Down bad this fall? The Northwestern Marriage Pact is back!


Graphic by Meher Yeda

The Northwestern Marriage Pact is accepting submissions until Nov. 14. According to Tsui, filling out the form sooner increases your chances of finding a match.

Meher Yeda, Creative Director

Dying to find your true love on campus? Or even a new friend? The Northwestern Marriage Pact is back, baby!

Created at Stanford University in 2017, the Marriage Pact first came to NU last fall. Participants answer university-specific questions ranging from dating preferences to thoughts on Greek Life and even the Primal Scream. Within days, a secret algorithm based on relationship psychology pairs students based on the survey pool’s most compatible matches.


NU’s Marriage Pact ambassador Annie Tsui said while no school’s marriage pact has ever been unsuccessful, NU’s student population had an impressive response rate last year.

“We want 50% of the student population to take it,” the Communication and McCormick junior said. “Last year, we hit 3,000, which was extraordinarily close, given the fact that it was a pandemic and given the fact that not everyone was together.”

This year, the form is open until Nov. 14. Within 24 hours of its release, the survey gathered 1,500 responses, Tsui said. She expressed gratitude for social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit and Yik Yak, where she said students were marketing the Marriage Pact themselves. 

However, while significant hype surrounds the Marriage Pact, not every student comes out with a success story. Because after matches are revealed, it’s up to students to reach out to each other. 

Medill sophomore Jimmy He said while he wasn’t expecting much out of the survey last year, he and his match ended up chatting briefly.

“We never became friends, but I think that’s okay,” He said. “I feel like it was a little bit forced because, at least on my end, I felt obligated to have some sort of conversation instead of ignoring my match.”


Medill junior Dajung Lim didn’t end up filling out the Marriage Pact last year, in part because of the length of the survey. She filled out around two-thirds of the form, she said, but gave up part way through.

This year, however, Lim decided to fill out the form. Given the complexities of the shift from virtual to in-person classes this year, Lim sees the Marriage Pact as a way to meet new people on campus.
“Everyone, I think, can appreciate an opportunity to be pushed into meeting new people,” Lim said. “Because I think everyone wants to reach out to a stranger once in a while. We just need a chance to.”

Tsui echoed this sentiment, encouraging students to participate in this year’s Marriage Pact, even if they’re on the fence.

“For so many people it was able to work out … they were talking to their Marriage Pact for months after,” Tsui said. “I think it’s so cool when you’re walking on Sheridan (Road) with your friend and you see your Marriage Pact walking the other way, like, ‘Isn’t that so funny? That was my Marriage Pact.’ So I would just go about it with a really open mind and open heart.”

He also ended up filling out the form this year, noting he felt that this year’s questions had much more substance than the previous Marriage Pact.

“I’m happy that this is becoming sort of a recurring thing, because even if you don’t find your true love, it’s still something fun to bond over and to talk and friends about,” He said. “It’s really a way to get the Northwestern community together.”