This latest from Reuters is a little absurd, and you have to wonder if they timed this to release a few days before Valentine’s Day (crafty, crafty mathemeticians!). Apparently, all self-help books on finding romance have been rendered obsolete – there is a formula for finding the “right age” to fall in love. And yes, it has been nicknamed the “Fiancee Factor.”
The article is short, so I’m just going to quote most of it here:
“Although probability isn’t the most romantic basis for a marriage, the formula does seem to fit a lot of couples — whether through accident or design,” said the equation’s creator, Professor Tony Dooley at the University of New South Wales.
“There’s no reason why the science can’t be extended to calculate the best moment to marry,” Dooley said in a statement.
However, love birds take note, the mathematical equation for love only has a 37 percent success rate.
The formula is helpful as a guide for the right moment to start getting serious, but could also be used by nervous men to calculate when to avoid the ultimate commitment, said Dooley.”
It’s first of all pretty ridiculous to throw in at the end that this only has a 37% percentage of success. And then the article, despite its short length and almost complete lack of information about the formula, manages to indulge in some damaging gender stereotypes – namely that men are nervous about commitment. I’m sure that women’s biological clocks are a major factor as well.
More than anything, I think we can learn something from this formula: that vague math is not the solution for finding romantic love. People do unexpected things – things that don’t figure into a neat mathematical formula. I’m with the Jezebel writers on this one – let’s hope that Lori Gottlieb (the author of the new book on settling for Mr-Good-Enough) doesn’t find out about this.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.