This is an article about using math to find love. Mathematician Peter Backus estimated his number of potential parters by setting up the following criteria.
1. How many women are there who live near me? (In London; 4 million women)
2. How many are likely to be of the right age range? (20%; 800,000 women)
3. How many are likely to be single? (50%; 400,000 women)
4. How many are likely to have a university degree? (26%; 104,000 women)
5. How many are likely to be attractive? (5%; 5,200 women)
6. How many are likely to find me attractive? (5%; 260 women)
7. How many am I likely to get along well with? (10%; 26 women)
26 women in the world for Mr. Backus. Rough pickings.
The author of the article stated that Backus was limiting himself too much. She ran the numbers with less strict criteria and came out to a thousand potential partners. I loved every bit of this. I know that it’s bad to create a checklist when looking for a partner, but I’m intrigued by this estimation process. I like numbers. and I’m not currently looking so it doesn’t hurt to make criteria so long as I don’t take it to heart.
So why not make my own equation for my potential partners?
1. How many women are there who live near me? (New Jersey; 4.5 million women)
Half the population is women. About the same number of women live in London as New Jersey, which is crazy.
2. How many are likely to be of the right age range? (19-26)(8%; 360,000 women)
This age range seems fair. While 18 is legal, that’s too close to high school for my liking. I picked 27 as the cutoff because that sounded old.
3. How many are likely to be single? (50%; 180,000 women)
Approximately half of women are single. Straight forward.
5. How many are likely to be attractive? (15%; 27,000 women)
This was a far more difficult. I wish I knew what the mathematician meant by attractive. Girls you find pretty? Girls you find hot? Girls that aren’t repulsive physically? Does he include average women? I stuck with his percentage.
6. How many are likely to find me attractive? (15%; 8100 women)
This one is harder to know. Unless I survey a sample size of women, I can’t figure that out. So again I stuck with his assessment.
7. How many am I likely to get along well with? (0.02%; 16.2 women)
I picked 1/1000. Don’t know if that’s too high or too low. It does feel very rare for me to get along extremely well with someone regardless of gender. 1/1000 is rare.
The final tally is 16 potential partners in the entire world. I think I might have made a mistake here or there.
Oh well. It’s only an estimation.