, ,

I occasionally hear some girls complaining: “Why are all the good guys taken?” Most authorities on the subject of social interaction would attributes the main culprit to the impossibly high standards. It makes sense. Sort of. It is like setting the bar too high for your potential partner. When you only want a man who is at least six feet four tall, that cuts a lot of options. What if it is just how the game of romance operates irrespective of standard level?

Being a mathematical mind, I found the main idea in this article quite articulately simple. First, let me defend the use of models. It is easy to bash modelling. But I found that it can provide a powerful insight into a subject of immense complexity. True, they cannot accurately describe the world we are living in, but that doesn’t stop them from being useful. Those who reject the use of model, are unbeknown to them benefiting from every scientific theories we ever discover/create (another philosophical discussion) which are a collection of models on the universe. Like George E P Box said: all models are wrong, but some are useful. It is more appropriate to see if simple assumptions on human interaction can generate similar outcome.

For simplicity, we will assume that there are only two groups of people, crazy and good. Everyone can pair off with anyone. There are five possible stages for any individual: good-single, crazy-single, good-good-couple, good-crazy-couple, crazy-crazy-couple. The assumption is this: good-good-couple tends to stay together for longer than the other two types of couples. Long story short, model suggests that in equilibrium, there are proportionally more crazy singles than good singles. This is achieved without any assumption on the standard expected of potential partners.

This model seems to suggest the following: even if somehow we realign everyone expectation of future partner with reality, the question “Why are all the good guys taken?” will probably never go away. Perhaps, we need to sabotage all good relationships as well.