If your goal is to date your bestie, you could take some pointers from Northeastern fourth-years Britney and Jeffrey. As I chat with them about the Marriage Pact match that brought them together, their comfort with each other is obvious: the way they lean on each other’s shoulders, jokingly poke fun at the other, interject mid-sentence to finish the story. It’s clear they’re the type of couple whose ease spills onto those around them, until you, too, are laughing with them.
Jeffrey: Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we’re in a relationship. We’re just bros.
Britney: Romantic bros.
The pair met after taking the Marriage Pact in February 2021. Jeffrey starts laying out the timeline, while Britney rushes to tell me about the first time they met in person.
Britney: Okay, so on our first date we got dim sum —
Jeffrey: Wait, I’m not done!
Britney: Okay, okay, sorry!
Jeffrey: Anyways, we started talking around the middle of February. And in March, because she was in Mexico on vacation, we just kept talking and stalking each other on social media.
Britney: We got the initials of our matches first, so I started looking for people with those initials on Instagram. I found his account because it was public, and I was like, “He’s cute, I hope it’s him.” And I got the name, and I was like, “Oh shit, it is him.”
Jeffrey: She followed me first, and I was like, “Oh, okay!” because I’m not used to other people taking the first step. I was like, “You know what, that’s special, that’s kinda interesting.” But then I spent two whole days coming up with a good opener. Eventually I just sent something random, like some emojis. I just thought, screw it. You know, since we’re 97.99 percent compatible, maybe there’s a 97.99 chance that I said the exact right thing.
Britney: It ended up being, like, some ridiculous thing. And he was like, “Oh sorry, autocorrect.” It was weird, but I thought it was really funny. So we texted for a couple weeks until I came back.
Back to the first date. Britney and Jeffrey quickly found common ground.
Jeffrey: I knew that she was Asian, so on the first date I made sure to whip out my Chinese.
Britney: I grew up overseas in Asia and went to an international school. I’m super close to my roots, so I speak Mandarin fluently.
Jeffrey: And I grew up in New York, and it can be so hard to find people who are really close to their culture. So I made sure to speak Chinese because I knew if she did too, then we would kind of coalesce together.
Britney: And then he whipped out Cantonese too. I was like, “You speak both?”
Jeffrey: She was so surprised. Cantonese was my first language, but I grew up around a ton of Mandarin speakers. And then I learned English from watching Elmo.
Their cultural background is far from their only similarity. The couple share senses of humor, a love for travel, and many of the same values, as evidenced by their 97.99 percent match.
Jeffrey: We meant to go through and talk about the survey questions, but every time we hung out, we just forgot about time.
Britney: We would try to get through some of them, but it took us a million days because we kept going off on tangents. That was one of the things I really liked. We could just sit down and talk for hours about literally nothing.
Jeffrey: I told myself from the first date that if I keep hanging out with her, I will fall for her. But I thought I might as well give it a shot.
Britney tells me that she met Jeffrey shortly after ending another relationship — which may seem inopportune. But as it turns out, Jeffrey was exactly the kind of person she needed to meet.
Britney: At the beginning, I had just gotten out of a two year relationship —
Jeffrey: Waste of time.
Britney tries to continue but can’t stifle her laugh.
Jeffrey: I’m just speaking facts.
Britney jokingly reprimands Jeffrey, doubled over with laughter.
Britney: But I just thought, I just got out of a relationship, I might as well see what’s up. I didn’t expect it to turn into anything. But after my last relationship, I was just looking for someone who I felt could be my best friend. I didn’t really have that in my previous relationship.
But Jeffrey and I have so much fun together. We’re like besties. With him I just felt so weirdly comfortable, like he was totally someone I could be best friends with. It took me some time to adjust and be like, “Can I actually date my best friend?”
Jeffrey: It’s funny because Britney wanted to date me, but I thought it’d be better for us to become really good friends first before we signed the deal.
Britney: Yeah, I tend to kind of jump the gun.
After spending most of their spring semester together, Britney and Jeffrey made it official in May.
Jeffrey: From when we met in February until we started dating, we were very couple-y. But we didn’t seal the deal until May 1. Every time we would hang out and do “couple’s night,” our friends would be like, “So Jeffrey, when are you asking out Britney?” And I’m like, “Oh, not yet.” And they’re like, “Then why are you here for couple’s night, if you’re not a couple?” I got a lot of shade.
Britney: I have three roommates who have all been in relationships for two or so years as well. So we’d do a group date night, but we weren’t dating.
Jeffrey: They’d be like, “Jeffrey, why are you here?” And I’d be like, “Can you relax?” So rude.
