It’s been over a year since I last spoke with Josh and Reagan in the summer of 2022. Josh had just graduated from the University of Michigan, while Reagan was a rising senior. They’d been dating for about six months at the time, after matching via the Marriage Pact survey in December 2021.
One year later, Josh and Reagan are doing better than ever. They’ve now both graduated and live just a short drive apart, navigating the next stages of their lives hand-in-hand.
While Josh and Reagan had little academic overlap at UMich, they bonded over their plans to pursue intensive graduate degrees; Josh was a hardcore pre-med student in undergrad, while Reagan had her sights set on law school. After graduation, however, Josh and Reagan found themselves in the same boat as they reevaluated their career paths.
I was pre-med all the way through. The whole deal. I was volunteering and taking a ton of extra classes and everything, because I was so scared that I wouldn’t get into med school. But then as soon as I realized I probably would get in, I was like, “Eh…I actually don’t know if I want to do this anymore.”
I was originally going to move to New York, and I asked Reagan, “Would you be willing to make long distance work?” and she said of course. But it ended up not having to be that way, because in the end I decided not to go to med school and chose to stick around and work at the university. Now I’m working in the biology department on campus and living in an apartment about 20 minutes outside of Ann Arbor.
I’m kind of in that spot right now with law school. I just got a job back in my hometown, which is about a half hour from where he’s staying. So I’m just wondering if I should stick around a few more years to get more experience before applying. I think it’ll also help me figure out if this is the right path, since it’s a hefty investment.
Avoiding long distance was an obvious upside to their career changes. In the last year, Josh and Reagan have squeezed every drop of fun out of their time together. They’ve even had the chance to travel with each other’s families—which unexpectedly resulted in some of their most cherished memories.
My parents, my brother, my brother’s girlfriend, and Reagan and I all took a Christmas trip to Chicago. It was really fun. We went ice skating, we went to a jazz club. It’s nice because for some reason, with Reagan there and my brother’s girlfriend there, my parents were on really good behavior, so it made the trip really enjoyable. Normally when I’m traveling with my parents, it’s a nightmare because everyone is stressed and at each other’s throats the whole time, but with Reagam there, it was really nice. So it was an absolutely lovely trip, and I made some of my favorite memories ever.
The Chicago trip was also one of my favorites. But I’d say the same thing has happened whenever we go up north to visit my parents. They’re always on great behavior when you’re around.
I spent the 4th of July weekend with her family in Jackson. They all kind of live on the same patch of land. There’s like a square mile or so where they all have houses nearby.
I have a very large family, especially compared to his. He’s starting to catch on to some of the names. Now he’ll be like, “Wait, I’ve met them before, right?”
She’s got grandparents and parents and cousins and other cousins, and people she calls cousins but they’re not really related to them. It’s a lot. But I’m getting the hang of it.
Anyway, one of her uncles is single and doesn't have any kids, but his passion is fireworks. So he made this huge fireworks display and hitched it on the back of his truck. It was this huge platform with a cannon, and he shot fireworks off of it in her backyard for like 30 minutes. It was incredible. I’d never seen anything like it. It was so up close and so loud and definitely a fire risk, but it was really fun. And it’s Jackson, Michigan, so you can pretty much shoot anything you want.
When I last spoke with Josh and Reagan, they mentioned their initial worries about their lack of overlap in interests. But over the past year, the pair say they’ve thoroughly enjoyed introducing their favorite hobbies and pieces of media to one another.
I think we have a lot more in common than we initially thought. We’ve really bonded over little things, like sharing our favorite games and TV shows with each other. I think at first, he thought I wouldn’t like any of his video games, or that he wouldn’t know anything about the sports I like. But we’ve just been able to share those things with each other, and really learn and grow together.
We even watch the same YouTube channels now. We’re big into history videos and podcasts too, stuff like that. That’s our jam. We also just finished Ted Lasso together. It’s so good. We loved every season.
We just watched Oppenheimer together too. For Halloween, we’re deciding whether to go as Barbie and Ken or as Barbie and Oppenheimer. Gender swapped, obviously. That’s the move.
With their relationship now nearing the two-year mark, I asked Josh and Reagan what it’s like to be in a long-term romance born out of an algorithm. At this point, they say, it’s hard to even fathom, given how naturally they’ve melded into each other’s lives.
When people ask how we met, we tell them the whole story. It’s fun. It’s kind of weird to think about now, because I feel like she’s been part of my life for so long. In my head it feels like, “I’ve just known Reagan forever.” So it is kind of strange to think that we met through an algorithm at this point.
I talked to one of his friend’s parents recently, and they were like, “So how did you and Josh meet?” And I just had to laugh and be like, “So there’s this thing called the Marriage Pact.” And I just explained it to them, and they were like, “That’s so cool that it brought you together.”
It’s kind of nice, because I have a lot of friends who met their significant others on Tinder. I feel like whenever you have to explain that you met on Tinder, it’s kind of awkward. Whereas with the Marriage Pact, it’s really fun to explain it because people don’t know about it. So I think it’s really cool.
More than anything, Josh and Reagan say they’ve been enduring sources of support for one another over the past two years.
It’s just comfy. We don't really fight a lot, we don’t really disagree on much, we’re just sort of there for each other. And it feels good. I don’t know how the algorithm figured that shit out. But like, she’s just a really great source of comfort and stability in my life, and I like to think I’m the same for her. I think that’s something that only comes with a long time of dating.
Even amidst the uncertainty of post-grad life, it’s clear that Josh and Reagan have settled into the comfort and security of a relationship meant to be.