Category Archives: FAQ

Making Sense of Nanaya Report Scores

The Nanaya algorithm does a lot of heavy lifting to determine your romantic future, generating thousands of numbers that tell us a lot about your next seven years of romance. Unfortunately, unless you’re a computer it’s hard to actually to make sense of them.

When Nanaya comes out in a few weeks, you’ll notice several different scores in your personalized four page report. These scores break down those thousands of numbers into something bite-sized and easy-to-understand. Let’s go over what scores exist in Nanaya romance and friendship prediction reports.

Report Scores

Want to know how you’re perceived as a lover or a friend? We have you covered with Romance and Friendship Scores. These scores are directly calculated from the algorithm using algebraic formulas and range from 0-10.* However, your personality test results will be scored from -100 to 100.

The Romance Scores are:

  • Hot Fling: This score tells you how well suited your personality is for short-term romances. In particular, there are certain traits that make more likely to be successfully at wooing people and having a good time. In short, people who are more outgoing, less serious, and more adventurous will be the type of people who can get someone’s attention and affection – if only for a night.This study by Schmitt and Shackelford does a good job of describing what sort of personalities go into our Hot Fling score. Our personality test is a little bit more detailed than the Big Five assessment, so we we’re able to develop a more nuanced short-term romance score.

    Finally, this score doesn’t actually come from our algorithm but through reading research by folks like Schmitt and Shackelford. Of course, Nanaya can’t comment on your physical appearance and how it would affect your score – but because the science and technology exists, we certainly could.

  • Slow Burn: This score is the long-term romance version of Hot Fling, describing how well suited you are to keeping a long-term relationship going. Being positive, committed, and thoughtful are important here, but so are some of the aspects of the Hot Fling score. Being creative, open to new experiences, and expressiveness are traits shared by both scores. Because of that, it is possible to score highly in both. A good lover can also be a good partner!Like Hot Fling, this does not come from the algorithm but reviewing the literature on relationship psychology.
  • Romantic Selectivity: This one is tells us how picky you are, as simple as that. If you were to imagine every trait, value, lifestyle choice, and facet of identity a circle – you’d have a Venn diagram with the intersection being the perfect match. Romantic Selectivity tells you how small that intersection is. The higher the Romantic Selectivity score the pickier you are! This is the one Nanaya score you don’t want to score highly on! That said, even if you have a high selectivity score you might still be in luck if you’re social and interact in the right groups of people.
    The Venn diagram to your heart.
    The Venn diagram to your heart.

    This is calculated from the Nanaya algorithm. *There’s a chance that some early users might see a score above 10. After the first 10,000 users, we’ll readjust the way we score this.

  • Romantic Opportunity While we’ll have a nifty chart telling you your odds of finding love, it has a lot of lines and numbers that might be confusing. We boil that one chart down into one score: Romantic Opportunity. It’s essentially your maximum chance of finding a good match within the seven years. Higher your score, higher your odds. Simple as that!This is computed directly from the Nanaya algorithm.

The Friendship Scores are:

  • Fun Friend: This is the Hot Fling score for friendship – specifically, how does your personality suit you as a fun person to be around. People who are out-going, light-hearted, and not serious score well – but the traits and values going into Hot Fling are certainly not here. For instance, you don’t need to be open to new experiences to necessarily be a fun friend.This is not calculated from the Nanaya algorithm.
  • Best Friend: By now you might be catching the pattern! This is the Slow Burn score for friendship. But like Fun Friend, some traits and values important to romance are certainly not important to friendship. While shared traits include those related to conscientiousness and patience, independence plays a bigger role here while being deliberate in your actions does not.This is not calculated from the Nanaya algorithm.
  • Social Growth: For Social Growth, we take all the different equations in the Nanaya algorithm for social interaction and add the results in a way that expresses to us what your propensity is for expanding your social circle in the next seven years. This number is the result of hundreds of calculations that we boil down into a single number. The higher your score, the more likely you’ll be to make more friends and, directly, to find love. If you were to say you were interested in moving to a new city in the next seven years, the value will change – not only based on you leaving the city but the size and demographics of the city or cities you’re interested in moving to.This comes directly from the Nanaya algorithm. *Some scores early on may be greater than 10. After the first 10,000 users, we’ll fix that.


There’s nothing more esoteric than getting a mystery score on a personality test. I mean what does a Hot Fling score of “5” really mean? Percentiles are a good way to place a meaning to those numbers. A percentile is the percent of people in the population who score below you. If you are in the 80th percentile, that means 80% of the population has scored below you.


