If The Whole Marriage Thing Doesn’t Work Out 

For some, it is a rite of passage as an elementary or middle schooler to have a conversation with your closest friends and agree that if you all were not married by 40, you would get together, buy a big house and raise kids together. In other words, if love never panned out for you, you had options. Well, it seems as if we have come full circle as “The Marriage Pact” has been trending in colleges across the country. The Marriage Pact tells users,“Forget true love. We’re in the back-up plan business,” and uses a 50-question quiz to find your perfect match within your collegiate sphere. 

The specific sect of the Colgate Marriage Pact began the during the 2021 spring semester and took the campus by storm with students being matched with strangers, friends, people with existing partners and actually gave a few people the opportunity to shoot their shot. Phase two of the Marriage Pact was released at Colgate last week with over 1,269 participants (out of the almost 3,000 total student body population). First, you fill out a survey with a large range of questions from “are you an introvert or extrovert” to “would you be okay with your partner keeping guns in the house?” The algorithm of the Marriage Pact then pairs you with your perfect match and you are sent a teaser email with your match’s initials. Twenty-four hours later, you are emailed your match’s full name and email, and are encouraged to reach out. 

Unfortunately, I was not on campus last semester, and therefore was out of the loop for the original Marriage Pact. There was something exhilarating about seeing all my friends buzz about getting matched with an ex-flame, friend’s boyfriend or someone from your FSEM. Crushes are exciting, and the Marriage Pact was the ice-breaker no one would ask for but everyone wanted. This time around, I was not going to miss out. I sat in my room and began carefully and deliberately ranking on a scale of 1-10 my feelings about hot topics, trying to guess my personality and what I was looking for in my perfect match. How much did I care if my partner smoked? Was it a 4/10 or a 5/10? A futile difference but one of the utmost importance. 

Days later, I get my email with the initials and all my friends in my house are gossiping about who their matches could be. Just 24 hours to go. I did notice somewhat of a strange coincidence about the initials I received… but there was no way. Finally, after all the excitement, I received my email. I read the name of my perfect match, the person that if all else fails I could always rely on the fact that out of 1,269 people WE were the most compatible. At the end of the email in big bold letters was not the name of a cute boy from my dorm sophomore year I never got the courage to talk to or even a stranger who I could follow on Instagram to shoot my shot… but the name of my best friend. According to the algorithm we were highly compatible, specifically in the areas of sociability, ideal partnering style and romanticism. Sitting right above me in her room in the off-campus house we live in together was my perfect match. 

The Colgate Marriage Pact is so popular because everyone wants to be comforted by the fact that there is someone out there for them. Even if it is based on arbitrary questions about how neat or messy you are or whether you like PDA; everyone is excited by the idea of a compatible partner saving them from spending the rest of their lives alone. Being a senior in college, there is so much anxiety over being alone and moving on to a different phase in our lives. But I can confidently say that no matter where I end up after graduation or where the next chapter of my life leads… I will always have my perfect match. And who knows, if the whole marriage thing ends up not working out for both of us, I would be more than content falling on our backup plan.