# Article: The Mathematics of Dating

Can maths help you find true love? Many may argue quite the opposite – that the mere mention of the beauty of a quadratic equation or the perils of a small sample size might be enough to curtail any romantic liaison. But when it comes to devising a strategy for approaching the dating game in today’s hectic world, mathematics can offer a much needed helping hand.

A maths teacher – let’s call him Eugene – is about to embark upon a series of dates. He is a busy man, so decides beforehand that over the course of the next 6 months he can feasibly meet 25 women. What should his plan of action be? Should Eugene stop his search at the first date he likes, or hold out in case the woman of his dreams comes along a little later?

Fortunately, a model is at hand – although it might not be quite the model Eugene is hoping for. It is possible to construct a mathematical model that allows us to devise an optimal strategy for this dating dilemma. First we need a few assumptions:

1. You can only date one person at a time

2. A dates ends with you “rejecting” or “selecting” the other person

3. If you “reject” someone, the person is gone forever – old flames cannot be rekindled.

4. You must decide on the number of people you plan to date beforehand

5. As you date people, you can only tell relative rank and not true rank. This means you can tell the second person was better than the first person, but you cannot judge whether the second person is your true love.