Friends, Faith, and a Five-Star Match: Eliza and Zach’s Story

Amidst a sea of potential matches, the chances are low you see a familiar name at the top of your inbox. But sometimes, the algorithm has a funny way of pointing you in a direction you’re already headed. 

Virginia Tech undergrads Eliza and Zach knew each other peripherally through their Christian ministry on campus, Cru—but it took a nudge in the right direction for the pair to officially connect. As their relationship developed over the next year, the rich community they already shared became all-the-more fulfilling. 

Zach:

We knew of each other before matching because we were in the same ministry, but we had never officially met each other. 

Eliza:

I had a friend at UVA who was talking about the Marriage Pact, and she said one of her roommates and ended up going on a date with their match. It was such an interesting concept, and so many people I knew were doing it, so I just wanted to take the survey and see what would happen. 

Zach:

I honestly didn’t really know what to expect. I saw a post about it on Instagram, and I just took 5 minutes to fill it out super fast. 

Match initials came first, and Zach had an immediate intuition. 

Zach:

I remember seeing it and thinking, “I know who it is.” I could just kind of feel it. Obviously I knew of Eliza, and I was just like, “I bet it’s her.” It also just made sense since we were in the same ministry and the same circles. 

Eliza:

When I first saw the initials, I didn’t want to assume anything, so I just thought, “Well, it could be anyone.” So I was surprised when I found out it was him. 

Matches finally dropped after two long hours of anticipation. With every corner of campus buzzing with frantic conservation, it was hard to focus on anything else. 

Eliza:

Getting the matches was so fun. I was in the library with a group of people, and we all had done it. We immediately started checking and talking about it and seeing if we knew our matches. 

Zach:

I was actually getting ready to lead a bible study with someone. We’d both filled out the survey, so when we got our matches, we got really distracted. We were both like, “What are we gonna do? We can’t focus.”

We ended up canceling bible study. 

Eliza and Zach initially connected via social media, and stayed in touch throughout the following spring and summer. 

Zach:

At some point, we followed each other on Instagram. Eliza put something on her story about a song from a band that she liked, so I reached out and was like, “That’s a good song.” 

Eliza:

Then we got each other’s numbers, but it took a really long time for anything to actually happen.

Once August rolled around, the pair made the effort to hang out one-in-one for the first time.

Eliza:

We kept talking over the summer, but the first time we actually met each other was right before a retreat we had for Cru. 

Zach:

We were going to meet for the first time at the retreat, but I thought the group setting would be awkward, since everyone knew we had matched and were talking.

So we met up the day before instead. We went on a drive together, but we ended up parking and talking for a few hours.  

Eliza:

More than a few hours. 

Zach:

Then we went to Chick-fil-a and kept talking in the drive-thru. 

Eliza:

And we ended up walking around campus too. It was supposed to be a quick meet-up, but it was like 6 hours long in total. 

Eliza and Zach say that their shared faith, lifestyles, and moral values made for an effortless connection. 

Zach:

We have a very similar outlook on the world. While I wasn’t too serious about anything while filling out the survey, I think having similar religious views was important because I know we share very similar values. 

Eliza:

At the end of the match email, it gave us a few examples of things we had in common based on the survey, which made a lot of sense. One of them was about being active, which was funny because the previous semester we had seen each other at the gym almost every day. Another one was being hard-working, and being likely to return a wallet to someone who lost it. 

Zach:

Integrity and loyalty are definitely two of the biggest values we share. 

After their six-hour chat, Eliza and Zach embarked on their campus retreat. 

Zach:

There was a lot of stuff going on during the retreat. It sounds like a great way to get to know each other, but since there were so many activities it was kind of hard. 

Eliza:

But after the retreat, we hung out like every day. Maybe five days after our first date, Zach told me how he felt, and we started dating a week later.

Over the course of the fall, Eliza and Zach’s ministry has provided a shared community to fall back on during a turbulent semester. 

Zach:

Having a shared community is nice, because we always get to see each other at Cru and get to hang out with a mutual group of friends. I think there’s less pressure, because I know if I’m busy that I’ll always have time to check in with Eliza after. 

Eliza:

We do have mutual friends, but we also acknowledge that we won’t always be together in every group setting. But we always have that community to come back to. 

Before wrapping up, Eliza and Zach each shared one of the many things they admire about each other—though their mutual admiration was clear without saying a single word. 

Eliza:

My favorite thing about Zach is definitely his patience. I just really value how patient he always is with me, no matter what. 

Zach:

I admire Eliza's ability to always make light of situations. She’a always laughing and is in a happy mood, and she just makes me laugh so much. 

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