There are a lot of memorable ways you can reach out to your Marriage Pact match. A simple, sensible email, a text through a mutual friend, a late-night “u up 😉” … Hey, we don’t judge.
However, the way Paul introduced himself to his match, Shelby, may just take the cake for its creativity. And, apparently, its effectiveness.
I talked to recent UMass Amherst grads Paul and Shelby just a few days after the two received their diplomas (graduating with degrees in finance and nursing, respectively). They’d met when the Marriage Pact had come to their campus just a few months before in February. While second-semester seniors, Paul began seeing flyers all over the dining hall, prompting him to scan the QR code on his way out. Shelby first saw the questionnaire when it took the campus’s Yik Yak feed by storm.
Shelby: I took it late at night. I filled it out halfway — and it wasn’t super long — but I stopped halfway and watched Euphoria. And then the episode finished, so I was like, I guess I’ll finish it. But yeah, it was fun to fill out.
Paul: I was just laying in my bed after finishing my work. And, me too, I was like, I guess I’ll fill this out now. I think I thought a lot about how I wanted to come across with some of the questions… some were about hard drugs, and I was like, “Well, no, definitely not. because I don’t want the other person to be doing those…” You know, that’s kinda how I thought about it.
Though Shelby was a little more hesitant, Paul knew he wanted to reach out to his match, but didn’t know quite how. The two recounted their thoughts on seeing the other’s name and their match quality percentage (a whopping 99.90%) in their inbox:
Shelby: It’s kind of funny, I guess. I got the email with his information, and I was like, “he’s probably not gonna say anything, I’m not gonna say anything…” I was just like, whatever, it is what it is.
Paul: When I got the email, I looked her up on Instagram and thought she was pretty cute, but I wanted to do something different. I figured all the guys would just be adding their matches on Instagram or messaging them, and I wanted to do something more creative.
Putting his soon-to-be-in-the-real-world skills to the test, Paul designed and filled out a resume detailing his personality and interests, with such fun facts as: “can reach the top shelf”, “parents love me”, and “Leo (Yes, I have a Co-Star)”. Ever the professional, Paul emailed Shelby his resume and a quick hello.
Paul: I said: “I know 99.9% is a bit of a weak match, but I figured the least I could do before we get married is send you a brief resume about myself!” And then she answered and said, “After reviewing your resume, I’m pleased to announce that you are invited to do an in-person interview. Please reach out to schedule a time that’s convenient for you”, and that’s how I got her number.”
Ahead of the pair’s first “interview”, Shelby remembers being pretty nervous. As a senior in her final semester of college, she wasn’t really worried about meeting someone or dating, but now describes hitting it off pretty fast with Paul over lunch. Of course, algorithmically, that makes sense — a match quality percentage of 99.90% is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Paul: I think we’re both very easy going people, but we also like to have fun. We’re definitely both very laid back. I was looking for somebody that would be good to bring around my friends because we both had pretty established friend groups here. I think it was a good match — she’s very good at talking, and is really social.
Shelby: We’re…I don’t know, we’re both pretty similar. Our personalities — like you said, easygoing. We like to go out, but we can also just chill. Our goals are pretty similar, too.
What would those be?
Shelby: Oh, like traveling, moving to Boston one day…
The two had been step-for-step with their answers for as long as I’d talked to them, only getting held up when I asked them how they thought they were different. Paul and Shelby looked to each other, occasionally thinking out loud (“that’s a hard question…” and “there’s got to be something!”). After a few moments in a quiet Zoom call:
Paul: I’d say I’m probably not as prompt or on time as you are. Hm…I don’t know. I feel like I do a lot of planning, making reservations and stuff like that.
Shelby: Oh yeah, you’re a good planner. I think it’s because I’ve always been the planner with my friends. Like, I always make the reservations for us for birthdays and everything. And then when he does it, it’s like my break from being the organizer.
Against the backdrop of the two’s similarities, the comfort they both draw from their relationship is clear.
Paul: There are so many things I admire about her. I think she definitely calms me down. If I’m having a bad day or I’m a little overwhelmed with something, Shelby’s the person to talk to just relax. She makes me think that there are other things out there, you know, you don’t have to be worried about one thing. It’s good to step away and just not think about all those things with her.
Shelby: You kinda took my answer…
Paul: Oh, okay. A likely story!
Shelby: I was gonna say you always make me feel better. These past few weeks have been really crazy, but it’s like you said, when we’re hanging out, you don’t really have to worry about everything else. And you make me laugh a lot…You’re a goofy guy.
Paul: I don’t know, we’re both very busy people, so I think it’s nice that we set time aside to be with each other and to just not be overwhelmed with other things, to just focus on just being with each other, if that makes sense.
No matter when or how you decide to reach out to your match, Paul and Shelby’s story has made one thing clear: at the very least, you’ve got to take the first step. Maybe it’s time to spruce up that resume!