, caring…. I have to stop now to avoid you falling asleep. Not a single one of you got a stirring in your loins when reading that sentence. Those aspects are boring, dull, and libido crushing; they are secondary when it comes to love.
Love is play, and the most important thing about play is fun.
Game-makers do not think of how the factory workers must respect each other as a first priority when designing a game, they think of the fun element. If it’s not fun, it’s a non-starter. If it is fun, then they begin to think about other secondary considerations. Putting respect and its other dull friends as a priority may be good if you’re looking for a business partner, a boss, an employee, or a caregiver for your elderly relative, but not a lover. Setting “non-fun” as a love gauge does not work. Gaining respect or having kindness but not laughter (or any of the other items mentioned above) guarantees that the fun will die. The couple will have to settle for a life of dullness where their kicks and ability to still feel alive inside come from sources outside of the relationship.
There is no need to roll your eyes and think of a reason why I’m wrong. There is no need to think of anything other than the statistics that are crying out to us and telling us that the vast majority of relationships end up dull. Even if you choose to ignore the statistics (which you can reference in many of the other articles on our website), just ask yourself this question: If there was a gun to your head and the holder asked you to pick a random couple from a crowd who’ve been together for ten years and guess if they still find each other fun company, what would you guess? All we have to do is look at the clichés and stereotypes associated with long-term relationships and we have our answer.
We need to find our partners funny first and foremost.
If you don’t think your partner is funny and you’re going to give me some form of justification as to why you think there are things more important than laughter, then do not complain when your relationship goes dull; do not be surprised to find that 50% of marriages end in divorce, and do not bat an eyelid when you hear that 83% of relationships go stale within 5 years. Furthermore, and far more significantly, do not be puzzled as to why so many children grow up with self-worth issues when they witness two dull co-workers void of laughter (or a frustrated mum or neutered dad) as their role models.
Laughter came about long before language as a form of recognizing friend from foe. The actual physical act evolved from heavy breathing during extreme play. Our cousins, the other great apes, also laugh during play. We have an inborn radar that can distinguish between the sound of genuine laughter and the sound of polite or insincere laughter. The former triggers the secretion of serotonin and its fellow feel good friends such as dopamine and endorphin. The latter causes the secretion of adrenaline because we fake when we’re not with safe company and we want to be alert is such a scenario.
There it is: It’s been with us, in us, and around us for over ten million years. This wonderful gauge that tells us if we are in the company of someone that will enhance our feeling of safety, security, freedom, and enjoyment. We are social animals so we need to be with others. However, being with others means that if we are with the wrong others, our brain will be busy wasting itself day in day out on self-preservation, ensuring we don’t do or say the wrong thing to maintain our safety, minimizing friction with those around us, protecting our children from negative habits of partners, suppressing our thoughts so we don’t get into trouble, and in general, reducing our ability to lead a free-thinking and fulfilling life.
This causes mental exhaustion within a maximum of five years. We end up spending all our energy avoiding pain rather than seeking pleasure. To avoid such a dull outcome, all we have to do is ditch all the wrong gauges and just use the remaining right one. This is exactly what we do when looking for a best friend. Yes, you want a best friend to be kind and generous and a good listener, and all those other things, but if you don’t find that friend funny, you will not become best friends.
When you meet someone, if you don’t find them slightly funny within a few dates, do not kid yourself and say that you will get your laughs and kicks from your friends, but you’ll get love from this person. Saying that means you do not get what love truly is. Love is laughter; laughter is the exhaling feeling of safety, acceptance, and freedom; those we laugh with most accept us and we accept them most.
Furthermore, if the laughter does not continue for at least two years until it becomes part and parcel of your everyday speak, do not kid yourself here either. Such a person may be a good friend, may be a kind friend, but he or she will slowly but surely end up being a boring lover when it comes to being a bed partner, a conversation partner, a laughter source, or as a mental play partner. Eventually, the irritation of knowing that you have settled for living with someone that ten million years of evolution has taught us to steer clear of will take its toll, and even that poor substitute of a gauge, respect, will score very low.
Share the jokes on your phones; the very ones that you think will land you in trouble; share all your mischievous stories; stand with your closest friends and your partner knowing that your partner knows more funny stories about you than your close friends. If you have that, then you truly have love.