Unluckily, the start of Britney and Jeffrey’s relationship almost exactly coincided with the start of Jeffrey’s internship, almost 1000 miles away. But in the short month they’d been together, they’d established a connection strong enough to endure the distance.
Britney: We had just started dating in May, and he was going to be gone starting in June for 15 months. I was a little worried, because I thought, “I really like this guy, but he’s about to disappear for 15 months.”
Jeffrey: The fact that I was about to go so far away and potentially never see Britney again made me really sad, because I had found someone so special. But I also thought, “You know what? I might as well just keep hanging out with her and keep being myself, there’s no point in faking it.” But then because of that, I unfortunately fell in love. Like head over heels, I couldn’t think about anything besides Britney.
Britney: It was a little scary that he was about to leave, but I felt pretty confident in our relationship, so I wanted to try. He was supposed to be gone for 15 months, but things changed, so we only had to do long distance for about 6 months. And it was honestly fine.
Jeffrey: It was really good. In some of my previous relationships, it was just agonizing. I just wanted to survive another day. But now it’s like, “Oh my god, I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
Britney: We would call for like two hours every day. And one thing that helped was weekly date night. We tried to be really diligent about it. Every Sunday we would dress up nicely, even over Zoom or FaceTime, and play games and do activities together. I feel like it really helped.
One of Jeffrey and Britney’s most salient similarities is their love for travel. During their time apart, they made sure to traverse the distance every two months to go on a trip together. They’ve had even more adventures since reuniting in Boston this year.
Britney: We’re both really, really into traveling. We’ve gone on a couple of trips together, but we’re constantly planning new ones. We like to be outdoorsy too.
Jeffrey: We’re pretty adventurous.
Britney: Yeah, we’re super active. If we choose to go out we’ll usually bike instead of taking an Uber or something. We’ll go hiking a lot too. When I visited him in South Carolina, I booked us a cabin up in North Carolina, about a two hour drive away. So we drove up there and did a lot of hiking and sightseeing, and it was really nice.
Jeffrey: Most recently we went on spring break vacation to Puerto Rico for five days. We hit a ton of different beaches, did a lot of snorkeling, and saw a ton of fish. It was amazing.
Britney: We actually have a goal of visiting every single country together. We’ll try to reach it.
Jeffrey: We will! We will.
Britney and Jeffrey vividly recall the moment they exchanged “I love yous” during a trip to New York.
Jeffrey: The first time I said I love you to her, we were in Long Island sitting by the water. The sun was setting, and we had taken pictures, and there were these little fish darting around our feet. And I was like, “Hey, I love you.”
Britney: I think we had both been dying to say it for like, three months.
Jeffrey: And because I couldn’t say I love you, whenever I got the urge to say it in the middle of the day, I’d say something like, “Wow, I really appreciate you.”
Britney: Or, “I really like you.”
Jeffrey: Sometimes we would look at each other really long. And thinking back, every time we did that, it was kind of like we were saying I love you.
The next country on their list is Colombia, where they hope to celebrate their one year anniversary.
Britney: I literally was like, “Where can I go for the cheapest ticket?” And I was like, “Oh, Columbia! You wanna go?” And he was like, “Yeah.”
Despite their many similarities, Jeffrey acknowledges one key difference between them.
Jeffrey: Britney is one of the most messy people I’ve ever met in my life.
Britney starts laughing knowingly before Jeff even finishes the sentence. She tries to interject to defend herself, to no avail.
Jeffrey: Like, she will leave everything everywhere and it drives me crazy. When we’re cooking, I don’t even let her into the kitchen because she leaves crap everywhere.
Britney: Okay, but that was like —
Jeffrey: No no no, okay. Every time she uses anything she leaves it behind. It’s like a tornado.
Britney: You can see the trail of where I’ve been.
Jeffrey: She’s like Goldilocks, dropping bread crumbs everywhere on everything she touches.
Britney: That was one of the first things I noticed when I went to his house for the first time. Like wow, his room is so clean.
Jeffrey: Everything is orderly, everything has its own home, its own designated section. Everything is structured. But Britney is just a hot mess. We complement each other though. Like, I’m a terrible planner. Like, I am geographically challenged.
Britney: He’s always walking in the wrong direction. He’s always late, and I’m always on time. I handled all the planning during our trips. We’re teaching each other.
Jeffrey: I’d say we’re more complementing each other and accepting the fact that we’re just not good at certain things.
Britney and Jeffrey are living proof that dating your best friend isn’t only doable, but pretty darn amazing.
Britney: We’re basically together all the time. I just wanna be with you every second.
Jeffrey: She just latches on to me. Like, physically. She does not let go. I don’t either, so it works out.
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