Want to have an easier time attracting a mate? Get a sense of humor. According to a new study, people who 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.”

 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.