top of page

Number of Relationships before Finding the One

Is there a specific number of relationships one should have before finding ‘the one’ they ought to marry?

silhouette of a two looking at each other

There are many possible factors that may contribute to the number of relationships a person have before finding the one. You may know someone who married their first boyfriend or girlfriend… or some people who are still searching for theirs but have been in a number of relationships already.

There are also lots of variables behind someone’s ‘numbers’ or ‘body count’. One may be dating just for fun company, flings, or non-serious reasons.. And one may be dating eagerly or patiently (no in between) to look for their loving end game.

A curious mind would like to know which “magic number” 3? 5? 7? really is the number of relationships you need to be in to find the right person.


This is what relationship experts have to say about this number of relationships:

It’s not the number. It’s the person.
Some people are ready to meet ‘the one’ right away; others need more relationships under their belt to learn what works and what doesn’t. The real danger comes from settling down before you are feeling ready. The decision needs to come from inside, not from external pressure. Otherwise, when push comes to shove in a relationship, it’s going to be hard to stick it out.

— Charlee Brotherton, relationship expert and founder of Executive Matchmakers

Date as many people as you can
When you first start dating it can be tempting to focus on one person, sometimes to the exclusion of others. Sometimes a person will even take down an online dating profile after a good first date. But, that can be a mistake. The neurotransmitter dopamine (the hormone of reward and passion) is necessary to fall in love. It increases with uncertainty. Therefore, when a person limits themselves, they can be inadvertently harming the budding relationship. Keep dating as many people as possible, and only limit to one when you both agree to become mutually exclusive.

— Dawn Maslar, Adjunct Biology Professor and Researcher in the Science of Love.

Have your own dating plan and date accordingly
I think you should date as many people as you possibly can before settling down. Everyone goes too much for serial monogamy and goes from one relationship to the next, never getting their needs met. Have a dating action plan and date accordingly. See if they match the things you have outlined in your plan as they start to reveal themselves to you as a person. You can’t even begin to see the true person ’til three months in, so keep dating. Keep them on their toes until they show you they are the person you are looking for and are worthy of your time, attention and love! If you have this mindset to start, you won’t have placed all your hopes and dreams on the wrong person, only to become too emotionally invested to see they aren’t right for you.

— Sarah Patt, Matchmaker and Dating Expert of It’s Just Lunch Houston

There’s no magic number
Dating multiple people is one of the most integral parts of dating today, because it allows you the chance to truly choose who gets your heart. But there is no specific number that is the right amount of people to see before you settle down — it’s different for everyone. Dating six people before meeting the right person is still brief though. It’s more common that people date dozens before they meet someone they click with for the long term. So if you’ve been dating for a while and are feeling frustrated, know that you’re not alone. Your “one” could be the very next guy you meet.

— Laurie Davis Edwards, founder of eFlirt, and author of “Love @ First Click”

Keep dating until you find alignment
The short answer is, ‘Keep dating until you find alignment in your current values.’ I’ve had friends who were high school sweethearts, probably each other’s first everything, and are married. I have clients who thought they found their “one,” and are now divorced. I have other clients who never found their “one,” until we started working with them, and now, they are in relationships or even married! At the end of the day, if you feel you haven’t found that person yet, chances are you should keep dating, as long as you’re being realistic and reasonable with what it is you’re looking for, which is another topic altogether.

— Thomas Edwards, Jr., founder of The Professional Wingman


Dating may have a various formula for each individual. For sure! There is really no actual number of relationships one should have before meeting their partner for life. Lucky may be those who end up with their first and/or only love. But finding one out of billions is lucky too, no matter how many ones you date before.

Study Tally

Based on a study of 2000 adults who said they already found their “the one”, by average a woman will kiss at least 15 men, have 2 long-term relationships, get their heart broken twice, two blind dates, two dates with someone they met online, four disaster dates, get stood up once, have one live-in relationship, four one-night stands, and seven sexual partners. Men have a little different results; by average they will have ten sexual partners, six one-night stands, get stood up twice.

Phew! All of these adult’s strikes definitely look like a little bumpy ride along their journey on finding their life partners. But as cliche as this sounds, those disastrous dates and mismatched relationships make it a little more wondrous when they finally meet the perfect fit.

black and white photo of two people walking away holding hands

About the Math

In the world of mathematics the relationship magic number is a percentage. Mathematician Hannah Fry suggests in The Mathematics of Love that to rightfully choose the best one when meeting a lot of potential partners… you must reject the first 37% of them. And by doing that you have a great one in three chance of success.

No one really knows the exact number of relationships before truly and accurately picking the best. It’s like being in a quest where you need to find the best cake in the entire universe. One might think you should try each and every cake in order to make an informed choice. That’s what it kinda looks like in searching for the one. You can date an infinite number of potential partners, but should you? In the said book, Fry explains:

“It tells you that if you are destined to date ten people in your lifetime, you have the highest probability of finding The One when you reject your first four lovers (where you’d find them 39.87 percent of the time). If you are destined to date twenty people, you should reject the first eight (where Mister or Miz Right would be waiting for you 38.42 percent of the time). And, if you are destined to date an infinite number of partners, you should reject the first 37 percent, giving you just over a one in three chance of success.”


“Say you start dating when you are fifteen years old and would ideally like to settle down by the time you’re forty. In the first 37 percent of your dating window (until just after your twenty-fourth birthday), you should reject everyone; use this time to get a feel for the market and a realistic expectation of what you can expect in a life partner. Once this rejection phase has passed, pick the next person who comes along who is better than everyone who you have met before. Following this strategy will definitely give you the best possible chance of finding the number one partner on your imaginary list.”


Ending Thoughts

It’s fascinating to see how numbers apply in relationships and dating. There is nothing wrong in checking up these important numbers to see if you are close to finding your life-long relationship. Whichever point of the dating journey you are in right now, it’s good to be guided with personal dating strategies, plans, other people’s experiences, or discovered equations.

Maybe after mastering which magic number applies to you, you end with Mr. or Ms. Right’s magic phone number.



bottom of page