Newswise — Social psychologist Doris Bazzini has conducted research showing that sharing a laugh with your romantic partner and reminiscing about it later helps keep the spark alive in your relationship. Bazzini is an award-winning faculty member and expert researcher who has taught at Appalachian State University since 1993.
"When you share a laugh with someone, there's a connection between the two of you," Bazzini said. "When you reminisce, you get to experience the laughter again, but you also get to reflect on it now " 'remember that time"¦.' You can build on it more, and as a result, two things happen: we are defining our relationship in these positive terms, and we're validating ourselves at the same time."
Shared laughter can create a buffer in the relationship so that when arguments or misunderstandings arise, they don't affect the relationship so much. "In other words, we can bounce back more quickly," Bazzini said.
Bazzini also has researched resisting temptation while in a committed relationship.
"One thing that came out of that study is that it's very flattering when someone other than your partner is interested in you," she says. "We found that when (our study participants who were in a committed relationship) were asked out on a date, they were intrigued. They were flattered. What I take from that is if you're in a committed relationship and want to remain so, you shouldn't let the flattery get the best of you. Flattery has a lot of potency."