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Marriage Is A Numbers Game

21 Jun

The “big wedding day” is often perceived as the physical embodiment of a magical, predestined union between two soul mates. However, marriage is not in any way magical. A successful venture into holy matrimony is the culmination of the hard work and sacrifice that two individuals make to be together. And unfortunately, their meeting was not magical either. Any person who meets and marries the perfect person is either completely naive and on the way to heartache or fairly experienced with the sitting and eating with an attractive stranger. The man or woman who finds their soul mate has already dated enough of the wrong people to decide who is the right one. They have spent the requisite amount of time in the dating pool to decipher what they desire and do not desire from a partner. And, they have done enough personal work to form their ideals about the perfect mate, and enough personal inventory to be a worthy partner to the right person.

Finding the right person does not happen because of a divine intervention. It happens through a series of simple probabilistic factors. The compatibility of each partner, whether they are extroverted or introverted, and the sheer amount of dates that each person has, all contribute to if and when they find love.

Basic compatibility weighs as one of the biggest factors in finding a mate. The average person believes that there is one individual in the universe who matches them perfectly, and that they will only be happy once they find that singular person. However, there are multiple people who could serve as a suitable mate for any given person, and some people are just infinitely more compatible than others. A man who works as a wealthy investment banker, is tall, dark, and handsome, kindhearted and giving, does not snore, and has a positive outlook on life will probably have very little trouble finding a wife. He fits all the basic criteria that a woman would want in a partner. Similarly, the former beauty queen with the hourglass figure, great domestic abilities, a gentle spirit, and a great sense of humor will find a husband easily. Both of these people in the preceding examples have all the desirable physical characteristics and behaviors that most people are drawn towards in a mate. People are driven by simple biological factors. Women are attracted to men who are taller and whose faces display symmetry because they are indicators of a strong genetic makeup. A good, stable job and a gentle disposition round out the perfect match for most women because they . Facial symmetry plays a lesser role in how attractive a woman is to a man, however men do look for some physical cues too. The most important physiological trait for women in attracting a mate, is the 0.7 (the hips are almost twice as large as the waist) hip to waist ratio which portends fertility in a female. The examples above represent people who are highly compatible with a large range of people, so they will effortlessly find a suitable partner. In contrast, some people are completely unsuited for a mate, so finding the right person is infinitely more difficult. The cantankerous, overweight homeless guy is probably not going to marry his dream girl. Therefore, getting into the right relationship is not contingent on being at the right place at the right time for a Cinderella-like happy ending. It is a function of both your ability to attract the opposite sex and their ability to be attractive.

Personality also plays a large role in finding a spouse. A large part of finding the right match for your lifestyle is putting yourself in situations that are conducive to meeting the right kinds of people. Therefore, extroverts are more likely to find analogous mates than introverts because they are in more public situations than their counterparts. Extroverts have several more opportunities to date because they are more comfortable in the dating pool. Being able to talk to people in public situations works as an advantage for people who are naturally more boisterous. And the more chances a person has to date a variety of people, the more likely that they find a match. Again, marriage is a game of probability, so the people with a higher rate of interaction get an increased rate of connections too. This is the reason that the star quarterback and the prom queen from high school generally get married sooner than the astrophysicist. The jock and the most popular girl in school were dating multiple people while the intellectual was studying. They were exposed to more possible suitors so they could find a suitable mate rather quickly. Introverts have fewer chances to connect, however, introverts make more meaningful connections once they do interact with another person.

She feels bored with him. Couple's table near fireplace

The most important factor in finding wedded bliss does not simply lie in your appearance or how you relate to people, though those factors do contribute to getting married. The single, most useful physical or personality trait in finding a mate is resiliency. People often get disheartened when sifting through the countless awkward “meet and greets” that are necessary to find their soul mate. Dating proves taxing and complicated, so resiliency is necessary to keep going through with the boring date with an accountant or an unsettling date with the creepy guy from the bar. It is needed when you meet the perfect person who turns out to be a self-absorbed prick, and when you can not find a date during the holidays. A recent study from the UK showed that the average person kissed 15-16 people, had between 7-10 sexual partners, and had at least four terrible dates before they found “The One”.

Therefore, finding the right mate is not an easy exercise. Marrying the perfect person does not happen without any real work and sacrifice. It happens through diligence in the dating pool. People who find their soul mate are not lucky, and they are not perfect people. They are people who used their appearance, displayed their best personality traits, and dated enough of the wrong people to decide who was right for them.

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