Couples Who Take The Piss Out Of Each Other Are Stronger, Research Finds

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Blake Lively and Ryan ReynoldsGetty

Everyone with a working pair of eyes knows that Hollywood power pair Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are the dictionary definition of couple goals. 

From what we can glean from social media and celebrity interviews the pair are totally smitten, so much so that their love is palpable even in Instagram pictures.


But what is it about Ryan and Blake that makes them such a strong couple? Commitment, mutual respect, and trust? Yeah, probably, but there’s something different about these particular lovebirds.

Anyone who keeps an eye on the duo’s social media will know that they have an awesome habit of joking around with each other, and when we say ‘joking around’ what we actually mean is mercilessly trolling each other.

Seriously you only need to scroll through Ryan’s Twitter feed to find examples of him taking the absolute p*ss out of poor Blake.


Be it that time he joked about the state of their marriage or the glorious time he wished her a happy birthday with some A-grade cropping work.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Birthday to my amazing wife.

A post shared by Ryan Reynolds (@vancityreynolds) on

Don’t go thinking this is a one-way street though, Blake gives just as good as she gets, mocking Ryan for his pre-kindergarten bakings skills, praising her hair over him and getting him back in delicious fashion for his birthday crop-job.

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Happy Birthday, baby.

A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on


And while you might think to yourself ‘surely trolling you partner isn’t a healthy thing to do’ you might be surprised, after all, Ryan Reynolds has been very open about how Blake’s helped him overcome his anxiety and depression.

Interestingly a number of studies have shown that being playful with your partner has innumerable benefits for couples.

Over the last 30 years, Jeffrey Hall from the University of Kansas has conducted 39 studies involving over 15,000 people and he discovered that humour is a critical part of building a strong relationship.

More specifically he concluded that it’s not enough to find a partner who simply has a sense of humour they must share your sense of humour if you want the best results.


Hall wrote in a statement:

People say they want a sense of humor in a mate, but that’s a broad concept. That people think you are funny or you can make a joke out of anything is not strongly related to relationship satisfaction.What is strongly related to relationship satisfaction is the humor that couples create together.

Say you and your partner share a quirky sense of humor, but romantic comedies or sit-coms do nothing for either of you… It’s not that any style or a sense of humor is any better or worse.

What matters is that you both see quirky humor as hysterical. If you share a sense of what’s funny, it affirms you and affirms your relationship through laughter.

Blake Lively and Ryan ReynoldsBlake Lively and Ryan ReynoldsGetty

Furthermore, Hall wrote in his article Humor in Romantic Relationships, a Meta-Analysis that playfulness between romantic partners is a crucial component in bonding because it increases the feeling of security.


Not only that shared laughter is an important indicator of romantic attraction between potential couples so if you find yourself laughing with your partner you know you’ve got something good.

The ability to laugh together, and indeed at each other, has another massive benefit for couples as well, it’s an effective way to deal with stress.

Dacher Keltner, author of Born to Be Good, claims that one of the unfortunate consequences of our busy lives is that we become trapped in a cycle of working, cleaning and sleeping which stresses people out.

He claims that most people believe that the best way to deal with this stress is to do so sincerely, but Keltner found that couples who teased each other when fighting actually felt more connected afterwards.

To prove this he staged an argument in his lab and compared couples who communicated in a direct, logical way and those who made fun of the conflict.

Ryan Reynolds and Blake LivelyGetty

Keltner found couples who tease are happier and reach more peaceful resolutions than those who take things too seriously.

He writes:

Couples who can tease can use that modality to handle the tough stuff in a relationship. Even silly nicknames help turn conflicts into peaceful exchanges by reminding couples to smile at each other’s quirks.

So if you’re annoyed by a partner’s long-standing habit—say, stealing the covers in the middle of the night—try teasing.

Calling your partner the Blanket Monster might take the edge off your irritation while reminding your partner to share. Remember to tease in a way that’s playful, not hostile; use nonverbal cues that convey you’re having fun, like a silly facial expression or a change in tone.

Before you go running off to torment your long-suffering partner though Hall has a warning for you.

His study found that if at any point your partner feels like your joking has become teasing and that they’re the butt of the joke then you risk alienating them.

Hall warns that your humour should never be overly aggressive and should never be mean-spirited.

He wrote:

Having an aggressive sense of humor is a bad sign for the relationship in general, but it is worse if the style of humor is used in the relationship. If you think that your partner tells mean-spirited jokes, then it’s likely you’ve seen that firsthand in your relationship.

So there we have it the reason why Ryan and Blake are such amazing relationship goals is that the couple that plays together stays together.

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Topics: Featured, Sex and Relationships


KU ScholarsWorks and 3 others
  1. KU ScholarsWorks

    Humor in romantic relationships: A meta-analysis

  2. KU ScholarsWorks

    Sexual Selection and Humor in Courtship: A Case for Warmth and Extraversion

  3. The University of Kansas

    Relationship success tied not to joking but shared sense of humor, researcher says

  4. Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

    Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

Tom Percival
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