This is the fourth installment in our Bright Lights series: stories that highlight moments of human connection in a time where they seem few and far between.
It’d be an arduous task to find a couple more compatible than Jeff and Lilah.
The couple started their Stanford journey last fall, Lilah traveling from Connecticut to West Lagunita and Jeff from the South Bay Area to Arroyo. First separated by a whole continent and then by a sprawling campus, the two had never crossed paths before the Marriage Pact survey.
Lilah: We hadn’t even heard of each other — we didn’t even follow each other on Instagram.
After receiving the match email, Jeff admittedly had some difficulties finding Lilah on social media.
Lilah: He googled me.
They both laugh as Jeff interrupts to explain.
Jeff: Okay, they only give you the name and the email, so the most logical thing everyone does is go on Instagram, right? But her Instagram doesn’t actually have her name in her bio, so I googled her. Finally, I was talking with somebody in my dorm who knew of her and followed her on Instagram.
Lilah: I followed him back, and then he DMed me, and that’s how it started.
Jeff: 21st century love story.
The two chatted via DM in the week leading up to Thanksgiving break. When they returned to campus for Fall quarter finals, they grabbed dinner together at a dining hall—in typical Stanford fashion. The conversation flowed effortlessly.
Jeff: I’ve definitely had dinners where it feels like there’s nothing to say. But that first dinner, we had a ton to talk about.
On their second date, the couple went rock climbing before heading to the library.
Lilah: While we were there we looked at a handful of the Marriage Pact questions. We went through them and said what our answers were.
As Lilah talks, Jeff scrolls through his photos to find a screenshot of their match: 99.95 percent. A couple with a number that high is bound to have plenty in common, but one of their biggest similarities is their shared affinity for the great outdoors.
Lilah: We’re both very outdoorsy people and pretty active. We’ve often been talking and been like, “Omg, you like that too. That must be why we got matched.”
Jeff and Lilah began dating at the end of January. Since then, the couple has done it all: Skiing, hiking, surfing, road-tripping, and even working as kayaking and paddle boarding instructors together over the summer.
Lilah: Honestly, a lot of the time we spend together is outdoors.
Lilah recounts one especially memorable moment while camping in Utah.
Lilah: We were watching a movie in our tent when we heard super loud footsteps. We looked up and there was a herd of cows coming towards us. Turns out we had accidentally set up camp in the middle of a cow pasture. It was definitely a highlight of the trip.
Although Stanford has transitioned to online instruction, Jeff and Lilah have spent the past quarter in Colorado with mutual friends.
Lilah: After we met, I started hanging out with his friends and really loved them. One of his friends is now one of my best friends at Stanford. Now we’re living with his friend group.
Jeff: It’s been pretty great. We’ve actually spent a decent amount of time together with other people since COVID.
Though COVID-19’s unexpected arrival has certainly put a damper on social activities over the past year, Jeff and Lilah have found ways to stay sane, from exploring to making memories with new friends, albeit in the confines of quarantine. While skies may look gloomy every once in a while, Jeff and Lilah are living proof that we can always find a patch of sunshine.