The Love Calculator: How Long Will Your Relationship Last?

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In this article, we convert some research on relationship compatibility into an easy to use relationship length and  love calculator. Let math predict how long your relationship will last!

The Relationship Length Calculator

This calculator is based on a fun article which appeared on MSN, written by Rachel Burge: "New 'love formula' reveals lover number five could be The One". Ms. Burge presents the theoretical underpinnings of love compatibility, and breaks down human monogamous tendencies to science (or at least a survey), by marrying big data and... marrying.

Call it "Big Love", "Horoscopes meet Moneyball" or whatever you like – MSN has some interesting data on what matters most when it comes to relationship length.

Most Important Love Compatibility Factors

With a sample size of 2,000 people, it turns out that the most important factors in compatibility are:

  1. How long they knew each other first
  2. The number of previous partners for both
  3. How much they care about humor
  4. How much they care about physical attraction
  5. How much they care about sex
  6. How much they both care about in-laws(!)
  7. How much they care about children

For heterosexual couples, add to that list (both are positive):

  1. How much he cares about honesty
  2. How much she cares about money

Interesting stuff! Although... the in-law point certainly wouldn't have scored many points in a love-formula episode of Family Feud.

Negative Factors for Relationship Length

For the record, the three negative weights on relationship length are:

  1. Having many partners before starting the relationship (the sweet spot for a couple is around max 5 partners each)
  2. Having the male (or one partner for a homosexual relationship) value sex much more than the female (or the other partner)
  3. The combined value both partners place on looks

Converting the Love Formula to a Love Calculator

Ms. Burge playfully challenges the reader of the article to do the math for his or herself:

Warning: you might need a calculator and/or a mathematics degree for this part!


Still with us? In case you’re scratching your head, all 'importance' measures can be scaled from 1 to 5 where 1 is not important at all and 5 is very important.


And there we have it! Easy wasn’t it?

Mathematics Degree aside, the bottom of the article contains formulas for both heterosexual and homosexual couples to guess at how long the survey data would predict their relationships to last.

The Love Formula vs. Horoscope Compatibility!

We appreciate MSN introducing empirical analysis into their dating columns, and are glad to have found this post.

While we would never suggest solely relying on a computer to determine your dating decisions, it's nice to be armed with the data. Bookmark this calculator and add it to your horoscope and name-compatibility checks for whenever your next relationship starts.

We're not going to share the inputs to our marriage - but, suffice to say, we're predicted to last quite a while. (Here's to hoping the math bears out.)

How did you score?

It should go without saying, but we'll say it anyway – this is entertainment. Do not make break-up decisions on the results of this calculator. Love is strange, and exceptions are common!

Want to continue our relationship? See our other calculators and tools.



PK started DQYDJ in 2009 to research and discuss finance and investing and help answer financial questions. He's expanded DQYDJ to build visualizations, calculators, and interactive tools.

PK lives in New Hampshire with his wife, kids, and dog.

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