For every score, we report your percentile compared to people of the same gender and orientation in your area! That gives you a good idea of what that Hot Fling score of “5” means. That 5 might not sound impressive, but if it puts you in the 90th percentile, that might be something to brag about on Facebook.

Even though it’s technically impossible to score in the 100th percentile (you can’t score better than 100% of the population because you are in the population), we defined it so you can to stay consistent with other scoring. Rejoice!

Match Scores

Nanaya is the first service that finds match scores between you and groups of people – not just specific people. For instance, we rank how compatible each US state is to you – each with a match score. If you log in with Facebook, you’ll have a chance to see how you match romantically and socially with people on your friends list.

These are calculated with a special distance formula – much like how folks at OkCupid and eHarmony calculate the same thing. The figure below gives you a rough idea of how it’s done. If there’s some imaginary plane of all possible traits and values, you are assigned a point, think like (x,y) from Algebra I, as a single individual. We have come up with a way to assign a single point for groups of many different people – and each group assigned a point accordingly. We simply look to see who’s closest! Below, Group C would score highest because it’s the closest to you in traits and values. Group D scores lowest because it is the furthest. Our calculations are far more complicated that this, but this the general principle.

A simplified explanation of match scores. Yes, simplified.
A simplified explanation of match scores. Yes, simplified.

*For the first 10,000 users, the maximum scores for every set of matches (i.e. US states, job types, Facebook friends) will be set at 100 artificially. So Group C would be assigned a match score of 100, even though it is possible to get closer to your point.

Odds & Ends

Names for scores are subject to change. Even though we’re close to done, we’ve been putting a lot more work into the algorithm and the site than branding!

*Warning: math discussion.  If you’ve been scratching your head over all those asterisks, it’s because we’re cursed…cursed by dimensionality. Specifically, the report and match scores and are calculated over enough dimensions that it becomes increasingly difficult to really know how much of these highly dimensional, continuous spaces are sensibly occupiable. Solution #1 is to use the boundary condition on all the inputs – but this is a really big parametric space and it actually isn’t clear what edge conditions are. Moreover that input parameter space is about equal in size to the space of Nanaya algorithm-derived report scores and well above the dimensionality of personality and match scores. Minimally, we can get some idea but it’s a very rough approximation. We’re currently checking boundary conditions in our testing which is why scores ought to converge to less than 10 but we don’t expect that to actually happen. Otherwise, Solution #2 is to let reality dictate the solution – let users fill the space so we can analyze it and see what’s occupied. This will obviously be something we tweak in time, but it will cause scores to vary in time for the first few ten thousands of users.

As always, direct all questions, media inquiries, mathematical and metaphysical objections, and invectives to Don’t worry, we’ll always love you.

A Work in Progress

This last week has been really exciting! We’re at thousands of users and well before we expected or planned.

That’s not always good. I’ve been contacted by quite a few people telling me about ways to improve Nanaya. We’re listening but unfortunately Nanaya is not funded so we can only work as hard as friends and I can find the time to put together a user-friendly site.

In the next few weeks we’ll be focusing on the following:

  • Internationalization. Lo siento! We’re not keeping of where users outside of the US are from. We need to so we can eventually integrate our algorithm for other countries. Estoy pensando en ti, mundo Hispano!
  • Social media sharing. Once we have personalities from about 100,000 people in the US, we can finish the algorithm. That’s a lot easier if you have something to share on Facebook. Tell your friends your top trait and direct them to the personality test, with two clicks!
  • Survey Portal. Are you on a college newspaper? alternative weekly? radio station? Need a way to boost your readership engagement and build content while providing a new venue for your advertising for free? Contact us and we can build your portal starting the last week of January. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
  • Mobile optimization. Google analytics tells us almost everyone accessing Nanaya is doing it from a desktop, which is great because our site isn’t the most responsive right now. Until this is fixed we recommend using Nanaya on a computer. 
  • Sociology studies. One of the things I’m most excited about. We’re getting very high resolution data within the US of romantic personalities.  Unlike OkCupid, our psychology studies are done via scientific psychometrics as opposed to an ad hoc list of values. While we cannot say our studies are wholly scientific (sample bias is not controlled for), we can provide unique insights and plan on publishing interesting results on values & psychology based on demographics as we build users.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns drop an email to If you’re interested in partnering for your media organization, contact either or

Nanaya Frequently Asked Questions

How is this different from eHarmony,, or OkCupid?

Instead of matchmaking and connecting people, we provide objective romantic and social advice using advanced modeling.

