Laughing, crying, dating

In life, it’s important to make sure the ratio between laughter and tears is heavily favored to the former. In dating, it’s even more important that you’re happy more often than you’re sad.

laughing and crying cartoon 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
laughing and crying cartoon 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Purim is considered a festival that encompasses laughter and fear. By dressing up and telling the story of the Book of Esther, having fun and laughing is supposed to be a distraction from fear, lending hope to a situation.
Dating follows that same theory.
On Purim, you’re supposed to laugh so hard that you forget to curse Haman. In dating, you hope to laugh so much you forget to cry. Throughout Jewish history, our people have survived tragedy time and again, teaching us that the power of laughter is strong enough to overpower tears.
Unfortunately, the reality of dating means crying is sometimes unavoidable. Sometimes it’s a silly little thing that will set off the waterworks, other times it’s a huge blowout that causes the tears to run down your face, taking your mascara along with it. And although the female gender is generalized as the emotional one, males have also been known to shed a tear or two.
In life, it’s important to make sure the ratio between laughter and tears is heavily favored to the former. In dating, it’s even more important that you’re happy more often than you’re sad. And if you can laugh at yourself, you’ve won at least half the battle.
Almost everyone I know believes that a sense of humor – both being able to make a joke as well as take a joke – is an integral personality trait that we hope to find in a mate, male or female.
My husband has always made me crack up multiple times a day, and from the time we first started dating I saw a future full of good times. He makes the silliest jokes that have me ROFLMAO (the technical acronym for “rolling on the floor laughing my, um, “tushie” off).
From singing songs with words he makes up on the spot to quoting lines from funny movies, to perfectly and unassumingly imitating “Chandler” from Friends, he has me doubling over in laughter all the time. He makes the best puppy-dog face complete with the whine that has me doing whatever it is he wants with a smile on my face – usually that means making schnitzel.
One of the other things I adore about him is his ability to tease my family and friends in a good-natured way, making them laugh at themselves and creating a fun atmosphere. He teases my siblings about their leftist views, my cousin about her granola/crunchy/hippie ways, and, most importantly, he makes fun of himself just as often. He’ll joke about the size of his nose, his affinity for I Love Lucy and the enjoyment he gets from doing sponja (washing the floor).
It’s not all fun and games though. When we fight, I tend to cry.
I know he’s not going anywhere and that this relationship is solid, but just the thought of us not being perfectly happy all the time makes me bawl. One of our first fights happened early on in the relationship, and instead of me giving up then and there, I cried like a baby.
Instead of him giving up then and there, he comforted me, kissed away my tears and apologized for whatever inane thing caused the argument to begin with.
And he did something that’s typically considered unmanly: he also cried. He was upset that he made me cry and chose then and there to let down his guard and open up to me completely, which established to me that he was being himself and not trying to prove anything.
That particular incident brought us closer together instead of tearing us apart. As soon as the situation was resolved, we were able to resort to laughter and forget about the tears. The fact that I cry every so often is not great, but, guess what? It’s normal. The fact that my husband can make me laugh so hard I snort, my eyes water and I can’t breathe is not only great, it’s ideal.
Couples are going to fight. There are going to be arguments.
You are going to cry. If people say they never fight, they’re lying. No one is always happy. No one is perfect. It’s difficult to tell when a relationship is unhealthy and toxic when you’re inside it because we tend to make excuses or forget when we love someone – but everyone has their limit.
Think of it this way: if you were to calculate the average number of times you’ve fought in any given month, and then counted the good days, well, those good days should far outweigh the bad. As in 70:30 or better. Close to three quarters of your time should be spent happily in your relationship.
There are enough other stressors in your life to make you unhappy, your relationship should not be one of them.