Sophia Zhao

Like many other Yalies and especially other first-years, I awaited the evening of Feb. 15 with a mix of giddy anticipation, fear, excitement, curiosity and annoyance at how long Marriage Pact had stalled. The website claimed matches would be revealed on the upcoming Monday for multiple weeks before its actual release … on a Tuesday. 

The dating quiz had taken on a life of its own, becoming a shared event among those that I talked to on campus. “Did you do the whole Datamatch/Marriage Pact thing?” was my go-to question during meals with friends, asking or being asked “When does it come out?” had become a daily occurrence and the imagining of outcomes was a continuous event. Boyfriend. Best friend. Acquaintance. Annoyance. Ghost. The possibilities cycled through my head at an increasingly alarming rate. 

I don’t really know what I wanted out of it. A relationship? A friend? A lunch date? A funny story to tell in the future? A way to meet someone without going out? An excuse to take an online personality quiz? Answers varied among my friends as well. Some were in relationships and did it for pure fun, others filled out the form to meet someone new, and a few held out hope that real relationships would sprout from 40 questions. At the very least though, we all agreed, an algorithm meant to match similar personalities seemed like a good way to meet a friend. 

The day leading up to the eventual reveal was full of persistent email refreshes, restless sleeping and an inescapable sense of uncertainty. Then finally, at 11:00 p.m., the matches were released. The first detail that caught my eye was a 99.92% match percentage, which the email touted as “Pure Gold,” followed by the name of my match. The common traits that were listed seemed probable enough. Compared with the sibling-matches and 17 percent-percentages I had heard about from others, it seemed as if I indeed had struck gold. Still, I had my reservations. What did this person think about me? What did they want? Was there any point in meeting? I turned it over in my head, until eventually caving in the next morning and asking my match to meet for coffee. Perhaps we could see how accurate the algorithm was.

What followed that night is probably the least interesting part of the story. We agreed to meet up for coffee this past Sunday, we got the aforementioned coffee, and then we parted ways. He was nice, the conversation was decent, but that was about it. In the end, the fun of Marriage Pact was all in the expectation — that someone would fall out of the sky, or out of an email, whom I’d instantly have a connection with. It was fun to believe. Maybe I’ll put my name in the ring the next time around too, just for that. 

Suraj Singareddy is an editor for the podcast desk. Originally from Johns Creek, GA, he is an English major in Timothy Dwight College.