LONDON singletons face mighty tough odds trying to find Mr or Mrs Right, according to boffin Peter Backus, who rates their chances at no more than 285,000 to 1.
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“The research may sound depressing to people looking for love. I guess it depends on what you thought your chances were before reading this,” said Backus, a tutor at the University of Warwick.
“But the good news for singles is; it’s probably not your fault.”
In his research, Backus used himself as a guinea-pig and borrowed the famous Drake Equation (famous in maths circles anyway), which has been used to calculate the chances of finding alien life-forms.
Or, “We we can re‐specify the Drake equation as: G = N* x fW x fL x fA x fU x fB,” as Backus puts it.
In English, what he did was to narrow down his search for love by: being heterosexual; wanting women in his own age group; specifying she have a degree; assuming he’d find 1 in 20 of that sample good looking enough; insisting she be single; needing her to find him attractive – 1 in 20 again – and guessing he’d get on well with 1 in 10 of those lucky London ladies left in with a shout.
Put that lot into a computer and you get a total of 26 women in the whole of London who fit the bill for Backus, which is where he gets the 285,000 to 1 odds from.
“So about 100 times better than finding an alien civilization we can communicate with,” he said.
Obviously some might quibble with Backus’s criteria, but they will have their own boxes to tick. For instance, women whose men must voluntarily put the toilet seat down and share the TV remote might find their odds of meeting Mr Right on about the same level as finding that chatty Martian.
Alternatively, there’s always the old internet dating game .