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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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For some NU Marriage Pact participants, matches are close to home

Illustration by Ashley Wong
This year’s Northwestern Marriage Pact results dropped on Oct. 24.

College is often where people purportedly find “the one.”

A Fall Quarter staple, the Northwestern Marriage Pact aims to make this search easier by using a carefully curated quiz to match “perfect pairs” across campus. But, what if your soulmate is someone you already know, according to the algorithm?

This was the case for Communication junior Caroline Humphrey, who was paired with someone very familiar to her: her twin sister, Communication junior Claire Humphrey. 

“We saw each other’s names, and we immediately just started dying laughing.” Caroline Humphrey said. “We laughed for a solid five minutes.”

While NU Marriage Pact received 3617 submissions this year — almost half of all undergraduates — the pool lacked straight and bisexual men, a recurring problem in recent years. As an alternative, heterosexual women who aren’t paired romantically are given a “friend match” instead of a romantic one, which was the case for the Humphreys.

Caroline Humphrey said when she posted the results to her Instagram, other people found it humorous too. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more responses,” she said. “I think people would have been less likely to reach out to me if I was posting that I had just gotten engaged.”

The questionnaire, which started at Stanford University, has been an annual tradition since Fall Quarter 2020, when its first NU iteration was released. Participants are paired using a secret algorithm that compares people based on their responses to personality-based questions. 

Like the Humphreys, Weinberg sophomore Austin Moy was paired with someone close to him. In his case, it was a friend he’s known since his junior year of high school. 

He said he and his match would be incompatible because they disagree on a lot of topics. Moy said he believes he was matched with his friend due to their similar backgrounds, as opposed to other factors. 

“I feel like they treat queer people differently than straight people,” he said. 

This year, Moy said the questions — which were pared down from the previous year — felt geared toward heterosexual couples and heteronormative standards for a relationship, impacting the quality of LGBTQ+ matches.

While he wasn’t expecting anything from participating this year except “silly little vibes,” Moy said his Marriage Pact match was “sad” about getting paired with him. 

“I just laughed, to be honest,” Moy said about seeing the result. “‘This is actually so funny,’ that’s what I thought.”

Moy noted that the Marriage Pact was significantly shorter this year as opposed to last fall. Questions this year asked hopefuls to rank their intelligence compared to other NU students and share attitudes toward sex.

Weinberg freshman Kevin Hu also got paired with someone in his friend group. While he wasn’t disappointed, he did find it a little awkward to be matched with someone he knew. 

“I guess it was surprising that it was someone I knew already,” he said. “I feel like the whole point of the Marriage Pact is you meet someone new, and I already knew this person.”

Hu said he has no idea why he was matched with his friend. The coincidence hasn’t come up in conversation, he said.

Like Hu, Caroline Humphrey is unsure what answers led to her getting someone so close to her on Oct. 24. She guessed that it had to do with their similar backgrounds and values. 

Even if she didn’t get a romantic match, she said she can see why Marriage Pact chose her twin as a friend match.

“She is one of my best friends, so I’m not surprised,” she said. “The algorithm was spot-on.” 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @beatricedvilla

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