The answers to these questions aren't clear, so you just have to estimate.Here, let's assume you would have 11 serious suitors in the course of your life.If you do, you have a 50 percent chance of selecting the best.

If you follow the rule, you’ll reject that person anyway.

And as you continue to date other people, no one will ever measure up to your first love, and you’ll end up rejecting everyone, and end up alone with your cats.

But one is that you never really know how the object of your current affections would compare to all the other people you might meet in the future.

Settle down early, and you might forgo the chance of a more perfect match later on.

You need some kind of formula that balances the risk of stopping too soon against the risk of stopping too late.

The logic is easier to see if you walk through smaller examples.

But it still produces better results than any other formula you could follow, whether you’re considering 10 suitors or 100. It should be pretty obvious that you want to start seriously looking to choose a candidate somewhere in the middle of the group.

You want to date enough people to get a sense of your options, but you don't want to leave the choice too long and risk missing your ideal match.

Wait too long to commit, and all the good ones might be gone.