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Whether you’re in the early stages of a relationship or a ten-year marriage, it’s crucial to keep your relationships light and fun if you want to maintain attraction. Most men enter relationships with the end goal already in sight—final destination: marriage and kids.

Using all their powers of deductive reasoning, men often assume that in order to get from point (a) where they currently are to point (b) marriage and kids, they must focus on the relationship and do everything they can to make a woman fall in love with them. The moment you become too serious and relationship focused, however, is the moment you kill attraction and risk turning your partner off.

A recent study published by researchers at California State University, Long Beach noted how playfulness, which means having a “sense of humor,” and the ability to have fun and maintain a playful attitude is one of the most attractive qualities a man can have. A further study carried out by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine observed that women enjoy being in the presence of men who can make them laugh.

The study found that a woman’s biological reward circuitry is wired to respond more positively to humor than men. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to respond to inspiring and positive messages. In the Stanford University experiment, the male and female participants were asked to view funny video clips (showing people falling over and animals performing tricks). The same participants were then asked to watch positive videos (that consisted of videos of dancers and snowboarders). When viewing the funny videos, the women showed greater activity in the midbrain and amygdala regions compared to men when viewing the same funny videos. This explains why humor is so attractive to women from a biological perspective.

Research continues to show that women are attracted to men who are humorous and can make them laugh. Humor, for one, is seen as a significant marker of intelligence. One study published in Psychological Reports had three men sit at a bar near other female patrons. In the first experiment, two men listened as another man told a joke. The man who told the joke was then instructed to approach a woman sitting close by and ask for her number. In the second experiment, again, two men listened as another man told a joke.

Only this time, the researchers instructed one of the listeners, not the joke teller, to approach a nearby woman and ask the woman for her number. This situation was repeated approximately sixty times at different times and locations to ensure that the results of the experiment remained valid. At the end of the experiment, the researchers found that the man who told the joke and displayed obvious signs of humor was three times more likely to get a woman’s number compared to the man who had just listened to the joke.

The researchers then asked the women to rate the men on their overall level of attractiveness. The results showed that the man who told the joke before approaching the woman was rated much more attractive and intelligent than the man who had simply listened to the joke.

The results of the study are fascinating because they show just how important it is for men to display humor and the important role that humor plays in attraction. Humor also sends the signal that a man has social dexterity and a mindful disposition. This is why it’s so important to remain light and playful in your relationships.

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If you want to maintain attraction with a woman, right from the moment you first meet her all the way through to a long-term relationship, then I highly recommend you get a copy of my book Atomic Attraction.

Check out the Get Her Back (Action Plan) for the best way to get your girlfriend back if she’s pulled away from you or left you.

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Trust yourself and trust the process,

Chris Canwell