Peter Bakus, in a paper entitled “Why I don’t have a girlfriend” written when he was a PhD student of the Economics department at the University of Warwick, used his academic knowledge to rate his chances of finding love. He used The Drake equation, one of astronomy’s most famous attempts to answer the question: Are we alone? It allows astronomers to estimate how many advanced civilizations capable of contacting us might be out there (Hisabayashi, 2003). Peter applied Dr Drakes equation to establish how many potential girlfriends there was out there for him! He wasn’t a greedy man , of all of the available women in the UK he had some basic requirements. He wanted someone who lived near him, between the ages of 24 and 34 and a university graduate. He was looking for a woman he would possibly get on well with, was attractive and was more importantly was likely to find him attractive and for obvious reasons they also needed to be single. So, out of the sixty million people in the UK he identified 26 potential girlfriends. Just to put that into perspective that’s about 400 times fewer than the best estimates of how many intelligent extra-terrestrial life forms there are and puts gives peter a 1 in 285000 of bumping into one of these special ladies on a given night out.
My wife is lucky to have found her ideal partner, her “dream man” in fact. Like most women attraction for her works mostly on a primal subconscious level. They look for staying power and love stamina. She claims she hates all the sweat, the build-up, the stretching, the manoeuvring, the concentration and the attention to detail. Often she senses the rising heart rate in anticipation, the blood rushing to pulsating muscles and just throws her eyes to heaven in protest. Other times she seems completely unaware its happening, and occasionally its over before she even realises. I often come back from a run in a mess, and she doesn’t even realise it, she evens tries to deny it – but right at that moment she finds me irresistible. But as much as she gives out about it, the research has proven that a commitment to running makes me more attractive to her. And it’s not because of the aesthetic side effects running has on appearance, which have managed to sidestep me because I’m still too fond of jaffa cakes and fig rolls. It echoes of a time when females picked their partners based on their capability to give them offspring and then have the capacity to feed them– the ability to hunt and gather (Smith, 2004). Even now, in our modern Western society where increasing income may be considered to have a more considerable impact than physical prowess on the desirability of a partner, the bulge of your muscles and sweat in your armpits may be more attractive than the bulge of your wallet (Nettle e Pollet, 2008; Pollet e Nettle, 2008). Apparently running regularly is a sign of resourcefulness, athleticism, intelligence and hunting prowess all off which makes me incredibly attractive to my wife on a primal level ……… Hear me ROAR! (Longman et al., 2015). So if you are single and on the hunt for love as Valentine’s Day approaches take comfort in the fact that Peter has beaten the long odds and found love two years after writing his paper……… he must have taken up running.
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