The mathematics of finding love

Rey Green, Staff Reporter

For some, the Covid-19 pandemic adds difficulty to dating and getting to know someone. 

Common ways to spend a date night, like going to the movies or dining out, aren’t options.   

Payton Glasser, an education major, has had to manage his relationship with COVID-19 protocols. According to him, it hasn’t been easy. 

“It’s definitely a struggle. It’s hard because you can’t always be there with them all the time and see them in those times you need to see them,” Glasser said. 

Other locals, who are adjusting to the protocols, have found new dating styles. 

Tyler Flannagan, an occupational safety health and management major, said he was struggling at the beginning of Covid-19 because he had to remain socially distant from his girlfriend.

“We’re both really bad texters, it gets boring texting, so we just switched over to do more short facetime throughout the day,” Flannagan said. “To catch up on what we did throughout the day that really helped us keep that connection.”

Peyton Vogul, an education major, said she was frustrated with everything being closed and not doing activities with her boyfriend. She also said it’s especially tough when couples are in the beginning stages of dating.

“Trying to get to know somebody with the isolation and not being able to do those things, he and I would have at home movie nights or a lot of at-home cooking and learning how to cook new things,” Vogul said. 

Dr. Jean Marie Linhart, an associate mathematics professor at CWU, gave an online seminar about the mathematics of dating. 

The mathematics of dating might not be in your favor as of right now due to the optimal stopping theory. 

“If you have three choices of types of jam you might buy in the store, you’re gonna pick one and be pretty happy,” Linhart said. “But if the store has 200 types of jam for you, no matter what you buy, you’re gonna wonder, with those other 199, you could have gotten something better.”

According to Linehart’s theory, we should date 37 out of 100 possible people, reject them all, then choose the next person who is better than the 37 you dated. 

“The example I gave in my talk was if I was starting [to date] at 16, I wanted to be married at 32,” Linhart said. “And so the idea is that I should date and reject everybody from age 16 to age 23, and I should marry the first person after the age 23 that’s better than everybody that I’ve ever dated before.”