A Lesson in First Impressions: Ben and Be

ben and be hero

“So I was thinking June for the wedding.”

As far as opening texts go, it’s one of the best I’ve heard.

It comes from Be, a sophomore archaeology major at Haverford, in her first DM to her match Ben, a junior computer science major. She read me their first interaction, which included Ben’s response: “do you think that might be too long of a wait? How about May?”

Be: Then I said, “I mean, I’m free this week, I just have to let the flower girl know.”

It may be a little bold for some, but as the couple is coming up on seven months of dating, perhaps being upfront is the way to go.

Ben and Be both approached the Marriage Pact pretty differently. Ben wasn’t planning to fill it out until a friend convinced him to help bolster the number of male participants, whereas Be was ready and rearing to give the questionnaire a try as soon as it came out.

Be: The day came and I was like, ‘yep, sign me up.’ I had gone on a bunch of like, one-off dates over the past couple of months and it just wasn't working out, so I was like, ‘I’ll let the algorithm figure it out for me.’

When the matches were sent out to Haverford students, Ben wasn’t really sure what to do until Be, after consulting some friends, made the first move. After planning their summer wedding in the place of typical first-DM pleasantries, the two settled on a first date of milkshakes from Wawa, which turned into a five-hour-long conversation.

Despite the initial differences found in their motives for taking the Marriage Pact, the two are more similar than not.

Ben: I think we think a very similar way, like our brains just work the same. We’re both pretty… not necessarily go with the flow, but… open-minded. Anything goes for both of us.

Be: I think that’s the thing: If I'm like, “oh, do you wanna go walk a mile to go to a book store,” he'd say, “yeah, sure. Let's go.” Or he’s like, “you want to fly to Tennessee this weekend,” I'd be like, “yeah, let’s go!” I think that's pretty cool.

As for how they differ…

Ben: Well, height is one way. I'm not sure if that has a major impact on our relationship, which is probably good… I don’t know, I think I’m less particular about things. If there’s a certain detail that she’s really concerned with being one way or another, I won’t mind that much.

Ben has found that many of the people he’s told about the matching process and his experience with the Marriage Pact have been surprised at its success.

Ben: I think that most of the time, people are just surprised because they believe that matches like that are pretty random or they don't normally work out. So people always think it’s cute that we met that way, and I think it's a really good story. I like to tell people that because it's fun and interesting.

Be: I also think it’s funny because he's a computer science major, so it makes sense that an algorithm paired him with someone.

Over the summer the two were apart, staying back in their home states of New Jersey and Tennessee, but they both took a week to fly to each other’s hometowns to meet friends and family.

Ben: It was really amazing to spend time with her having been apart for so long. Even though it wasn't really that long, it was, like, five weeks, but it felt like a lot of time… We got to see what each other’s lives at home were like. She met some of my friends, we went to some of her favorite book stores, it was pretty fun.

Be: We got to meet each other’s dogs!


The two have got plenty of plans for the future, including traveling to a wedding and spending Thanksgiving together. When asked what the couple admires most about each other:

Be: I think he's just a genuinely good person. I don't know if I've met many people that are that, like, ethically there, you know? … I feel like he is always making me a better person in that regard. I think he's really smart, I think he's funny, I think he's kind. I like the way he is with my family and my dog, and I like the way he is with my friends. He just gets me, you know, I think he understands me in a way that no one else has before. And yeah, it just feels good to be around him.

Ben: I think I could say a lot of the same things. I really appreciate her creativity and her energy overall. And I think she has a very beautiful smile.