When it comes to love, making long-term decisions is a risky business. Sooner or later, most of us decide to leave our carefree bachelor or bachelorette days behind us and settle down.
Just ask anyone who has found stung by the eligible bachelor paradox. If you decided never to settle down, you could sit back at the end of your life and list everyone you ever dated, with the luxury of being able to score each one on how good they could have been as your life partner.
Such a list would be pretty pointless by then, but if only you could have it earlier, it would make choosing a life partner a fair sight easier. But the big question is, how can you select the best person on your imaginary list to settle down with, without knowing any of Things will be settled down dating information that lies ahead of you?
People seem surprisingly averse to being called up several years after being rejected because no one better came along. When dating is framed in this way, an area of mathematics called optimal stopping theory can offer the best possible strategy in your hunt for The One. And the conclusion is surprisingly sensible: But optimal stopping theory goes further.
Because it turns out your probability of stopping and settling down with the best person denoted by P in the equation below is linked to how many of your potential lovers n you reject rby a rather elegant formula:. This formula has the power to tell you exactly how many people to reject to give you the best Things will be settled down dating chance of finding your perfect partner. If you are destined to date 20 people, you should reject the first eight where Mister or Miz Right would be waiting for you 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.
But by rejecting the first 37 percent of your lovers and following this strategy, you can dramatically change your fortunes, to a whopping Okay, you may have spotted flaws in this plan. Have three months to find a place to live?
Reject everything in the first month and then pick the next house that is your favorite so far. The math is much trickier, though the same simple rule as earlier crops up again — but this time, the 37 percent applies to time rather than people.
In the first 37 percent of your dating window until just after your 24th birthdayyou should reject everyone — use this time to get a feel for the market and a "Things will be settled down dating" expectation of what you can expect in a life partner. Once the rejection phase has passed, pick the next person who comes along who is better than everyone who you have met before. Following this strategy will definitely give you the best possible chance of finding the number one partner on your imaginary list.
Even this version has its flaws. Imagine that during your percent-rejection phase you start dating someone who is your perfect partner in every possible way. Unfortunately, once you started looking more seriously for a life partner, no one better would ever come along.
According to the rules, you should continue to reject
Things will be settled down dating else for the rest of your life, grow old and die alone, probably nursing a deep hatred of mathematical formulas. Likewise, imagine you were unlucky and everyone you met in your first 37 percent was dull and boring.
Now imagine that the next person you dated was just marginally less terrible than those before. Beyond choosing a partner, this strategy also applies to a host of other situations where people are searching for something and want to know the best time to stop looking.
Have three months to find somewhere to live?