Of Mutual Friends and Impromptu Adventures: Belle and Sophia’s Story

From a sea of several thousand undergrads and a sprawling housing group with a dozen friends-of-friends, Wesleyan seniors Belle and Sophia found themselves drawn to each other. The Marriage Pact algorithm made it clear why.

Like many Marriage Pact participants, Belle and Sophia each went into the survey with neutral expectations — but came out of it with a friendship they both deeply cherish.

Sophia: It was just a fun thing where one of your friends is like, “Marriage Pact is out!” and they send the link to everyone. I had a boyfriend at the time, so I was just doing it because it was a fun little survey and I wanted to see who I’m compatible with. So I wasn’t taking it super seriously.

Belle: Same situation, kind of. Not that I have a boyfriend, but I was just taking it for funsies.

Fittingly, matches hit students’ inboxes around Valentine’s Day. Sophia reached out to Belle shortly after.

Sophia: I was living with someone who I had just met at the time, because it was a weird situation with COVID. So I didn’t know her super well, but she knew Belle, and when I got the match she was like, “Oh my god, that’s Belle, that’s hilarious!” I got her number and texted Belle like, “When’s the wedding?”

Belle and Sophia were sophomores when COVID hit Wesleyan in March 2020, and returned to campus nearly a year later for the spring semester of their junior year. When matches came out in February, the two knew each other peripherally through their larger group of friends, and had even made plans to draw in the same housing group for their senior fall.

Belle: Honestly, we didn’t know each other that well when we decided to live together. It sort of worked out that this big group was gonna live together next fall, but we were all living in different places at the time. And because of COVID regulations, we weren’t really going to parties or hanging out much. When the weather got nicer, we would sometimes eat outside together.

Admittedly, Belle and Sophia’s first semester under the same roof didn’t go perfectly to plan; they say their large, jumbled housing cohort was recipe for chaos. Ultimately, however, the experience took their friendship to new heights, and they quickly learned how apt their pairing was.

Belle: Last fall, we had a horrible semester because our housing situation in this big group was just crazy, so that was like a bonding moment. But then this semester, we’ve been having the best time ever. We’ve gotten a lot closer over the last few weeks and learned a lot about each other. Sophia’s an excellent chef, so we spend a lot of time cooking together.

Sophia: Yeah, some crazy shit went down last semester that I think brought us closer together. And this semester has just been wholesome fun. I feel like we’re very similar on paper, so it’s not surprising at all that we got matched through Marriage Pact.

Belle: The circles of Wesleyan that we’re in also tend to have like-minded people politics-wise, so a lot of our values and interests are the same.

Sophia: The reason I had actually heard of Belle was because we were in the same environmental studies colloquium together.

Belle: Yeah, the overlap was bound to happen at some point. The Marriage Pact was like a cute little data verifier of our friendship.

Despite their 87.06% compatibility, Belle and Sophia shared differing perspectives on a few of the Marriage Pact survey questions. First up: “There is no such thing as unconditional love.”

Sophia: I said that there is usually no such thing as unconditional love, but I feel like there are some kids whose parents would say they’ll always love their child unconditionally. But in terms of relationships, I don’t feel that there is or should be any such thing.

Belle: I don’t remember what I said exactly for this one. But I’m in a class about love right now, and I’ve just been thinking about love as a bigger thing. I think there can be unconditional love for the universe, or for yourself, for example.

They also took opposing views for the iconic wedding day question: “Would you rather leave someone or be left at the altar?”

Sophia: I said I would rather be left at the altar, because I just really don’t want to hurt anyone. I would rather be hurt myself.

Belle: That’s interesting, because I said I’d rather leave. If someone left me at the altar, I think I’d spend the rest of my life wondering what was wrong with me.

Despite these small discrepancies, Belle and Sophia say they complement and support each other in their differences.

Belle: I’ve told you this, but you’re really good at giving me advice. You always help me think through my emotions in a way that I haven’t yet. I really appreciate the conversations we have about what I’m feeling and why.

Sophia: I feel like Belle, and her values, push me to be a better person and think about my own values and what I want out of life. She’s also a super adventurous person, and I’m not a super adventurous person. So I feel like she kind of aides me.

The pair shared just a few of their spontaneous late-night escapades Belle inspired.

Sophia: Before classes started, me, Belle, our roommate Molly, and one of her friends from home were all hanging out. It was just the four of us, and there was barely anyone else on campus. And we just got, like, incredibly f***** up.

Belle: Like, accidentally.

Sophia: But at some point Belle just goes, “Let’s go hotbox my closet!” It was just a very Belle thing to say, and it was so funny. You totally were just like, “LET’S GO!”

Belle: Sophia also has some battle scars.

Sophia: Yeah, someone ashed my foot on accident. But it was just so goofy, like, let’s just do this really weird thing. And it was so fun.

Belle: You also got trapped on the roof.

Sophia: Oh yeah!

Belle: Me and Molly were on the couch inside, just, incapacitated. And in the background we just hear Sophia go, “HELP!” We could barely hear them. Because the door locks from the inside, so if you close it too far you can’t get back in.

Sophia: And it was like 9 degrees. I was wearing pajama shorts and a t-shirt. But yeah, it was a night. It was just the four of us, but it was a lot of fun.

While their college experience over the past two years has been replete with unforeseen challenges, Belle and Sophia are looking forward to spending their last semester at Wesleyan by each other’s side.

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