- Publish Date
- Monday, 7 August 2017, 1:40PM
Disney movies may make it look easy, but new research has shown just how difficult it is to meet "the one" in real life.
A new study has found that the chance of finding love on a given day is just 1 in 562 if you leave it entirely to fate, reports the Daily Mail.
But the good news is that there are several things you can do to improve those odds, including saying yes to after-work drinks, and joining online dating services.
Talking to people in the gym was found to improve your odds of meeting "the one" by 15 per cent.
Saying yes to after-work drinks boosted your chance by 16 per cent.
The biggest boost to your odds was found to be meeting people via online dating, with a 17 per cent jump.
Meeting friends of friends (four per cent) and being set up by family members (one per cent) were found to be the least effective routes to finding love.
The researchers, from the University of Bath, calculated the odds of falling in love with the help of celebrity mathematician Rachel Riley.
The researchers based their calculations on 18 key factors, including your location, desired age, physical attractiveness and relationship status.
Sadly, they found that just 84,440 people in the UK fit the average person's romantic requirements from an adult population of over 47 million.
This is the equivalent of just one in in 562.
Ms Riley said: "When it comes down to it, love really is a numbers game.
"Obviously, the more people you make the effort to meet the higher your chances of romantic success.
"But, as our data suggests, the odds of love can drastically diminish when we get too prescriptive about age, location, looks, and even pet preferences!"
Analysing their results further, the researchers, who worked with eHarmony as part of the study, found that the biggest impact on your chances of finding love is age.
The average UK singleton is most likely to be looking for a partner aged between 35 and 47.
And according to figures from the Office of National Statistics, that leaves just 17 per cent of the population as an option.
Physical attraction was second in importance, which was uncovered by a photo gallery experiment.
Researchers asked members of the public to rate images of a variety of people based on looks.
Disregarding other factors such as gender and age, the results revealed that the rate we are mutually attracted to people is 18 per cent.
The research also found that while one in three people in the UK is single, 15 per cent of those who class themselves as in a relationship also admit they're on the lookout for a new one.
This suggests that a lack of romantic compatibility is a common issue for many couples.
While it may feel harder to find love as you get older, the researchers found that the age group with the best odds were 65-74 year-olds, who have a one in 304 chance.
The age group with the toughest odds is 18-24 year-olds, who face chances of meeting the one of just one in 1,024.
The results also revealed stark difference between UK regions - those in more urban areas like London had much better odds (one in 394) than people in rural areas like Wales (one in 649).
Professor Andreas Kyprianou, researchers in probability theory at the University of Bath, said: "This is a fascinating piece of research which takes into account the many different variables that can contribute to the odds of finding love."
Thankfully, the researchers also identified several things you can do to increase your chances of finding love.
Saying yes to after work drinks was found to open up a pool of around 75 new people, increasing your chance of finding someone compatible by 16 per cent.
And using online dating services was also found to be a good tactic, increasing the number of suitable people you meet by 17 per cent.
Dr Steve Carter, Chief Scientist at eHarmony, said: "We always encourage singles seeking a relationship to socialise and expand their networks.
"The reality is people meet and fall in love all the time "in the wild".
"Unfortunately, most of us are not so skilled at finding the right person and may often repeat unsuccessful strategies.
"This is because as daters, we mostly choose partners based on elements of attraction largely unrelated to long-term success."
• 84,440 people in the UK fit the average person's romantic requirements from an adult population of over 47 million
• The average UK singleton is most likely to be looking for a partner aged between 35 and 47
• The rate we are mutually attracted to people is 18 per cent
• The age group with the best odds were 65-74 year-olds, who have a one in 304 chance
• The age group with the toughest odds is 18-24 year-olds, who face chances of meeting the one of just one in 1,024
• Those in more urban areas like London had much better odds (one in 394) than people in rural areas like Wales (one in 649)
This article was first published on Daily Mail and is republished here with permission.