Can Love Be Quantified?

No. At least I haven’t found a way. If you have, please contact me!

So we can’t quantify it but can we forecast it? I can write about love as an irrational and unpredictable force in our daily lives but that doesn’t do it justice. Love is a lot more than just that. Naively, we can think of the a love that brings people together for a short while, maybe months or a few years, and a love that is more permanent.

One major difference are the virtues exhibited by people that come together in the name of that love. The infatuation or hormonal rush will dwindle in time, boredom mounts, and people’s patience will be frayed by a partner’s idiosyncrasies. I always wondered how it makes sense for humans, formerly with much shorter lifespans, to stay together for decades as monogamous pairs. As industrial society has evolved to quantify everything, it’s hard to stay rational and accept the irrationality of long-term love. To do that takes a considerable amount of willpower. Namely, it’s the will to overlook issues and put aside one’s own priorities on occasion in the name of something greater than the individual. On this topic, I recommend Can Love Last?: The Fate of Romance over Time by Stephan A. Michael.

But how much can we really overlook the things we want out of life and a partner? For every person, there’s a different limit but there’s always a limit. At some point life become unbearable and unfulfilling. People become resentful or depressed. Here compatibility is key. Compatibility in life style, life goals, values, and attraction. To maximize the chances that a burgeoning love can be fostered and mature into a more permanent love it is wise to maximize compatibility.

We may not be able to quantify love and the feelings that comes from any unique relationship but we can quantify personality through testing. I hear there’s a lot of websites doing it nowadays. We can get a sense of not just what people’s values and traits are but how much those unique values and traits are prioritized over others. In a nutshell, this is how online romantic matchmaking works.

At Nanaya, we do this but with a twist. We don’t just look at what is compatibility now but how do things change in the future. We see what types of incompatibility will impact a relationship in time. For people who have never thought explicitly about the personality of a person that makes them feel at ease – we can provide that information.

But at the end of the day, relationship forecasting is trying to tack down numbers to slippery concepts like social interaction and what compatibility means to any single person. Love is irrational and so is human decision-making. I can’t help but to embrace this fact. Nanaya is not here to make decisions for people but to help people learn about themselves and what options they have.