With equations, the engineer can figure things out. He may set up an equation something like this:

P = 100 x 0.0034(p1 + p2 + p3)


P = Likelihood, in percent, that a woman will go out with him

p1 = Likelihood, as a fraction of 1, that he (the engineer) will decide to ask her out 

p2 = Likelihood, as a fraction of 1, that he (the engineer) will actually ask her out when he talks to her

 p3 = Likelihood, as a fraction of 1, that when he (the engineer) will talk that she actually understands that he is asking her out

In the engineer’s mind, the values of the three variables on the right side of the equation are typically:

p1 = 0.2                         p2 = 0.4                              p3 = 0.2

p1 is obviously low because the engineer knows the value of the other two variables. This may be as high as 0.3 for the confident, “outgoing” engineer

P2 is somewhat higher since, even though it is less than half the time, it is more likely that he will say the words in his mind than decide to say them, especially if he writes it out.

P3 is again quite low, mainly due to the fact that if the engineer will, as some may, start the discussion with an equation as to why the girl may want to go out with him, he typically loses her when he pulls out the calculator.

The 0.0034 value represents what an engineer sees as the probability that this girl, any girl, will actually say, “Yes”. Quite low, indeed, but at least it’s not negative. It is important to see where the engineer makes a mistake – easy to do when it comes to matters of the heart. He only calculates that there is a little over 1/3 of one percent chance that at that point she will actually say yes. This is not 33 percent chance, but well under 1 percent we are talking about here. But the engineer vastly underestimates this. Depending on the circumstances, this number is actually between 40% and 70%. Yes, that high. Some of these women have seen McGyver, too, and many are thinking, “Hmmmm, maybe.”

So we see that the process is much more involved than a silly musing of whether to ask a woman out. There are calculations to make, probability estimations to determine, equations to derive. And, yes, I realize that we are talking about relationships. But this is relationship theory done the engineer way.