An Initial Encounter

Author: Lilly Ashworth

Marriage Pact Graphic"
Kiaya Jones

Nov. 6. Another Monday on the campus of Notre Dame. This day, however, was not like most. At approximately 8:30 p.m. on the 310th day of the year, fate was decided.

The Marriage Pact results were in.

After a grueling wait of seven days, students across campus were first met with the initials of their match when they checked their emails. These two letters were enough to drive people mad. Computer science majors were hacking into the code to see the full name, Arts and Letters students brought out Bananagrams to see which names they could form and the Mendoza kids were willing to set fire to the Main Building if it meant finding their match sooner.

Eventually, it happened. Students flocked to their email, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, BeReal and — in the unfortunate cases where this was the only way to find someone — LinkedIn. One name and a NetID were the only hopes some people had at finding their person. Any and all homework was abandoned. The next 24 hours were crucial if something were to actually happen with a match. And as messages were drafted, friendships were tested and chaos was taking over every dorm, all was quiet for those who never even filled out the survey. But they might be the lucky ones.

The horror stories that have been shared before class, over meals and even at SYRs make the Marriage Pact algorithm seem archaic, a mockery of people’s true desires. What do you mean that I have a 98.7% match with a finance bro?

So, why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through it? Especially for women, don’t we deserve more than being given a “friendship” match? In the words of SZA, “It’s cuffing season.”

All I want for Christmas is someone who will decorate a gingerbread house with me, take me ice skating and then drink a hot chocolate while I have a peppermint mocha. Is that too much to ask? The holidays are approaching quickly. I’m not asking for you to invite me over for Thanksgiving; I just want to live out my Pinterest board dreams of wearing matching pajamas while baking cookies.

We had hopes. We had dreams. We had an amazing SNL skit that changed our perspective on dating during the winter months and it’s all for naught.

As for the Marriage Pact algorithm, count your days. THIS is why people are so afraid of AI. THIS is why we need to go back to human matchmaking and courting.

If you or a loved one was impacted by the Marriage Pact, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Look out for a support group as well.