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What are the odds of love? Rachel Riley reveals all

Ever wondered what the chances are of finding love and how you can stack the odds in your favour? We teamed up with Oxbridge mathematician Rachel Riley to work out the real odds of love

There are almost 23 million UK adults looking for love right now. But despite almost a third of the population looking for true love, finding that special someone can seem almost impossible.

We’re all unique and we’re all looking for something different. People have a range of different personality traits, specific likes and dislikes and, of course, different deal-breakers. These complexities, combined with personal preferences, can make falling in love feel like an uphill task sometimes.

But are the odds of finding love as low as we think? I teamed up with eHarmony to take a mathematical approach to the problem, and my calculations reveal that there are a variety of things that you can do today to stack the odds in your favour.

Calculating the chances of love

Currently, there are 22.6 million people in the UK looking for love. However, only 40% of those people will be the gender that you’re looking for – and you them – bringing the total down to 8.8 million.

Age also has an impact. Most of us feel comfortable dating within a 12-year age range; a 35-year-old would set their preferences between 29 and 41, for example. This immediately removes four-fifths of people from the equation.

And, as much as we don’t like to admit it, looks matter too. eHarmony recently conducted an experiment and found that 18% of people that we’re attracted to will feel the same.

There are other factors to consider too. Your moral outlook, taste in music, and whether you prefer cats or dogs can all reduce or improve the probability that you’ll find someone right for you.

Multiply these together and we’re left with the odds that any one person will find love – one in 562.

To put that in perspective, you have a 1 in 67 chance of having twins, a 1 in 55 chance of becoming a millionaire and there’s a 1 in 500 chance that Simon Cowell will be the next Prime Minister!

How can I improve my odds of finding love?

Don’t panic! There are a whole host of things that you can do to increase your odds of finding love. The secret is meeting more people, or more specifically, meeting more of the right people.

Work is a great place to start. Getting to know your colleagues better may not seem like much but it can drastically improve the probability that you’ll find love. We speak to 15 people at work every day on average, but if they were to introduce you to their friends, you could end up finding someone compatible with you 16% faster.

It’s good news if you’re an avid gym goer too. Not only will a few spinning sessions improve your health, but striking up a conversation with the person sweating next to you will increase your odds of finding a romantic workout partner by 14% over a year.

The odds of finding love online

Giving online dating a go is one of the simplest ways of increasing your likelihood of love. It immediately provides new opportunities as people in new locations become viable options. In fact, every extra mile increases your dating pool by an average of 13%.

And, of course, the experts at eHarmony can help. They’ve made it their life’s work to help people have a better chance of finding long-lasting, happy relationships. It’s all down to compatibility and an algorithm that pairs people on the things that really matter like your core values and personality traits.

In fact, 97% of eHarmony couples hit if off from the very first date.

So, what are you waiting for? Beat the odds and start making changes that’ll really make a difference – it all adds up!