Want a good husband? Play hard to get   
 G.S. MUDUR                

New Delhi, Jan. 17: Long courtships are best — for a woman. Scientists have used the mathematics of game theory to show that a woman who plays hard to get has a better chance of finding a good mate.

In a study that analysed the mating game through a set of mathematical equations, British researchers have rediscovered what they concede is folk wisdom: a woman is best advised not to mate on her first date.

Robert Seymour at the University College, London, and Peter Souzou at the University of Warwick have shown that protracted courtships allow males to signal their suitability as good partners and allow females the opportunity to screen out unsuitable males. The findings of the study, which has modelled courtship as a waiting game in time, appear this month in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

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