What happens when your first attempt at love and friendship on campus goes awry? Try, try again.
Sarah and Beth*, students at the University of Florida, were well versed with the Marriage Pact by the time they matched in April of 2022. They’d both taken the questionnaire the year before, looking to make new connections on a campus that was still reemerging from COVID.
While neither of their first matches were exactly stellar (Sarah didn’t feel as though she clicked with hers, and Beth’s was MIA due to some technical difficulties), the two didn’t let that stop their interest in finding their perfect match on campus the next time the Marriage Pact came to Gainesville.
Except the second time around, something was different between the two.
Sarah: We both actually took the Marriage Pact twice, this year and 2021. We were friends at that point, but the second time we had been dating for about a month and a half.
Beth: We met on a dating app and became friends in 2020, and then we did the first Marriage Pact in 2021. You got a match, but I didn’t submit the form right so I didn’t get one. Then we were friends until next March when we starting dating, and by April we got matched.
Sarah: A couple of people had posted about it on social media, and I was like, might as well try it. I don’t know, just for fun. Especially coming out of COVID, I wanted to meet people, whether that be a friend or a relationship. I thought the process was pretty cool—it asked a lot of questions that aren’t usually asked in either dating questionnaires or meeting friends or anything like that. The first time I matched with someone I didn’t really click with, but the second time, obviously, I got matched with my girlfriend.
Beth: I think I heard about it the first time from you telling me, actually. I thought it was cool, the concept of an algorithm matching people together based on different values I thought was interesting. I figured that at least I could make a friend that way.
Though they were already dating, Sarah and Beth were excited to see who they matched with the second time around, both interested in making a new friend.
Sarah: Initially we didn’t see the first teaser email with the initials of our match. If I had seen that I would have been like, ‘hm…’ The night of the email, we were sitting together, and we both got the email at the same time. I think Beth saw it first…
Beth: I think so. I was like, “Sarah, who’d you match with?” I was a little shocked, like, there’s no way!
Sarah: It was a bit of a jaw-dropping moment. At first I was a little concerned, like, how did this happen-
Beth: She was convinced for a while that someone had to know, like, some had to have put us together.
Sarah: It was shocking, but a good confirmation, you know, security-wise.
A good confirmation is right. With a 93.7 quality percentile, it's clear that Sarah and Beth beat the algorithm to the punch when it came to finding a great match on campus. But well-timed validation of their love aside, why do they think they’re so compatible?
Sarah: She’s my best friend. We’re really good at communication, we’re always making sure that we’re checking in with each other and checking that we’re both okay, whether that be in the moment or just in the relationship in general. I think we’re really in tune with each other.
Beth: We definitely don’t push anything under the rug, we always talk about it.
Sarah: Either in the moment, or we make a point to talk about it later.
Beth: Later that day, not like-
Sarah: Yeah, later that day, not months!
There are always differences and obstacles in any relationship, of course. Though they come from pretty different backgrounds, the two work to understand each other and where they both come from.
Beth: If there’s something we can’t understand, we can at least empathize. And it’s okay not to understand everything. You just have to be respectful. Like, there are some things about how you grew up that I might not be able to understand but I can try to be as supportive as I can with what I do know.
Sarah: I appreciate that.
Because they met during COVID, they couldn’t spend much time together early on, so Sarah and Beth are really looking forward to sharing more experiences with each other. They’ve already got a few concerts under their belt, and can’t wait for all the traveling their future holds.
Sarah: I admire how thoughtful she is in everything she does, and to people and things, it doesn’t have to be a living thing, I don’t know. Anything that holds value, you’re really thoughtful, and I really admire that.
Beth: I admire how passionate Sarah is about the things she cares about. If there’s a social justice issue or just one of her interests, she cares so deeply about it. There’s not really a lot that she doesn’t fully commit to. I like how much she cares about the things she cares about.
*To preserve the anonymity of these participants, we’ve replaced their real names with pseudonyms.