A First-Date Fantasy: Lily and Ethan

LILY-ETHAN heroresize

Just eight short months ago, UNL sophomores Lily and Ethan had no idea the other existed. But a 99.95 percent Marriage Pact match — and a coffee chat like no other — were enough to turn these complete strangers into romantic partners and best friends in a matter of weeks.

While the Marriage Pact attracts its fair share of soulmate-seekers, Ethan and Lily said they went into the survey with no expectations.

Lily: For me it was definitely just for fun, I wasn’t looking for a relationship at the time. One of my friends in my sorority just sent it in a group chat, and was like, “Hey, everybody fill this out,” so I just did it kind of on a whim.

Ethan: It’s pretty much the same story for me. And on the day matches were sent out, it must’ve been pretty late, so I didn’t see it until the next day. But people started spamming my group chat with their matches, so I sent who I got too, and one of friends said they went to her high school and knew who she was.

Lily: He followed me on Instagram, and I was like, “Who is this person following me?” because none of my friends were following him or anything. So I was completely confused, and then I looked at my email, and I was like, “Oooooh!” I DMed him on Instagram, and we got coffee a couple of days after.

We just took the “Ask every question you can possibly think of” approach to get to know each other. We ended up talking for forever. I came back from it and was just so excited. I immediately went to tell all my friends, like, “He’s so cool, I’m so happy.”

Ethan: I remember we talked for so long that I was almost late to my class. I walked all the way back to my dorm just smiling the whole way there.

Lily: We basically hung out the whole rest of the week. We just connected right away and didn’t want to stop talking to each other.


Matches fittingly came out around Valentine’s Day, and the two made it official before the month was even over. They spent the semester together before parting ways — and I use that term loosely — for the summer.

Ethan: She lives in Lincoln, and I only live about 30 minutes from campus. But since I worked in Lincoln over the summer, I would come to her place a lot, so it worked out perfectly.

Unfortunately, the one and only time the couple was forced apart was after Lily got COVID — just in time for their 6 month anniversary. But the pair didn’t let the isolation spoil their special day, and made sure to celebrate over FaceTime. They reunited on campus this fall, healthier — and happier — than ever.

Lily: We’re a great match. I think we really see the world in similar ways.

Ethan: There’s also lots of moments where we share mannerisms or do or say little things in the same way.

Lily: Yeah, it kinda shows up randomly.

Ethan: We always joke that we’re the same person.

Got a Marriage Pact story of your own? DM us on insta or twitter, @marriagepact.