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College matchmaking ritual created for fun leads to some unexpected love stories

In a one-of-a-kind twist to traditional dating apps, this annual ritual that started at Stanford University is reshaping romance.

College matchmaking ritual created for fun leads to some unexpected love stories
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Vija Rindo Pratama

College serves as a gateway to the realities of adult life. Here, we not only face the challenges of the real world but also forge some of our most enduring relationships. So, harnessing this aspect of college life, two students from Standford University created The Marriage Pact as part of their economics project in 2017, as per the Associated Press. Originally exclusive to Stanford students, this unique project has now introduced its annual matchmaking ritual to 88 additional campuses.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Josh Willink
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Josh Willink

So, how does The Marriage Pact differ from traditional matchmaking apps and sites like Tinder or Here, you cannot take the options for granted. This pact allows each enrolled student to receive just one name along with the percentage of their match quality and the person's email address. "The idea is, if you think about everybody who goes to your college, surely there’s someone who is a good backup plan for you. Not a Prince Charming, you know, not your perfect person necessarily, but maybe somebody whose number you should have," said Liam McGregor who was one of the creators of the pact. With The Marriage Pact, matches are determined not by superficial stats like physical appearance or cliché preferences but by core values.

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A post shared by The Marriage Pact (@marriagepact)


The pact's 50-question survey is quite interesting and surely out of the ordinary. The algorithm is based on some quirky statements like, "I prefer politically incorrect humor," and "I pride myself on telling hard truths." The pact intends to figure out the attributes that are crucial for a person to have a great 50-year relationship with someone. For instance, a person is inquired about how they would feel if they did nothing for an entire day - on a 1 to 7 scale, "like a lard" is 1 and "like royalty" is 7. Also, the questionnaire differed with each college. The Boston College pact questions if the person would "end a friendship over differing political views," and the Notre Dame questionnaire asks if one would "send older relatives to a nursing home."

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A post shared by The Marriage Pact (@marriagepact)


"Forget true love. We’re in the back-up plan business," reads the Instagram bio of The Marriage Pact and it's too relevant. McGregor mentioned that around 30% of matches meet up in person and that 1 in 9 of those end up dating for a year or longer. The pact has also helped a student find the love of their lives with whom they get engaged or even married. Also, some couples who were already dating, participated in the pact for fun and the algorithm rightly matched them with each other.

A few years ago, The Marriage Pact played Cupid between NYU graduates Maxwell and Melia. While Maxwell was a sophomore in NYC, Melia was a junior at NYU's Abu Dhabi campus and the two were united by the pact. Despite the tests of a long-distance relationship, the couple shares a love that has been going strong for over two years. Having been engaged on the weekend of their second anniversary, Maxwell and Melia are all set to tie the knot this June. The pact's Instagram page also reveals the wholesome meet-cutes and hilarious first conversations that the students who met through this matchmaking had.

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