By the Numbers

This Scientific Formula Tells You Whether Your Love is Meant to Be

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Will you and your boo be together forever and ever? Science can tell you that. The Telegraph reports that researchers commissioned by MSN have generated an equation that predicts how long your love will last.

Ready? Your future, according to science, is: L = 8 + .5Y – .2P + .9Hm + .3Mf + J – .3G – .5(Sm – Sf)2 + I + 1.5C, where:

L = predicted length of time
Y = Years you knew each other before the relationship got serious
P = Total number of previous partners you’ve both had (added together)
Hm = The importance the guy attaches to honesty in the relationship
Mf = The importance the lady attaches to money in the relationship
J = The importance you both attach to humor (added together)
G = The importance you both attach to looks (added together)
Sm and Sf = The importance both partners attach to sex
I = The importance attached to having good in-laws (added together)
C = The importance attached to children in the relationship (also added together)

To get your importance numbers, you evaluate each trait on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “not important at all” and 5 being “very important.”  If you both care a lot about looks, then for you, G = 10. If  you’re a lady who only kinda cares about money, then your Mf might equal 3, etc.

For same-sex couples, the formula alters slightly:  L = 8 + .5Y – .2P + 2J – .3G – .5(S1 – S2)2 – I + 1.5C, where S1 and S2 represent each person’s rating for the importance of sex.

Being a person who likes data very much and uncertainty very little, I tried it, guessing when necessary. It was fun and SAT-like. Also, it did not work. The boy I dated for two months when I was 25 and never spoke to again should have been my partner for exactly 35 years. Disturbed, I made other people try it: one friend learned that she and her ex were 6.825 years compatible (they made it one), and another got the good news that she and her current boyfriend have 42 years of bliss in store before everything falls apart (a late-life crisis, I guess?). Meanwhile, the Telegraph reporter learned that she and a random man on the Internet have the potential for a 12.9 year relationship, despite their mutual disinterest.

The formula takes a lot of things into account, things like sex and jokes and how many people you’ve slept with(?). But it misses one very important thing — arguably, it misses the most important thing: do you guys actually like each other? And so far, it seems like there’s no measure for that.