My Partner Hates My Dry Sense Of Humor - What Should I Do?

By: Michael Puskar

Updated September 29, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Laura Angers

All About A Dry Sense Of Humor

A dry sense of humor isn’t for everyone, and it can be an acquired taste, but if your partner struggles to “get” your dry sense of humor, this can potentially cause a rift between you two, especially if it makes you feel bad. This article will discuss how to go about navigating your relationship if you have a dry sense of humor.

What Is A Dry Sense Of Humor?

dry sense of humor
Not Sure How to Navigate Your Relationship With Your Dry Sense of Humor?
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You may have heard the words “dry humor” thrown around multiple times throughout your life but never fully understood what it meant.

This is quite common for many people, and a dry sense of humor is often considered to be out of the ordinary and hard to identify with. [1] It also has a reputation of not really being funny at all, but that’s not true because humor is subjective and a dry sense of humor has had its place in comedy for many years.

So what does it mean to have a dry sense of humor exactly?

Dry humor is also known as “deadpan” because this type of humor often has a lack of emotion in the person’s face during their delivery.

The tone, or lack thereof, has an essential role in dry humor, and it can often come off as blunt sarcastic, cynical, and sounding matter-of-fact. During the delivery, you might not even tell that the person is making a joke until you really pay attention to what they are saying.

Sometimes, the content can be completely outrageous, absurd, and ironic, but it can also involve simple statements about what is currently being observed. [1]

Although there is a lack of expression and body language to assist the joke, the joke is usually obvious if you look into what is actually being said. Even though it’s very frequently like this, it’s not always the case.

A dry sense of humor can also have a reputation as being rude, stuck-up, and arrogant, but this isn’t its goal. Nonetheless, it can contribute to negative perceptions of others, including those who are in relationships with one another.

In general, having different senses of humor can cause a rift, but if your partner doesn’t like your dry sense of humor specifically, here are some ways of addressing it.

Think Before You Speak With a Dry Sense of Humor

While the content of a dry sense of humor can be a dead giveaway that something is a joke, sometimes it can fall short, or worse, send the wrong message to your partner.

As mentioned before, this type of comedy can sometimes be perceived as rude, so you need to make sure that you do not come off that way.

For this, you’ll want to pay very close attention to your delivery, and of course, don’t be mean or crack a joke at their expense. While your friends might understand, accept, and play along with your dry sense of humor, your partner doesn’t have to, so you’ll need to have more awareness.

You might need to ask yourself if it’s something that they might find funny. If it’s questionable, you might want to hold off on saying it.

However, this can cause problems for you as well. Having to suppress your dry sense of humor can make you feel like you can’t express yourself, and that’s a big part of having a healthy, happy relationship for both members. It’s also better than not having humor at all.

You shouldn’t have to put an end to your dry sense of humor, but if your partner is requesting that you do, there might be some more underlying issues that may require counseling to uncover.

Figure Out Their “Style”, If Not a Dry Sense of Humor

Sure, not everyone’s type of humor is compatible – as you know, not everyone likes dry humor, but it’s not like slapstick; dark humor, dirty jokes, and countless other types of comedy are universally enjoyed either.

Even if your style of humor was anything else, there’s a chance that your partner won’t understand your jokes, and sometimes an incompatible type of humor involving all types of comedic styles can doom a relationship pretty quickly.

On the other hand, instead of letting that happen, you can adapt to their humor type. Try to figure out what kind of comedians, movies, TV shows, and other forms of media that they enjoy and take note of it. How do these individuals tell their jokes? What are they about?

Research shows that gender can also influence a person’s type of humor. For example, it’s common for men to like humor that is darker and satirical, whereas women tend to enjoy a sentimental comedic style. However, wit is preferred over sarcasm to both genders, the latter being a major component of dry humor. [2]

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, which means you’ll have to do a little bit of work to find out what they like.

