Dating an Optimization Problem?

Hello G@G community,

I am researching on one of the crucial topic of Dating.

Dating an Optimization Problem ?

In decision theory / optimal control, there is a game called the classic secretary problem.

The basic idea is as follows:

You will be presented with 100 romantic prospects, in sequence.

Dating an Optimization Problem?

Upon being presented with each candidate, you can decide Yes or No.

If Yes that is your permanent choice and the game is over. If No you get to see the next candidate. However, once you have rejected a candidate, you can't go back; once you've rejected a prospect, you can't return to it.

Dating an Optimization Problem?


Dating an Optimization Problem?

The attractiveness of the 100 prospects is random such that the every prospect has an (ex-ante) equal chance of being the best.

Given all of this, what is the right strategy for optimizing your probability of finding the best prospect.

The correct answer is to:

(1) wait to see 37 different candidates (if nn is the number of prospects, as n ➡ ∞ the optimal sampling size goes to n/e , without deciding Yes to any of them and then

(2) say Yes to the next candidate who is better looking than any of the prior ones you've seen.

In any event, the point here is not to suggest that dating or romance or marriage should been turned into a cold science but rather to shed insight into human choices involving search where important options are presented to you serially. This is actually a better game for thinking about a decision like buying a house or taking a job. You should take the first 3 or 4 months to just browse.

But I think it's moderately useful for thinking about dating people vs. deciding to get married.

Thanks for constructive criticism.

Dating an Optimization Problem?

Have a great life ahead. 😊🇮🇳



Most Helpful Girl

  • This is called optimal stopping theory. And I do see my friends actually fit into this. And seems like next person I will date is my life partner lol.


Most Helpful Guy

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What Girls Said 1

  • I can guess why you're still in the dating scene. Anyone who treats dating as an optimization problem is not someone I'd want to date !!!

    • It's part of my research work. It has no connection with my personal life. No problem. I have no plans to date any G@G member. Fortunately I am Happy Single who has no plans to Mingle in near future.

What Guys Said 0

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