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"The Math of Romeo and Juliet vaguely weird relationship"

03.12.12

 Marriage counseling is so 20th century.  The 21st century may belong to relationship neuroinformaticians because they can create a mathematical model for efficient communication in your love life.

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Steven Strogatz first described romance with a dynamical system in 1988. He constructed a 2-D model describing two hypothetical partners that interact emotionally. The well known example he used was Romeo and Juliet during their short, tumultuous affair. As everyone knows, a bunch of murders and suicides in a few days time are not indicative of a harmonious teenage relationship. It was not an elegant sinusoid.
But, note Natalia Bielczyk and colleagues from Radboud University Nijmegen, a Strogatz model doesn't include delays in the partner responses to each other, so they added reactivity parameters: Personal history of the couple, their ‘past’, and reactivity to their partner and his/her history. With those parameters, more complex relationships can be modeled. Some are predictably doomed to fail while others are always stable. Stability occurs when both partners reach a stable level of satisfaction and the sine wave narrows or even disappears.
They even say that delays in reactivity can bring stability to couples that are originally unstable.  Relationship counseling using the function sine. That's practical math.

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The results are pretty intuitive though nothing you didn't already know - responses that are too delayed, or even too prompt, are a sign (get it??) of trouble. Under a certain threshold, delays mean instability and above it is stability.

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Why is numerical modeling going to be better for men?  Because a range is optimal, and anything too fast causes instability, the math can tell you how lazy you can be in a relationship yet still claim you are working on maintaining a healthy response rate.  Covertly.  You are doing it for her.

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