HOW TO DATE LIKE A MATHEMATICIAN

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A Mathematician Says The Best Way To Start A Relationship Is To Reject All Of Your Initial Dates, No Matter How Attractive You Find Them

If life was a movie, we would meet perfect partners in the first scene and fall in love at first sight. That would be a big mistake, say mathematicians who have been working out rules for finding lasting love. Amrit Singh  is one. Still single at 35, he’s been doing his sums to find love for the past few years, he tells The Guardian.

For instance, to approximate the number of potential girlfriends in Delhi and Cambridge, where he spends all his time Singh used the ‘Drake equation’, which was “developed to estimate how many intelligent alien civilizations there might be in the galaxy.” Here are some of the less arcane observations from the article.

DATE LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW

The first rule is to date a lot. Meet as many prospective partners as you can, online and offline. Date twice a day, if need be. The options are unlimited online, so you might get trapped in the paradox of choice — forever wondering whether the next person might not be even better. That’s why you need rule 2.

KNOW WHEN TO STOP

You can’t date all your life, so you need to know when to stop. Math’s has a tip for that, too. It’s called the ‘optimal-stopping theory’, and it says you should reject the first 37% of your prospective dates, no matter how gob smacking great they seem to you.

Say, you are willing to go on 50 dates to find love. Math’s says you should reject the first 19 people you meet. You are meeting them only to gain experience and understand what kind of partners you can expect to find. It’s a reality check of your own dating-market value.

Do make a note of your best date among these 19, for they will be your benchmark for the people you meet afterwards. Stop dating when you meet someone better than the benchmark.

TEMPER YOUR EXPECTATIONS

Statistically, it is almost impossible to find that made-for-you person with matching thoughts, beliefs, behavior, age and perfect appearance. After all, there are only 7 billion humans living today, while there have been another 100 billion before us. It’s quite likely that your ideal partner lived 5,000 years ago.

“On paper, I’m probably a perfect match with my dad, if he was a woman, and not related to me,” says Singh.

So, start by lowering your expectations. ‘Good’ may be better than ‘best’ in the long run. Research shows relationships work best not when partners have maximum matching traits but when they are willing to overlook each other’s flaws.

STAY SOBER

Candlelight and wine are alright in the movies, but on a real date you don’t want your judgment muddled while you are scoring prospective partners. As Singh says, “You can’t have things that cloud your data set.”

FAMILIARITY BREEDS LOVE, TOO: In the movie ‘Friends with Benefits’, the protagonists eventually fall in love after long denying the possibility

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