Will you be together forever? (Photo: Kate Powers)
I may love discussing relationships, but I have a serious aversion to math. Anything above simple algebra can break me out into stress sweats. So when I heard a mathematician had developed a formula for lasting love, the only thing I did is let out a groan. Eventually I took a look, and it’s actually quite simple—so easy, in fact, that even I could add it up.
First, you’ll need to rate your mood, both with and without your guy, and then your reaction to him, whether positive or negative. Then, click here for the formula and how to tally it all up.
Now, for the science behind it. In an article published this week in Business Insider, Hannah Fry, a math whiz who works for at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in London, breaks down happily ever after in this formula, developed by another mathematician based on research at The Gottman Institute: The longest-lasting couples felt they had more positive interactions than negative ones on a daily basis, while those with the least longevity generally feel their negative interactions are more common than happy ones.
Fry explains, “In relationships where both partners consider themselves as happy, bad behavior is dismissed as unusual. … In negative relationships, however, the situation is reversed. Bad behavior is considered the norm.”
She continues, “The most successful relationships are the ones with a really low negativity threshold. In those relationships, couples allow each other to complain, and work together to constantly repair the tiny issues between them. In such a case, couples don’t bottle up their feelings, and little things don’t end up being blown completely out of proportion.”
If you tally up your own relationship, let me know what you think about the formula and its accuracy. If not, a simple inventory of your happiness versus unhappiness over time with your guy should be enough to know where you fall on the spectrum.
By Jillian Kramer
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