The secret to finding lasting love might remain a mystery to most, but two US researchers claim to have come up with a mathematical model that can predict whether a relationship will fail.

The researchers also say their system provides a simplified way of counselling couples and can help them to overcome relationship problems. However, the method has yet to be verified independently and is based in part on a subjective analysis.

John Gottman, a clinical psychologist, and mathematicians James Murray and Kristin Swanson, all at the University of Washington, based their model on interviews with hundreds of newlywed couples carried out over the last 15 years.

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