When you do, you don’t necessarily need to change everything about your type of humor immediately, but you can gradually let it happen. You might need to do some trial and error as well and see what works or not.

If they laugh, this is obviously a good sign, and you’re on the right track. She already disapproves of your current type of humor, so trying something new that might be more palatable to your partner can’t hurt. Keep in mind, although finding ways to make them laugh can be extremely helpful, it will be better to find things that make both of you laugh in the long run. [3]

This is called finding the same comedic wavelength, and who knows, it might eventually develop into a unique type of humor that you never thought you had in you.

Make Sure You’re Enjoying Each Other’s Company With or Without a Dry Sense of Humor

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As mentioned before, having different senses of humor that create conflict between couples can spell disaster for a relationship. However, it’s not a guaranteed thing, and those who have a contrasting type of humor can still make it work.

How do they do it if humor is out of the equation?

According to the dating experts at eHarmony, having a matching sense of humor isn’t crucial for a relationship to work; what’s most important is that you’re having fun and you appreciate each others’ presence. [4]

Humor can have a major role in that, and it can diffuse uncomfortable situations, but it doesn’t have to be at the forefront of your relationship. Instead, focus on the things that make you compatible with your partner.

Do you have a lot of similar interests and make each other happy? These are generally considered more essential than humor for a solid relationship.

Maybe humor isn’t your strong suit, but perhaps you have other great qualities, such as being generous, thoughtful, respectful, and romantic, that make you attractive to your partner.

Focus on honing in on these strengths because they’ll hold more weight than your humor, which may be dragging your relationship down a little bit. More than likely, you have a lot of good qualities that need to shine through.

Humor and Love Are Different, Despite a Dry Sense of Humor

When you have a dry sense of humor, it’s easy for things to get misinterpreted. Some people believe that humor belongs in every situation. If you are a sarcastic person, you may rely on your humor to point out the monotony in life. But it’s important to understand the larger picture. The types of humor that a person uses can impact their relationship with their loved ones. So, it’s important to understand why you are making a joke about something. What is the intent, and will there be a positive or negative consequence? If you have a dry or deadpan sense of humor, you may engage in the art of wordplay. It can be clever and entertaining, but remember that the content or situation-dependent context needs to be considered. This is because although there are some situations where you could make somebody laugh with your type of humor, there are places where humor can actually be offensive. So, you need to read the room. For example, you wouldn’t be making silly faces at a funeral. That would be inappropriate. Or at someone’s birthday, where they’re really excited and engaged in spending time with their family, you wouldn’t make a sarcastic joke. For example, it would be inappropriate to say “happy birthday” in a sarcastic voice. If you want to express love or show somebody that you love them, humor has a place in that sometimes, but for the most part, love is genuine emotion, and humor makes light of things. Deadpan humor and love don’t necessarily go together. So, you need to remember that if you want to show somebody that you love them, you will not necessarily engage in deadpan humor.

A Dry Sense of Humor: Some Things Aren’t Funny

A person with a dry sense of humor may find things humorous that others don’t. Some things are just not funny, words that hurt. For example, you wouldn’t talk to somebody who spoke a foreign language and said, “learn English,” with a calm expression. That would be completely inappropriate and xenophobic. We all come from different cultures and telling somebody to “learn English” is completely offensive and discriminatory. Your calm expression could come off as cruel and uncaring. Some jokes are just not funny. Humor jokes and types of humor are extremely dependent on the individuals involved, but when you love someone, you need to embrace them fully without making jokes or teasing them such that you are causing harm. It’s important to be mindful that some things aren’t funny and shouldn’t be joked about. As mentioned above, when you have a deadpan type of humor, you may find things hilarious that other people don’t find entertaining. The key to understanding a deadpan type of humor is knowing that there are times when it’s appropriate to make jokes, and you may adopt the habit of making jokes all the time, but when there are disastrous situations, having deadpan humor is not going to make those scenarios any less catastrophic. It’s crucial not to laugh or make silly faces in a clearly dire situation or upsetting to someone else because that is insensitive. You don’t want to get yourself into a disastrous situation because your humor came off wrong. There are situations where it’s okay to laugh or make silly faces. If you’re goofing around with your kids, that’s a great place to do that. But not every humorous action is appropriate. That’s why it’s crucial to be mindful of your words. A person with a dry sense of humor doesn’t necessarily need to be inappropriate. You can have deadpan humor and know when and where and with whom to use it. It’s about observing what’s going on around you, whether it’s positive or negative, and then making jokes accordingly and, respectively. Your dry sense of humor can influence your outlook on life, or perhaps you are more serious. But, there are situations that most people could agree are just not funny, like making fun of someone’s culture or race or religion, or gender. This is not okay.

