A few months ago, I built a predictive algorithm to determine the probability of romantic relationships between individuals in my periphery.

The algorithm works like this:

-Personal Factors. How likely are you as an individual to find yourself in a new relationship? This contains variables like initiative, expectations for a partner, current default emotional state, comfortability around those you are attracted to, experience in prior relationships, height, etc.

-Contextual Factors. What is your environment like? I'd noticed that first-years in college were vastly more likely to get into relationships versus other years. This contains stuff like whether you are currently interested in someone, whether you think they're interested in you, how many classes you're in, and how many new people you interact deeply with per week.

-Compatibility Factors. This is an extra factor that only happens if you know who you are interested in and you have information about them and their history. Do they have a type? Do you match that type? MBTI info?

I got the info from this Google Form and turned it into a spreadsheet. Then I put the spreadsheet into Jupyter-Notebook, where a predictive transformer from the DARTS data science package ran over it and put out a number that was supposed to represent the odds of two people ending up in a relationship together.

Needless to say, this is a terrible way to build an actual algorithm or train a neural network but I'm just a curious college student and I wanted a minimum viable product.

So I started running it (with permission) on most of my friends. It predicted a lot of interesting relationships but I kept fine-tuning it. Whenever a new relationship cropped up, I would go to the two people and ask to add their data into the algorithm. Fortunately, they humored me most of the time and the algorithm seemed to get better.

I still don't know if the algorithm actually works. That's not the point of this post. The point is that I, as a human being, developed the ability to see when a relationship was imminent. Currently, I can generally tell when two people are going to get into a relationship about two months before they start dating.

While looking over the variables I used to predict people's relationship success, I found common themes. Very charming, intense, or charismatically easygoing people constantly found themselves in new relationships, but these relationships tended to burn up after a few months. I called these people 'chronically not-single', because they would never be single for more than two or three months.

Then there were very analytical, thoughtful, quiet, or autistic people. These people rarely found themselves in relationships and they tended to describe the world in mathematical ways. They tended to almost exclusively date people very similar to themselves.

Finally, there was a section of wholesome and kind people. These people were almost exclusively in long-term relationships or single. They seemed to struggle with getting into a relationship, but once they were in one, that relationship had an average lifespan of over two years.

When I looked at people, I found that it was quite effective to understand them through these three categories. I gave them colors:

Gold. This is wholesomeness, innocence, and purity. Some people are simply born good. There is a natural happiness that surrounds them and a lot of deep emotion. When you go stargazing and feel something greater than yourself or when you hold hands for the first time, or eat goldfish while you study for a subject you enjoy at 1:00 AM at night... that is gold. But there is also a component of weakness to this. It is a very childlike quality, but it also represents weakness, boredom, and selfishness. I have a friend whose mom checks all of his homework before he submits it in college, and that dependence annoys me. Gold is not naturally attractive. It is a very neutral color. It doesn't help your romantic prospects and it doesn't hurt them, either. But it is the key to maintaining a long relationship. With gold, hurt does not build up and there is a genuine bond that small frustrations won't erode.

Silver. This is curiosity, reflection, apathy, and deep thought. It is the ability to be incredibly self-aware of yourself, your actions, and the world around you. It is the color of intelligence. You understand exactly how to do something and you see the world as if you have x-ray vision. You see why people succeed or fail, but you don't particularly care. Silver is a negatively attractive color. It puts distance between you and others and blocks human connection by reducing it to something mathematical. Autistic people tend to have a lot of silver characteristics. Silver leads to apathy or sadness. Building this romance algorithm did not result in a relationship for myself. Even though I know what to do, I lack the motivation to pursue one and I mess up the small things. I see all the ways it won't work out in advance. My internal motivation becomes external. Silver is the key to any endeavor because without intelligence, you are doomed to chance. It provides a structure to a good relationship but it is a skeleton. It will not create anything on its own.

Red. This is action, ambition, charm, thrill, and emotion. It is the ability to initiate a relationship and casually embrace the opportunities that fate throws your way. Red is an incredibly attractive color because it is so genuine and powerful. It is the essence behind the attentional push-pull of relationships and makes the process breathtakingly exciting. It's the color of confidence. But it also leads to recklessness, cheating, anger, and jealousy. Red is not a reasonable color.


Obviously, these three colors are incredibly arbitrary. What I have found, however, is that they are useful. Most people are missing one. And by improving one aspect of a color, you improve all of them.

If you are sad, lonely, or evil, you should focus on gold. Go for a walk with friends. Go stargazing. Listen to a Minecraft parody and embrace the nostalgia.

If you are simply throwing things at the wall and feel like life is a blur, focus on silver. Start keeping a journal. Examine others. Learn how to code or read LessWrong. Find some distance from the world and calculate your next move.

If you feel static or awkward, embrace red. Hit the gym and get in shape. Ask someone out on a date. Take initiative and plan a crazy party. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Don't plan, do.

This goes beyond romance. It has significantly reshaped my life.

Maybe this is a technique that only works for me. But I'd like to hear the thoughts of others and if this categorization holds value.

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2 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 10:40 PM

I'm a silver type and I think this nicely categorizes three types of people I've seen while trying to find a partner. I gravitate towards gold the most, by far. I'm attracted to reds, but it never works out with them at all.

I really like this. I think that some people could claim that you're being too far-reaching here, but I don't think so.