If you want to find your one and only, you'll need to date the flirty dozen first.
Mathematician Clio Cresswell says that singles can increase their chances of finding true love by rejecting at least 12 potential partners before settling down.
If more people followed Dr Cresswell's theory - based on statistical outcomes - the divorce rate would plummet.
"In Australia, the divorce rate is about 35 per cent for first marriages," she said.
"Now, if you were buying a DVD player and I told you it had a 35 per cent chance of breaking down, you might think twice about making that purchase.
"But we still insist on going into marriage with this belief that our partner is the one for us and we have a 100 per cent chance of success."
Yet single people who have had at least 12 romantic attachments - and they don't have to involve sex - considerably improve their odds of finding Mr or Ms Right.
"According to my principle, you have to reject at least 12 people to increase your chance of finding your long-term partner. If you do that, you raise the chance of making it work to 75 per cent."
Having written about her theory in her book, Sex and Mathematics, the University of Sydney senior lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics incorporated it into her tertiary classes.
"I think it's so sad that the wider community does not embrace mathematics as much as it could," she said.
"Mathematics can be fun."
- Sydney Morning Herald
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