The Math of Finding a Mate

The Math of Finding a Mate

We’ve all heard the dire statistics: the older a well-educated woman gets, the less likely she is to find true love. She’s more likely to die in a terrorist attack (and these stats were before the most recent attacks in Paris!) than to find true love.

Well, here are some statistics that put women a bit more in control.

A mathematician – a woman this time, named Hannah Fry – says that the key is to reject 37% of your dates. Doesn’t matter how many men you date, the first 37% are going to be the errors in your trial-and-error dating.

In her book about math and love, Fry looks at mathematical patterns and concludes, “…if you are destined to date ten people in your lifetime, you have the highest probability of finding The One when you reject your first four lovers (where you’d find them 39.87 percent of the time). If you are destined to date twenty people, you should reject the first eight (where Mister or Miz Right would be waiting for you 38.42 percent of the time). And, if you are destined to date an infinite number of partners, you should reject the first 37 percent, giving you just over a one in three chance of success.”

The implication is that, like your Mom always told you, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince (or princess).

Mathematics can tell you the probability of finding a mate by looking at patterns. What it can’t tell you is when to stop.

As Fry says, “As any mathematically minded person will tell you, it’s a fine balance between having the patience to wait for the right person and the foresight to cash in before all the good ones are taken.”

If you look strictly at math, you will only recognize your soulmate in hindsight…after dating 100%, you will realize that Mr. or Ms. 37% was The One. So it sounds like the best advice is to get out there and date like crazy, just to get the bad ones out of the way. Because, math.