The math of love

Is there a mathematical model, at the same time complete and sufficiently exhaustive, capable to realize the right match between two people? What algorithm could replace the sensations of the first encounter and the correspondence of loving senses?

Let’s talk about math. Commonly considered cold and hyperdisciplined matter, it is also applied to the emotional sphere of excellence, love. Of course, the apps and meeting sites using it to help users to find the soul mate are nowadays very numerous.

In 1966, at Brown University, Jeff Tarr  conceived “ Operation Match”. It was a social experiment consisting of test and questionnaires in order to help participants to find the right partner. 90,000 profiles were processed.

The idea was innovative for those years: using math as a novel Cupid to find love.

The answers to questions about our newspaper, our most watched TV series, our favourite food or favourite pets are sufficient? Is analysis of lifestyles and personality tests enough? They certainly help but can mathematical calculations replace the sensations of the first meeting?

Do we really want to substitute the unexpected with the certainty of numbers and percentages?

There are those who respond affirmatively and trust confidently in logic, putting the emotions and feelings in the background. Mathematics speaks clearly: we want to be sure at 100% and don’t admit mistakes.

Math could finally be the right solution for the broken hearts, but we must be careful because the cheating could be around the corner. In fact, the risk is to come across a great lie. You can actually falsify who you are and your interests, producing a fake model.

“In online profiles, people often lie,” says Gerry Grassi, psychologist and clinical director of the “Tib”, Terapie innovative brevi (short-term therapies).

But do we really want to give up what is surprising in the other? Do we have so much fear of the new one? Do we want the perfect partner so much that we aren’t ready  to accept the small or big but unexpected imperfections that distinguish us?

But, above all, does the 100% of the match really guarantee the compatibility of souls and personalities?

To find out more: “Love is an Algorithm?” By Federica Furino, published on “Gioia” n. 16 of 29/04/2017

Maria Domenica Depalo


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