numbers

I don’t really believe in the concept of a soulmate. I appreciate the idea, but surrounded by seven billion people, I think we can do better. Instead, I prefer to view it as a compatibility scale. Let’s make it 1-10 for the sake of simplicity.

Taking into account every single qualification one might have, each person on earth falls somewhere between 1-10 on your compatibility scale.

  • Attractive to you? +1
  • San Francisco Giants fan? -1
  • Intelligent? +1.5
  • Nazi? -2
  • Same religion/community/belief system? +2
  • Also a huge fan of Taylor Swift? +1

Etc, etc, etc.

Now, keep in mind this is an attributed number before you’ve met. People grow with each other, learn to love each other, and build compatibility. With that in mind, I’ll give a +/- 1.5 of wiggle room for potential growth/decline.

Eventually said person reaches a final tally. Let’s call it a compatibility grade. As a student, I wasn’t satisfied by anything below an 8/10, or B-. That standard holds true in this exercise as well. Striving to always be an A student, I’d like to hope that caliber holds true to my interpersonal connections as well. With all this in mind, I’m not looking for my soulmate – I’m looking for someone who falls above 8.5/10 on my personal scale.

Now for the fun part.

As an exercise, let’s use arbitrary-ish numbers that in theory might apply to me. Keep in mind these are just as individualized as the scale itself.

  • ~7 billion: people in the world.
  • ~14 million: Jewish people in the world.
  • ~7 million: Jewish women in the world.
  • ~1 million: Jewish women +/- 5 years of my age (using an assumed even distribution from 0-70 for the sake of math, which I’m quite aware doesn’t exist).

Pause. So we’ve covered the macro macro. Now it gets even more arbitrary.

  • ~150,000: remembering I’m a B+ student aiming for that 8.5+, I’m left with a whopping 15% assuming that same non-existent even distribution applies.
  • ~15,000: knowing NYC has about 10% of the world Jewish population.
  • ~7,500: for the sake of sanity, let’s assume half are currently taken/married/aliens/unavailable.

Woah. You mean to tell me there are 7,500 souls in NYC who on paper would be hypothetically compatible reducing all human interaction to numbers and statistics? What was once a concept based in pressure – the idea of “finding your soulmate, the one out there who was meant to be with you” is no longer applicable and has slowed its role into a made-up math equation.

Even better than that, let’s take it one final step farther and assume there are about 1,000 living downtown within a few blocks of your apartment, understanding the residential geographical breakdown of the city.

At the end of the day, this is less a Nobel Prize-winning piece of research and more something to make you feel a little better when you’re sitting there on your couch eating ice cream convinced there’s no one out there for you. There is. There are thousands, actually. Go outside and you’ll probably see a few. I mean it’s just math after all.

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