Is there a formula for lasting love?
The formula for the perfect first date, well that’s easy; Candlelit dinner + kissing = a call back.
The perfect relationship? Timing + communication x mutual attraction – emotional baggage = intimacy.
Penis + pulse = One night stand. Relationships seem simple when you put them like that.
And yet we’ve all had those romances where the sums seem to add up, where the right boxes were ticked and the scores were even… but somehow it doesn’t add up to love.
Love is frustrating, elusive, intangible. It starts in that sweet spot between intimacy and excitement which is impossible to manufacture and tiring to maintain. Can the algorithms of online dating sites or indeed the long odds of stumbling upon your perfect partner down the local pub ever predict where, when or for how long cupid will strike?
Whilst science has not yet manufactured the perfect partner, mathematicians are claiming to have found the formula that predicts how long love will last. Research commissioned by MSN has revealed a new love equation that determines the key ingredients to a successful, long-lasting relationship – with factors such as a good sense of humor ranking in importance alongside a person’s number of previous sexual partners.
According to the 2,000 males and females surveyed, 25 per cent of both men and women believe their partner should have had four sexual partners before them (with one in five men clinging to the traditional belief that they should be their ideal woman’s “first”).
The survey also found that men prioritize looks over intelligence and are twice as likely as women to believe that good sex is important for a happy, enduring relationship.
The biggest surprise for me was that the number one trait we’re all apparently after is wit. So there you go, it’s not sex-appeal but sparkling banter that’ll make you a hit with the opposite sex.
It is claimed that the resulting formula (L = 8 + .5Y – .2P + .9Hm + .3Mf + J – .3G – .5(Sm – Sf)2 + I + 1.5C – see key below) can determine how long a potential or current relationship can be expected to last.
Does it really work? I decided to test the hypothesis through extremely scientific means (in other words, by broadcasting to the world, via Twitter, that I am single and ready to mingle in a mathematically-approved fashion). I applied the formula to various unsuspecting male friends and volunteers over the course of an afternoon, and eventually found a man with whom love would apparently last 12.9 years.
Only trouble is… I don’t fancy him. And despite the 12.9 happy years I could offer him, he doesn’t particularly fancy giving it a go either. That’s science for you. Back to the drawing board.
The formula explained:
L = 8 + .5Y – .2P + .9Hm + .3Mf + J – .3G – .5(Sm – Sf)2 + I + 1.5C
L: The predicted length in years of the relationship
Y: The number of years the two people knew each other before the relationship became serious
P: The number of previous partners of both people added together
Hm: The importance the male partner attaches to honesty in the relationship
Mf : The importance the female attaches to money in the relationship
J: The importance both attach to humor (added together)
G: The importance both attach to good looks (added together)
Sm and Sf = The importance male and female attach to sex
I = The importance attached to having good in-laws (added together)
C= The importance attached to children in the relationship (added together)
Note: All ‘importance’ measures can be scaled from 1 to 5 where 1 is not important at all and 5 is very important.
Research findings for same sex couples differed slightly from heterosexual couples and so the formula changes slightly in light of this to L = 8 + .5Y – .2P + 2J – .3G – .5(S1 – S2)2 – I + 1.5C (where S1 and S2 are the two partner’s ratings for the importance of sex).