Theory of dating
That's not great odds, but, as we have seen, it's the best you can expect with a strategy like this one. Sadly, not everybody is there for you to accept or reject — X, when you meet them, might actually reject you!
So should you use this strategy in your search for love? In real life people do sometimes go back to someone they have previously rejected, which our model doesn’t allow.
You can see that, as gets larger, the optimal value of settles down nicely to around .
Which means that the best value of is roughly 37% of .
The overall probability is therefore made up of several terms: Let’s work out the terms one by one.
If X is among the first people you date, then tough luck, you have missed your chance. Therefore, the first terms of equation 1 are all zero.
We will call that person X — it’s who you’d ideally want to end up with.
On the other hand, you don't want to be too choosy: once you have rejected someone, you most likely won't get them back. And since the order in which you date people might depend on a whole range of complicated factors we can’t possibly figure out, we might as well assume that it’s random.It’s hard to compare people on the basis of a date, let alone estimate the total number of people available for you to date.And we haven’t addressed the biggest problem of them all: that someone who appears great on a date doesn’t necessarily make a good partner.If X is the person you date, you’re in luck: since X is better than all others so far, you will pick X for sure. If X is the person you date, you’ll pick them to settle down with as long as the person and the person both didn’t have a higher rating than the ones you saw before them. Therefore, We can continue like this until we hit the case in which X is the last person you date.
Therefore, If X is the person, you’ll pick them to settle down with as long as the person didn’t have a higher rating than all the previous people. In other words, you pick X if the highest-ranked among the first people turned up within the first people. You will pick X as long as the , , etc, and people all didn’t have a higher rating than the ones you saw before them. Therefore, This means you should discard the first person and then go for the next one that tops the previous ones. In this article we'll look at one of the central questions of dating: how many people should you date before settling for something a little more serious?It's a tricky question, and as with many tricky questions, mathematics has an answer of sorts: it's 37%. We’ll assume that you have a rough estimate of how many people you could be dating in, say, the next couple of years. The value of depends on your habits — perhaps you meet lots of people through dating apps, or perhaps you only meet them through close friends and work.For twenty potential partners () you should choose , which is 35% of . For a hundred potential partners () you should choose (that’s obviously 37% of ) and for (an admittedly unrealistic) 1000 () you should choose , which is 36.8% of .