The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Notre Dame Marriage Pact amasses support

| Thursday, November 16, 2023

While some spouses meet each other through school, work, family friends or mutual connections, others may meet through the Notre Dame Marriage Pact.

Back for its third year on campus, the Marriage Pact recently concluded its annual matching efforts with 3,711 submissions. The pact is an initiative that invites students to fill out an online form to later be matched with someone similar to them — “your best backup plan.”

“I love the Marriage Pact,” senior Nicole Baumann said. “Like, I love making it a thing. I send it to all my guy friends. I think the questions asked are super funny. I just think it’s a fun phenomenon at Notre Dame, and so I’ve always been into it.”

The Marriage Pact includes about 50 questions which determine the percentage of compatibility between two matches. Coming in with a 93% match, Baumann is currently dating her sophomore year Marriage Pact.

“It wasn’t until like a couple months later at a formal that someone told me like, ‘Oh yeah, your Marriage Pact’s here,’” Baumann said. “So I went up to him and I said, ‘Hi, I’m Nicole. I’m your Marriage Pact. Do you want to dance?’”

Baumann became friends with her Marriage Pact when they met two years ago, and the two just recently began dating. Baumann also has two friends who are dating their Marriage Pacts. As a result, she thinks everyone should fill out the pact.

“But I think like, at the worst, it’s just like you get the person and you already know them or maybe you know that you don’t want to date them, you don’t reach out,” Baumann said. “But for most people, I find that it’s either like a fun date or a funny story, and both of those things I think are positive.”

Sophomore Libby Meister has filled out the Marriage Pact her freshman and sophomore years, and she encourages others to “do it for the plot.” Last year, she received a “So how’s life?” Instagram direct message from her Marriage Pact, and she has since gained a familiar face in her classes.

Meister said the pact serves as an opportunity to make a new friend.

“You can discover something about yourself, and you and this person clearly have something in common, and that’s something you can recognize in each other and maybe both grow as people whether or not it turns out to be a romantic relationship or not,” Meister said. “Like there are valuable relationships that you can find from Marriage Pacts that aren’t necessarily just romantic.”

The pact was created by two Stanford University students in 2017 for a Market Design class and has since spread to many other colleges in the U.S. Freshman Josh Tighe, an international student from Ireland, found the pact to be interesting because colleges in Ireland would not do something like this, he said.

“Just the fact that we wouldn’t have something like that at home, so I thought it was funny filling it out,” Tighe said. “Like some of the questions were just really personal. But I still did it because I thought it was funny.”

Deacon Peter Puleo, a teacher at St. Joseph Grade School and former assistant rector of Sorin Hall, said the Marriage Pact seems “relatively harmless” and could be a good way to be meet someone. Puleo called upon his advice from conversations with Sorin residents last year.

“I would always encourage them never think about a relationship in terms of a list of attributes or answers to questions,” Puleo said. “As in like, ‘Well does she have, et cetera, et cetera?’ Because, you are not ready to marry anybody through a relationship.”

“You grow, to be ready to marry that person. And that person, no matter who they are, will change according to their relationship with you,” he said. “You’re marrying a person, not a list of attributes.”

Tags: , , , ,

About Grace Tadajweski

Contact Grace