Romance By Numbers & The Statistical Probability Model

Romance By Numbers

For those of you who believe in romance and would like to continue to be fooled, please stop reading this now. I have some soberingly tragic news about what relationships actually are. A relationship is an understood contract between two people who are hopefully looking for what they claim to be looking for. There is not someone for everyone, things are not meant to be. These are fairy tales told to children, not unlike Santa Claus and Cinderella. I’ll admit that it’s fun to visit Oz every once in a while, but eventually you’re going to wake up to find the cowardly lion was really just Uncle Zeke. This is not to say happiness is not possible, but please don’t count on fate to steer your life raft. As dry a pill as it can be to swallow sometimes, there is another edge on the sword of free will. It would be so easy not to be responsible for your actions, but you will end up where you end up as a direct result of your choices. Relationships are no exception.

So once you can accept that there is not one person for everyone, what can we say of relationships? Does love actually exist? Actually, love is a separate problem altogether. Love has no meaning. It is a word we throw around in songs and bedspeak to make our relationship partner feel better about the contract. It means something different to everyone and cannot be measured from one person to the next and often times, not even from one instance to the next and can therefore not be described. Coincidentally, much like pain. The same people that tell me there is someone for everyone also like to say that when you are in love, you’ll know it. Well, I’ve known it about 3 or 4 times now. So that theory is bullshit. Same thing with Ouija Boards, by the way. But don’t worry; all hope is not lost yet. (to be continued)

The Statistical Probability Model

(continued from 8/3/08) That’s where the “Statistical Probability Model” comes into play. There are a finite number of people on earth. Assuming there is not one person for everyone while still living under the unfortunate constraints of monogamy, we are looking for one of these people. For sake of simplicity, I will eliminate one entire gender from the dating pool. There goes half of them. There are also age restrictions and under very conservative, yet legal parameters, that will probably eliminate about 75% of the one gender. Also, for the sake of argument, we’re not trying to break up any marriages, happy or otherwise, or live the life of the sordid affair. That will probably take out at least half of the remainder. We’ve just very conservatively narrowed our focus to 6% of the population.

Now there are certain deal breakers that everyone has. No smokers, no diseases, no fatties, no Republicans, etc. There go about 65-90%, depending on one’s standards. Then there are categories of high importance, such as religious affiliation, children and the willingness to perform certain sexual acts. These are closely followed by categories of less importance, such as hair color, preferred room temperature and the willingness to perform other sexual acts. While none of these are deal-breakers to some people, a companion must earn a certain number of compatibility points in order to qualify for the contract. Each individual can decide on his or her own what the minimum number is and how much weight is given to which categories, but there is a number, whether we write it down on paper or just do it on the abstract abacus of compromise in our heads. This will probably eliminate about 80-95% of whoever the heck is left. This leaves us with approximately 0.156% of the world’s population. Thankfully the world has a lot of people. However, you will not meet all of them. So we apply that percentage to our geographical area, which depending on size, may not be statistically significant enough to apply these numbers without serious revision. Still, you will be compatible enough to have a relationship with one person for every 640 that you meet.

That’s still not too bad. You can certainly meet 640 people in a little over a year’s time. Now the trick is to meet them, get to know them well enough to realize that they’ve fit into your statistical probability model, hope they’re not seeing anybody else, and cross your fingers like hell that you fit into their model and that they realize it too. I don’t have odds prepared to discuss these percentages.

So this is sadly what relationships really are. There is no meant to be, there is not one person for everyone. Romance is dead. Love is a set of formulas carefully calculated on an excel spreadsheet. But there is still a chance for happiness. And on a long enough timeline, even the cynical heartless creator of this formula will find his 1 in 640. And when I do, I am convinced that I will tell myself that this is all bullshit and this girl is the girl that was destined for me from the beginning of time and fate brought us together. Again.

Playing the odds,

Busted Nuts.

Still Standing Right Here…

QOTD credits: Joe Titlow – (The Statistical Probability Model)

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