CALGARY, Alberta – Susan Roeblinger was a daily presence on numerous dating websites, weekly speed dating events, and the local disco scene in the Calgary area. At first she wondered why dating life was so difficult, and why it was pretty much impossible to find love in the unofficial capital city of western Canada that is home to just over 1.5 million people. The problem, it turns out, is that Susan is an engineer. The idea that the 25-year-old UofC mechanical engineering graduate is unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one classifies her as an involuntary celibate, or incel for short.
Engineers solve problems with science. But love is not science, and therein lies the problem for them. Attempting to use Cauchy’s residue theorem to evaluate 3-dimensional line integrals of analytic functions over closed curves to picture how your date will look when those jeans are off just won’t cut it in today’s dating world.
Case in point: Derek Gavinster, P.Eng., was flabbergasted when his date told him that she had to “visit the ladies room” and never returned after he presented her with a romantic letter during dinner whose scope was more suited for a 4th or 5th date, with a PhD mathematician, much less a first date with a hostess from Montana’s BBQ & Bar.
“I thought it was sorta cute, you know, letting her know that I love her in a way that is meaningful to me. But I don’t think she really understood what I was trying to do. At first, I thought I made a mathematical error, but it was indeed while I was double checking my math when she got up and left. In retrospect, it might not have been the gift that turned her off – perhaps it was that I told her I had forgotten my wallet a few minutes before cracking out the letter.” – Dereck Gavinster, P.eng., hopeless romantic
But the saving grace for engineers and their love life woes is that a group of researchers at the Didsbury Community College’s department of Behaviour Sciences have found a strong link between people who study engineering and those classified as involuntary celibates, and ways to fix the problem.
The 15-year study covered engineering students at the UofC and the UofA and practicing engineering professionals under the age of 35. The data showed an incredibly strong correlation between trained engineers and people who belong to the incel movement.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Kimi Fenderix, was astonished by the strength of the correlation.
“To sample 10 or so thousand engineers and engineering students at random over 15 years, study their love live, and to get an R-squared of above 0.99 on the linear regression over the data is unheard of! The data also shows that the more engineering experience you have, the more of an incel you are. This research is ground-breaking for the behaviour sciences.” – Dr. Fenderix, Didsbury Community College
The good news it that the researchers have great news for engineers: based on controlled experiments conducted in the general public, this trend can be bucked for engineers who are committed to becoming voluntarily incelibate. The group recommends the following practices that should get engineers well on their way to finding love in all the right places:
- Under no circumstance wear an iron ring on a date, or any silver coloured ring on either pinky finger. The ring is like kryptonite to hot people of the opposite sex.
- If you land a date, resist the strong urge to fix things, and talk about how you could have better designed something you see.
- Make decisions on dates, and make them quickly and with confidence. Engineers tend to have an innate inability to make even the smallest decisions, something researchers coined, “Paralysis by over analysis.”
- If by chance you land a date and go on a tour of a show home parade, resist the urge to ask the salesperson for a personal viewing of the mechanical room.
- Close your eyes and recite the following line to yourself 100 times minutes before meeting your date: “I will NOT ask my date if solving related-rate problems empirically through observation and careful experimentation is a favourite pass time.”
- DO NOT wear a Dilbert t-shirt on your date.
- Leave your HP 48-GX at home.
All of this brings a smile to Susan Roeblinger’s face, a mug suggesting that she fell off the top of the fugly tree and hit every MF branch on the way down. Armed with these new dating tactics, she believes she’ll be doing the horizontal polka before her next chess club meet!