This Dating Theory Calculator Uses Math to Predict When You’ll Find Love

How many bad Tinder dates does it take to find your soulmate?

All's fair in love and math
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When it comes to unlocking the mysteries of our future love lives, many of us turn to the ancient wisdom of astrology, or the less ancient wisdom of the Magic 8 Ball or even the game MASH.

One scientist, however, suggests ditching the stars and childhood games in favor of a more mathematical approach. According to Dominik Czernia, a Ph.D. candidate in condensed particle physics, the key to predicting your romantic future may actually lie in the logic of crunching numbers.

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Czernia developed a dating theory calculator for the company Omni calculator, a website that seeks to provide calculations for various seemingly incalculable queries and quandaries, including a White Christmas Calculator, a Tree Leaves Calculator, and even something called a Vampire Apocalypse Calculator.

Czernia’s new Dating Theory Calculator predicts how many people you need to date before finding “the one” based on your desired timeframe and the number of dates you’re willing to go on within that timeframe. The calculator hinges on a mathematical principle called the optimal stopping theory, which attempts to determine at what point a given action will provide maximum payoff and minimum future costs. Applied to dating, the optimal stopping theory is supposed to help you figure out whether you should settle down with the one you’ve got or keep swiping for the next best thing.

According to Czernia, the optimal stopping theory of dating advises rejecting the first 37 percent of potential partners, regardless of how lovely or otherwise compatible they may seem. After eliminating that initial 37 percent, you should then settle down with the next candidate who seems better than all the previous rejects. While this person may not be your soulmate per say, they are, mathematically speaking, your best shot at an ideal match.

Suffice to say, there’s a lot that could go wrong here. “Math cannot take into account every factor,” Czernia told Inverse. “Math cannot take into account feelings. It should only provide advice — what you should do, not what you have to do.”

Love is confusing and often terrifying, and having some system of apparent logic to turn to in times of romantic trial can be comforting. If you nerds want to let a calculator tell you how to live your life, knock yourselves out. But I don’t want to hear anymore trash talk about astrology.

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