Loosely, we give you a Carfax of your love and social life. We can answer specific questions about your love life. For instance:

  • Where and in what groups you have the best chances of finding a compatible partner,
  • With whom you’d be happiest,
  • Whether or not it’s best to stay with the person you’re with,
  • And many more!

When I can use it?

Soon! In January we will open up for personality testing.

In the spring or early summer, we will open up the invite-only beta. General launch will follow later in 2015.

Can I be a Beta user?

If you’re interested in joining the beta program, take the Nanaya personality test and create an account. We’ll offer rolling invites during the beta phase to people who have created accounts.

What will it cost?

Nanaya will be a free service with option to purchase premium reports.

What’s a premium report? How much will it cost?

We will offer some test results for free in the LoveCast. Premium reports will answer specific questions that you may have, such as advice on an existing relationship or different ways to find a good match if you’re single.

We have not figured out pricing, but we expect around $10.

What’s in the LoveCast?

We offer high-level results for free. We discuss some of these on our main page, but we’re still working out what everyone wants to see the most. People in the beta program will help us figure out what the final product will look like.

What happens with my data?

We will develop a privacy agreement by the beginning of personality testing in November.

We’re data nerds at Nanaya and plan on doing sociological studies using the dataset starting during the beta. If you like the OkCupid blog, you’ll like the posts we’ll make in the future.

Who is Nanaya for?

Nanaya is for people who are about to make romantic and social decisions. Whether single or in a relationship, we can help you make decisions by doing the statistical analysis to determine outcomes for decisions you have yet to make.

If you’re single and don’t know how or where to find someone who’d be a good partner, we can help you answer that.

If you’re in a relationship and don’t know your next step or want affirmation before making a decision, we’re here to help.

If you’re simply looking for a way to meet more people and make friends in an adult world, we can help with that, too.

Well, how does Nanaya work?

The heart of Nanaya is an algorithm for options analysis that was designed for long-term relationship decision making; the byproduct of the algorithm is information that applies to people who are single or just dating.

We combine your personality data and aggregate personality data of groups you interact with then perform sociological modeling and statistical forecasting to get probabilities and values that are unique to your situation.

Does Nanaya work?

To some, the idea of a computer “predicting the future” in your love life may seem preposterous. However, the methods Nanaya uses are actually quite common in decision and risk analysis. Nanaya uses the same methods that are used every day to design space missions, manage wealth, and perform industrial optimization. Theoretical work for Nanaya has been reviewed by leading statisticians and physicists and has been well received. Nanaya has been validated through dozens of test cases.

Nanaya is designed to be intrinsically compatible with standardized personality tests, such as those available on major dating sites. Please contact us for more information.

What will the user experience be?

The entire process will take about 15-30 minutes depending on how you answer the questions. It will be a guided process of personality tests and adaptive questions to assess your social interactions and life goals.

Personality testing will be provided by our friends at Traitify.

How do you handle incompatible life goals like disagreements where one partner wants children while the other does not, etc?

Theoretically, Nanaya will be able to handle any questions but we do not plan on handling these types of disagreements for now.


There’s a difficult balance between level of detail and getting a reasonable answer. While willingness to have children is a major issue and it may be incorporated later, if we were to incorporate every possible disagreement it would take hours to get all the needed information from the user.

We presume a general correlation between life goals and personality, but it’s hard to know the details. We ultimately look forward to having detailed answers from users and personality tests to see what correlations exist. For now, we believe simple and sweet is best.

Will you be able to detect potentially abusive relationships?

Nanaya only asks for goals and preferences. We can guess which relationships will fail but not which ones are abusive.

Will you take into account dating preference statistics like those discussed on the OkCupid blog?

Absolutely, but the detail is limited to personality, life goals, and a few preferences. In the future we may expand this.

We look forward to writing blog posts on the data, too!

How can you predict the number of people I’ll be meeting at work, around town, etc?

We can model rates of interaction based on your personality and context with each group (e.g. how long you’ve been a part of it, how large it is).

What if my job is in service or sales? Isn’t that complicated?

It’s a little more complicated but we know how to handle it. For special groups, like working in service, we’ll be asking for a few more details about your personal experience.

 Bottom line, we are trying to create a personalized assessment.

What if I’m bisexual and could see myself settling down with either a man or a woman?

We account for bisexuality.

What if I’m not cis-gendered?

The Nanaya algorithm will leverage Census data for significant portions of calculations and will only work for men and women. If you are not cis-gendered, please choose whichever gender you identify with the closest.