There’s a Time and a Place for Jokes and a Dry Sense of Humor

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Not Sure How to Navigate Your Relationship With Your Dry Sense of Humor?
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There are times when it’s completely okay to make a joke. The main styles of humor are compatible with many situations. When you use deadpan humor, you might find things funny that other people don’t. The average high school student cracks a lot of jokes. If you think about high school kids, many don’t feel or act as if there are a time and a place for jokes. They are always making jokes because it is a way of coping with difficult life circumstances and emotions. Humor can break up the monotony of life and attract people who understand you or are impressed with your wit, attitude, or turns of phrases. For example, a sarcastic person might attract other people who likewise engage in using sarcasm. The bigger picture is that you want to be around the people who get you, and you also want to respect others and their individuality. You want to be respectful of the circumstances and where you are, and it’s okay to have a jovial sense of life, but also keep in mind that some things are not so funny. In the short term, you could end up making people laugh. But it’s important to consider long-term consequences. So, it’s a balance. Humor can be a great part of life, but sometimes life is not all funny. If you’re having trouble understanding how your dry sense of humor impacts others or possibly alienates you from your peers, you can also talk about that in therapy. If it’s impacting your relationship, couples’ counseling can be a great place to discuss these issues. It’s important to note what kinds of things in everyday life make people laugh. You can compare your sense of dry, deadpan humor to what makes most people giggle. Humor jokes that break up boring situations can be a breath of fresh air. There are styles of humor that most people appreciate, and you can lean on those in situations where your deadpan humor isn’t working. You will eventually master the art of reading the room and making people laugh in awkward situations. Some people could develop a dry sense of humor and get your perspective given time. Sometimes it’s hard to understand deadpan jokes. The humor meaning can have been nuanced. If you feel misunderstood, it’s okay to voice that. Not everyone will get your jokes. You can explain humor meaning to others without making the situation awkward.

Summary & Conclusion

If your partner doesn’t appreciate your dry sense of humor, don’t panic just yet, as there are still things that you can do to make the relationship work.

None of the advice suggests that you drop your dry sense of humor entirely, but you will most likely need to think about some things before making a joke and evaluating if it’s something that your partner will find funny. It’s also a good idea to become familiar with the type of humor that they enjoy.

As mentioned before, while a bad type of humor can be a deal-breaker in some relationships, this is not always the case. Humor isn’t necessarily the end-all-be-all of the success of a healthy partnership, and you should make sure that your most positive aspects get the attention that they deserve.

However, if you’ve tried all of these tips and have had no luck, you and your partner might benefit from couples counseling because there might be some other issues with the relationship that might not be apparent.

Counseling and therapy can also help you and your partner realize the good things about your relationship and learn ways to resolve conflict better by allowing you to improve your communication skills. Even if your partner doesn’t get your jokes, this doesn’t mean they can’t get you as a person.

Online therapy sessions are quickly becoming a popular way to do this. At Regain, licensed professionals who specialize in helping people through various relationship problems are available at your convenience and at an affordable rate.

Hopefully, the advice here has helped you address the humor problem in your relationship. Still, if you need additional support and guidance, help is always available to give you the most fulfilling relationship possible.


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