Study: Is a Funny Partner More Important to Rich People?

Hayley Matthews

Written by: Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews

Hayley has over 10 years of experience overseeing content strategy, social media engagement, and article opportunities. She has also written hundreds of informational and entertaining blog posts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur. When she's not writing about dating news, relationship advice, or her fantasy love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, she enjoys listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns, and drinking IPAs.

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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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Advertiser Disclosure

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

Who consistently provides us with the best quotes on love? Comedians.

Their relationships always seem strong, devoted and, well, hilarious. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a couple like that?

It’s no wonder one in four Americans say humor is the most important quality in a partner.

Clearly, there’s something to this being funny business.

To find out more, we surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to see which demographics rank humor above all other qualities. Who’s looking for love with the next Jeff Foxworthy? The results piqued our interest.

With 34 percent of our respondents with an income between $100,000 and $124,999 placing humor first, we found wealthy people are at much greater odds of saying humor is more important than less affluent people.

But why is that? We brought in our dating experts to offer their thoughts.

“Thirty-four percent of respondents with an income

between $100,000 and $124,999 place humor first.”

Chair of Psychology at Monmouth University and co-creator of Gary Lewandowski Jr. suggests when you have sufficient financial resources, “You can look for a more fun and intellectually stimulating trait.”

However, if you aren’t as well off, you might focus on traits that are more likely to provide you with the resources you lack. These could include being ambitious, hard working or others along those lines.

Associate Professor of Psychology at Colorado State University Dr. Jennifer Jill Harman considered a few other options.

According to Harman, a few theories of humor suggest we enjoy jokes that put others down. We make fun of others to make ourselves feel better.

“The fact that this is something a higher status group values may point to an insecurity in their status and a preference for other people who also feel that way,” Harman said.

She also pointed out that being humorous is associated with intelligence, creativity and social skill, which are typically traits that are paired with wealth and status.

Humor would then be an indicator of finding someone with those qualities – typically, someone else with higher status.

Maybe work on that stand-up routine? (Once you perfect your stand-up routine, try it out on the dates you get from our favorite dating sites!)

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown:

Rich People 62% More Likely to Rank Humor FirstVisit for more research on dating and relationship topics. 

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