How Many Dates Till You Find A Soul Mate?

How Many Dates Till You Find A Soul Mate?

Are you better able to find your perfect match if you date plenty of people? Or do super-selective types have the edge when it comes to finding love? A mathematician shares her secret formula.

By Judy Dutton

ow many people should you wine, dine and bed down before you can feel confident youve shopped around enough and are ready to say you’ve met your one and only? Believe it or not, mathematics has the answer: a dozen. “Check out and reject twelve people, then pick the next best that comes along, and you’re likely to have a very good match on your hands,” says Clio Cresswell, a mathematician and author of Mathematics and Sex. That’s because when it comes to decision-making, formulas reveal that your chances of picking the right answer improve as you expose yourself to more options. That’s because you aren’t being too hasty and picking the first choice that seems decent enough (i.e., the person you went to the junior prom with). But there does come a point when you are over-researching: If you date and reject 30 or more potential mates, “you’ve probably met someone that you could possibly have been more than happy with, and passed them over,” notes Cresswell. Remember, though: That’s just an observation. No one’s prodding you to start calling up your exes or anything.

Judy Dutton is a freelance writer living in New York City. Of the men she’s dated, her current guy is between numbers 12 and 30—and she thinks he’s a keeper.
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