love and playfulness

Ever wonder why we human-type adults play long into our human-type adulthood? According to this article in the Telegraph:

A team of US academics surveyed 250 undergraduate students and found that both sexes list “sense of humour”, “fun loving” and “playful” among the most important characteristics they look for in a potential long-term partner.

The results could explain why humans continue to play throughout their lives, while most other animals stop doing so when they reach adulthood, the researchers said.

Playful behaviour may provide an evolutionary benefit by displaying desirable qualities such as non-aggressiveness or youthfulness to potential long-term partners…

So, in case you need permission or encouragement, like I said, apparently, it really does pay to play.

You can read the entire report here (pdf), in the American Journal of Play. I especially liked their conclusion:

In an ultimate sense, play has helped make us who we are, as adults; and in a proximate sense, it has made being an adult much more fun than it might have been otherwise.

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