When the Marriage Pact hit Yale in the midst of heavy COVID restrictions last fall, now-sophomores Ana and Zoe went into the survey with low expectations, seeking connection as first-years confined to their dorm rooms. But neither could have predicted the fortuitous late-night encounters, impromptu 2am escapades, and frat house heists they’d embark on over the next year — with each other by their side.
Ana: Everyone on campus was pretty lonely because of COVID, and we were all like, stuck
in our rooms. It just seemed like a fun way to at least meet someone new. My suite and the suite across from me all bonded over it — we hung out and took the survey together.
Zoe: As first-years who didn’t really know what it was, it was super intriguing. We thought, “We didn’t have anything like this in high school.” And then with COVID and having nothing else to do, we just thought, “It’s a Friday night, let’s pop open the survey and see what happens.”
Matches came out the following week. The nervous excitement was palpable as Yale students scrambled to check their inboxes.
Zoe: All my friends kind of came together and were like, “Let’s open it at the same time!” So we were sitting in the common room after dinner, and the first thing we did was start stalking each other’s matches. I think my friend found your high school website and you had a bio on it. It was like the Buccaneers or the Pirates or something…
Ana: It was the Cavaliers!
They both laugh at Zoe’s close guesses.
Ana: But yeah, it was definitely like a group activity. We all opened our matches and were like, “Do you know this person?” or “Yeah I recognize them!” and everything. But I didn’t know Zoe, so I looked her up on Instagram and I think we requested each other.
Zoe scrolls through her camera roll to pull up a screenshot of her match email: 99.89 percent.
Ana: The email also both said we had a flair for drama. It was funny because at the end you rank things that are important, and I definitely didn’t rank drama, but I guess it worked out.
Initially, Ana and Zoe followed each other on social media and left it at that. But in the following weeks, a twist of fate led to an adventitious encounter — not once, but twice.
Zoe: One random Monday night, my suitemate at like 10 pm was like, “I’m craving boba.” And I was like, “Ok, I guess I’ll walk with you.” And we went to the one place that was still open that late, and it’s kind of a far walk from where my dorms are. But we got there and walked in, and I was like, “I think that’s my Marriage Pact.” And then when Ana and I went to grab our drinks, we looked down at them and we were like, “Oh my god, they’re the same!”
Ana: It was so funny. We totally just bumped into each other by coincidence. And then it happened again a couple weekends later, and both times it was at super random specific places. Like, I never go out to dinner in New Haven, but I went to this one restaurant for my suitemate’s birthday — and there area lot of restaurants — and Zoe was also there with her friends.
Zoe: We were on the same schedule of late-night boba and like, eating at fancy restaurants. It was so funny because it’s a restaurant that college students don’t just casually go to, but our college had given us each $100 certificates, so obviously we were going to the fanciest one we could find.
Ana: We just thought, “Ok, we keep bumping into each other, so maybe we should hang out.”
Ana and Zoe grabbed brunch together on Halloween — but an unfortunate series of COVID outbreaks kept them from meeting in person again for a while. Luckily, the distance didn’t damper their connection.
Zoe: We started DMing photos to each other on Instagram all the time, like, “What’s your Halloween costume?” and just “What are you up to?” and just staying in touch even when we were remote.
Spring semester came and went, but Ana and Zoe reunited on campus that summer in spectacular fashion — partaking on a winding series of spontaneous late-night adventures.
Zoe: Over the summer was the first time we could start going to frat parties, and we collectively decided that if you steal from the patriarchy it doesn’t count. It’s like reparations. So we took a toaster from the frat. We kept trying to like, shove it into Ana’s tote bag that she brought to the party, or hide it under my jacket, and we kept being like, “We have to run! Go go go!”
Ana: But then the next day, we felt guilty and ended up returning the toaster.
Zoe: It was also really disgusting. Like we didn’t want it anymore.
Ana: But that was just a little adventure that we had.
Zoe: And then that same night, I think we walked like 2 miles round trip to a McDonalds, and just stood in the drive thru line, like with the cars. Then we just ate fries on the side of the road. It was really fun.
This fall, Ana and Zoe can’t seem to escape each other, despite living on opposite sides of campus.
Ana: We don’t live close to each other, but we recently grabbed dinner because my roommate is friends with one of Zoe’s friends, so we were all hanging out. We see each other out and about a lot.
Zoe: Our eating schedules are lined up too. No matter which dining hall I go to, I end up running into you. Like they’re totally synced.
Given the pair’s similarities, it’s no wonder they keep crossing paths. The kindred spirits say they make a perfect match — and great accomplices, in case they choose to steal another kitchen appliance in the future.
Ana: When we hung out for the first time, we kind of realized how similar we are personality-wise. You can just tell that we’re alike.
Zoe: Yeah, like similar mannerisms and corny jokes and stuff like that. We hung out a lot over the summer, and our friend groups would be like, “You guys are exactly the same.”
Ana: We also totally bring out our shared traits in each other. Like we usually both love being spontaneous, dancing, having fun — so when we’re together, it’s to the extreme.
Zoe: Yeah, when we party together it’s chaotic. In a really good way.
Got a Marriage Pact story of your own? DM us on insta or twitter, @marriagepact.