in: Dating & Relationships

Testing the Love Formula

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Can romance be quantified? A group of researchers set out to create a mathematical equation that can predict the longevity of a relationship before it starts—a love formula.


Recent research commissioned by MSN studied 2,000 men and women in an effort to devise a formula that can predict how long a relationship will endure.

Scientists evaluated the level of importance of many factors that figure into relationships such as sense of humor, good looks, children and the number of previous partners of both individuals. What they claim to have discovered is a mathematical equation that uses these factors as variables and spits out the number of years that a relationship will last.

Some of the findings of this research include the conclusion that a quarter of the people surveyed would prefer a lover who has had at least four previous partners. In addition, it was found that men invest more importance in good looks than they do in intelligence and are twice as likely as women to vote for good sex as an important factor.

Many questions can be asked to determine whether or not these conclusions are based on solid research…Was 2,000 people a big enough sample size?…Were any of these findings compared to answers given by people who are currently or were previously in long-lasting, healthy relationships?

But good science aside, the most important question to bring up is likely the most difficult to answer—whether or not an equation based on logic and research can determine something as complicated, illogical and rare as love.

Caroline Kent puts theories to the test here.

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