How To Handle A Lame Sense Of Humor

06/16/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Dr. Belisa Vranich Clinical Psychologist; Author, 'Breathe: 14 days to Oxygenating, Recharging, and Fueling Your Body & Brain'; Advisory Board Member, The Hope & Grace Initiative

Dear Doc,

On my internet dating profile, I made it clear that I wanted a guy who could make me laugh because that's important to me. The amount of goofy slapstick guys that have responded has been awful. How do I make it clear that I want a guy with a sense of humor, not a wannabe comedian to go through his monologues. -Jessica


When women say they want a man to make them laugh, they most likely want him to add some relevant humor to the line of conversation, in dialogue fashion. Impression after impression of Christopher Walken and Arnold Schwarzenegger frankly leave us puzzled and feeling somewhat ignored. "But she laughed!" he says. She was being polite. "She even said I was funny!" Because she sensed you were trying so hard. Men don't understand that what we mean is that what we want is someone who can laugh with us at the absurd, be witty....lewd or sexual jokes have a time and place, and it's not all the time or in every place. Saying you want a man who can make you laugh will understandably get you men who want to perform for you. I'd be more explicit -- list the types of movies/tv you like: Fawlty Towers or Farrelly Brothers? Chris Rock or Sandra Bernhardt? Farside or Bugs Bunny? Good luck!

Dear Doc,
My boyfriend has a profile on and so do I. His flirting is driving me nuts. He keeps saying I'm overreacting, he's looking, not touching-- but it feels like almost cheating to me. Who is right? -Lenore

To many girlfriends, MySpace is the other woman. She's the one who sunbathes topless on the balcony across the way, the sexy divorcee that lives down the block, the MILF that picks up her kids at the same time your husband does -- every day. A constant in your peripheral vision, she is there, borrowing a cup of sugar, available to grab a coffee, ready to lend an ear as she leans over to let you see some cleavage. Since its inception in 2003 the Dear Doc questions about it have trickled in, and this year it's nonstop: girlfriends hate the site. The average age has gone up, it's now at 35. Ogling that used to be done in the vegetable aisle and over her shoulder when she got a hug is now public. That in addition to the fact that the tone of the site encourages provocative pictures and sexual undertone... While Myspace is not a dating site per se, it does serve as a plan B for many people. Yes, you are dating, but you are keeping your eyes open.

Now you can log into a website and actually see what the status of your own relationship is, even before you have a talk about it. Come on, admit it - when you're in that early-yet-transitional phase of are-we-or-aren't-we together, don't you check his page every day to see if he has surreptitiously changed his status? Do you use that as your cue to change yours? One patient told me "I think I was still in his bed when he logged on and changed his status to 'single' and 'interested in dating women.' I felt disrespected at the rapidity of his edits. The chagrin was compounded by my following internal embarrassment that I was actually worrying about something as juvenile and trivial as my ex-as-of-5-minutes' MySpace page."

Many check other's page nonstop looking for clues to cheating. I bet you you are looking at the new girl suddenly in his "top friends," and their subsequent flirty comments on each others' pages. Unfortunately, this can be addictive and add to the heat of an already dramatic relationship.

MySpace is the icebreaker, that one-liner you now don't have to search for. One patient described it as his back up list for when he was single, he'd be able to hop right in the game again, in only a few seconds. MySpace serves a lot of purposes for many people - those with innocent and mischievous intentions alike. Bottom line, if you are a monogamous couple, his site should be clear about that and not make you uncomfortable. If you aren't, then he can do pretty much what he wants. Time to stop texing each other and have a sit-down, it sounds like to me. Good luck!