Seeing the initials of your best match on campus before you know for certain who they are can bring up a lot of emotions for students: excitement, anxiety, you name it.
However, for Jasmine, a master’s in computer science student from Dallas, Texas, and Aava, a junior economics major from the East Bay Area, the first feeling they had upon checking their inboxes was familiarity.
Aava: We found out we matched before it was official because I got her initials in the first email. You know, obviously, other people have those initials, but I was sure that she had gotten mine, and it turns out she did! I think it was interesting for me because at that point we had just started dating, so it was fun to have that early on in our relationship.
Jasmine and Aava met two years ago while they were living in the same dorm complex and later matched on Tinder the following year. Just before the Marriage Pact came back to Stanford last fall, the two had started to date.
Jasmine: I’m pretty sure I was at Stanford when [the Marriage Pact] started, or just after. I remember doing it my freshman year and it being a really big deal, everybody was really excited to do it. And I just wanted to do it again.
Aava: My freshman year, the survey was really hyped up, and I did it mostly because everyone else was doing it. But last time when I filled it out, I wanted to know if we’d get matched because we didn’t look at each others’ answers.
It’s a wonder the two didn’t collaborate at all on the questionnaire, given their 82.42% match.
Aava: I think we share a lot of the same values, even outside of the Marriage Pact, we both value the same things in terms of our future and what we see for ourselves after college, and we also have a very similar sense of humor. I think that the traits that we value in ourselves we also look for in other people, and we found them in each other.
Jasmine: On a lot of the more political questions we were similar, and the sense of humor one is big too. I think that how we value relationships with other people is also similar.
I asked the pair what differences they’d noticed in their personalities. Despite their deeper values falling in line, there are a few contrasting traits behind their effortless connection.
Aava: Our interests are pretty different. On a pretty surface level, in terms of extracurriculars, she’s a dancer, very into the arts, and I’m terrible at that—super not artistically inclined at all, I can’t dance.
Jasmine: I feel like some of the ways we view money are very different. Or I feel like it's more important for her to follow her passions when thinking about a career or things she wants to do, whereas I don’t really care about that as much, or I’m less sure of the things I’m interested in.
One of the questions the two remembered diverging answers for was would you rather work a high-paying job that you hate or a low-paying job that you love?
Aava: I do value making a living and supporting myself and being financially independent, but at the same time, I’m willing to compromise a little salary for my interests if I find a job that pays less but is something I’m way more interested in.
Jasmine: Yeah, but I think I would just take the highest-paying job regardless… I also feel like she’s more in tune with her emotions than I am.
Aava: Also she’s very clean.
Jasmine: And she’s messy.
You know what they say, opposites attract. Jasmine and Aava’s relationship, as balanced as it is, makes plenty of sense to the people around the couple. According to Aava, some friends she’d mentioned her algorithm-approved relationship to were excited about the concept.
Aava: I told them that we hadn’t filled it out together and they were like, “oh my god, no way!” I don’t think it’s that surprising to people that we matched, but I also think that our personalities come across kind of differently when you first meet us, but I think we’re way more similar when you get to know us. I think people’s perceptions of our compatibility can really range depending on how well they know us.
Jasmine and Aava recently spent their winter break with another friend in Portugal, cementing Aava’s belief that it’s interesting to see how traveling with a partner goes. While nothing is finalized for this summer, the two hope to head to New York together and will spend this Valentine’s Day celebrating at a rooftop restaurant in San Fransisco.
Aava: I feel like Jasmine, when she commits to something, she’ll do it. Even if it’s super annoying or really inconveniences her, she’ll do it no matter what if it means helping someone out or making their day that much easier. She’ll always do it. And she’s always, always the first one to volunteer to help. I like to do those things, but it’s super easy for me to not want to do them once I commit. She always follows through, and she’s so incredibly dependable. I feel like anyone in her life would say the same. I sometimes wish that she wouldn’t put others’ needs so much above her own needs, but it is admirable and a trait that I don’t see in most people.
Jasmine: I feel like Aava is very emotionally intelligent and cares a lot about the people in her life and is always there for them. I think at Stanford, people are always busy and doing their own thing, and if a friend reaches out to you, it’s kind of easy to blow them off, especially if you don’t know them that well. But I feel like no matter how close she is to somebody, she’s always there for them if they need her or if she senses that they need to talk or something. She’s always there for them.
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