If you want to create a love calculator in Excel, you have to start at the first question: what kind of “love” are you trying to calculate?
- Which person, among many potential candidates, is the best partner for you?
- Do you love your partner more today than you did last week?
- Whether you’re a match with a particular person, based on a numerological interpretation of your names?
The Love Calculator Toolkit, available elsewhere on this site, is designed to answer the first question. If I get enough response, I might build a toolkit for the second question, as well. It’s possible that the “360 Reasons I Love You” post, currently in draft, could be connected to this tool. In this post, I’ll outline what you’d need to do to create your own love calculator. Here’s a link for the oldest version I could find of the third.
Determine your best partner
If you’re going to take a calculator approach to evaluating potential partners, it helps to start with a well-defined list of criteria. Ideally, your list will be long enough that any one particular variable won’t outweigh too many others. I’d suggest 50 items, at least. 10 is easy. 20′s not too hard. Getting to 50 takes some work. If you have trouble with this, you might want to take eHarmony’s test, and take notes (or print each page as you go). Use their question topics as thought starters for your own list. (It so happens that “50″ makes the math easy, but if you’re good at writing equations in MS Excel, don’t let the need to have round numbers stop you–we’re heading toward a percentage-based system.)
Make sure your criteria are as specific as possible, and to the extent possible, tangible. 6’4″ is better than “tall.” (Of course, “tall” can just as easily be 5’10″, but that’s partly why it’s good to be specific. My college roommate told me she was dating a tall guy in my section of organic. When we eventually met, I realized I did know him, but I would never have called him “tall.”
Define passing grades
What’s a good answer to your criteria? One of my “must-haves” is “cooks.” There’s a big wide world of men who will tell you that they cook, and some of them cook the way I need them to and some don’t. As the old joke goes, “when it comes to “kinky,” one man’s chicken is another man’s feather.” Think this one through.
Develop a scoring system
Life is full of unanticipated outcomes. As best you can evaluate a criterion before you have to apply it, think about how you might score a candidate. Because the Love Calculator Toolkit is built on a 50 item, 100-point scale, it uses a
- 2 = exceeds
- 1 = meets and doesn’t exceed
- 0 = doesn’t meet
- -1 = completely fails
Using my personal definition of “tall” (I’m 6’0″ myself) as an example:
- 2 = 6’4″
- 1 = 6’0″ to 6’3.5″
- 0 = less than 6’0″
- -1 = not only shorter than 6’0″, but also argues with me about how tall I am
Now, as I’ve said throughout this site, there are no right or wrong answers. Partner selection in much of the Western hemisphere is an infinitely personal process. You get to choose.
Rate your dates
Once you have criteria, a scoring system, and an equation to allow you to review and rate each criterion individually, you’re good to go. Meet. Greet. Converse. Do all the things people do on dates to get to know each other. Allow yourself to respond. I’d suggest not pulling out your scorecard at the bar, but I suppose some people could pull that off. When you get home, or the next day, look over the list. As you learn information about one of the people you’re dating, enter the scores. Tally. As long as the total keeps rising and you don’t hit any brick walls or showstoppers, keep dating.
You probably won’t get to 100%, and if you do, you might want to review your list with a trusted friend. Most of the time, we’re just not that perfect for each other. However, many of the people using the Love Calculator Toolkit have found that on-going relationships are MUCH easier when there is essential compatibility between the partners.
How would I create a reliable, repeatable name-based calculator? I have a few clues, but to tell the truth, these were games I played when I was 12, and they never worked out too well. If you know of an equation, I’d love to see how they work. Drop me a note!