1 in 4 Americans Rank Humor as the Most Important Quality in a Partner

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.

While we all can’t be the next Jerry Seinfeld or Tina Fey, new research suggests having a good sense of humor is an important quality to have when it comes to dating.

An exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com found one in four Americans look for humor the most when evaluating a person on a first date.

After surveying more than 1,000 respondents from across the country, a sense of humor beat out other qualities like good looks, money, and morality.

In terms of gender, women were 13% more likely than men to rank humor as the most important characteristic.

Clinical psychologist and DatingAdvice.com expert Dr. Wendy Walsh said these results back up previous research that shows both genders rank intelligence and kindness above sexual attractiveness.

“A sense of humor is correlated with intelligence, and intelligence is related to resource potential” she said. “You have to have a quick mind to understand the double meanings in jokes that tickle our funny bone.”

“Since most comedy is tragedy viewed from across the street, humor is a positive coping mechanism against depression. And who wants a depressed mate?” she added.

“Twenty-seven percent of Caucasians rated humor

first, while 18 percent of African-Americans did so.”

Caucasians were also among the most likely groups to put humor above other qualities – 27 percent versus 18 percent of African-Americans.

Conversely, one of the least likely groups to place an emphasis on humor was low-wage earners. Those making less than $25,000 a year had a 62 percent lower likelihood of choosing humor as the most important quality than those earning between $100,000 and $125,000 a year.

The Breakdown: Americans Who Look for Humor the Most in a Partner

By gender:

  • Male: 23%
  • Female: 26%

By sexuality:

  • Straight: 24%
  • Gay: 24%

By marital status:

  • Single, Never Married: 25%
  • Married: 25%
  • Divorced: 22%

By age:

  • 18 to 24: 24%
  • 25 to 34: 29%
  • 35 to 44: 22%
  • 45 to 54: 25%
  • 54 to 64: 26%
  • 65 and older: 21%

By race:

  • White: 27%
  • African-American: 18%
  • Hispanic: 21%
  • Asian: 26%

By income:

  • Under $25,000: 21%
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 28%
  • $50,000 to $74,999: 23%
  • $75,000 to $99,999: 27%
  • $100,000 to $124,999: 34%
  • $125,000 or higher: 26%

By region:

  • Northeast: 28%
  • Midwest: 29%
  • South: 20%
  • West: 25%

Visit DatingAdvice.com/Studies for more research on dating and relationship topics. Relationship expert Dr. Wendy Walsh is a frequent contributor on CNN and other major networks and is the author of the book “The 30-Day Love Detox.”

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