Sums stack up against finding the right person for Valentine's Day
"The Equation of Love" makes depressing reading for singletons
The odds of finding and keeping the ideal partner on the most romantic day of the year are longer than you might think, according to a gentleman's lifestyle website.
According to Socked.co.uk, the sock subscription service and lifestyle advice site, the number of random chances and conscious decisions required for two people to end in a long-term relationship mean that those who are living the life of a singleton may stay that way for quite some time.
"We've sat down and done the actual maths," said Mark Hall, Gentleman Creation Officer at Socked, "and if we're correct, it's a wonder that the human race has actually managed to survive this long."
According to figures from the 2011 census, the number of single adults in the UK rose to 15.7 million, while the number of married couples hardly moved at all in the ten years since 2001.
"If that trend continues," said Hall," the entire country will be single by the middle of the century. Great news for people who run dating websites, terrible news for jewellers."
Socked.co.uk found that while singles meet online, in bars or through mutual friends, the increasingly disposable nature of society appears to have spread to relationships, where couples don't seem to be going the distance.
According to research carried out by Socked, the average long-term relationship requires the following before it comes to fruition:
22 meals out as a couple
Five meals out with friends in groups of four or more
Meeting the parents
Stay at the parents' house twice
Seven major arguments
Finding approval of at least 55% partners friends and relatives
At least £,3000 spent on gifts
"This is a long, risky process that requires skill, judgement and no little tact," says Hall, "and by our calculations, only about 3% of new relationships will last long enough to get the couple up the aisle or into the registry office."
"We've taken it upon ourselves to help gentlemen find and keep their ideal partner, or this nation is facing ruin."