In the classic rom-com ‘When Harry Met Sally…,’ one of the characters quips, “Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor.”

That’s largely true — but a new study discovered that people who actually do have a sense of humor may have a much easier time finding a mate.

After surveying 250 college students, US researchers found that some of the most important traits sought in a long-term partner were “fun-loving,” “playful” and “a sense of humor.”

Lead study author Garry Chick, head of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at Penn State, said this may explain why humans continue to play throughout their lives, whereas animals only do so when they’re young. But why do we find whimsy so appealing?

“Playfulness in a male may signal to females that he is non-aggressive and less likely to harm them or their offspring,” Chick explained. “A woman’s playfulness, on the other hand, may signal her youth and fertility.”

The male survey respondents like a sense of humor so much that they ranked it as their top priority in a mate and put “physical attractiveness” all the way down in a surprising ninth place.

But while women do like a witty man, they still ranked “kindness” and “understanding” as more important qualities — so guys, if you’re going to tell jokes, at least make sure they aren’t mean-spirited.

[The Telegraph]