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How to marry or avoid your algorithmic soulmate

October 1, 2021

This piece represents the opinion of the author .

Editor’s Note, Thursday, August 25, at 7:15 a.m.: Another student from the Class of 2022 contributed to this column, but their name was removed from the by-line for extenuating circumstances. If concerned, please email orient@bowdoin.edu.

Sophie Lipset

The moment we’ve all been YikYakking about has finally arrived (no, it’s not the true story about what happened with Randy Nichols the other night). Now that you’ve finally received your Bowdoin Marriage Pact Match, it’s time to move on to the next step—but what step is that, exactly?

Fortunately for you, we, the Love Doctors, are self-proclaimed “experts” in this area and have listed some possible scenarios below to help ease your stress.

What to do if your match is:

Your platonic best friend: laugh it off and recognize that you work best as friends…just kidding…unless…

Your crush: in this case, you’ve either won the lottery or rigged the algorithm. Either way, congrats—taking that next step just got a bit easier! Write up a slightly flirty, slightly awkward email and avoid mentioning that you don’t actually believe in love. Whoops.

Someone you have never heard of before: run a quick background check with your friends just to make sure they’re not crazy, then go for it. In the first conversation, though, it may be best to avoid the conversation that your 99 percent compatibility is based on the fact that you both do “hard” drugs.

An acquaintance: get a meal with them! Likely you already have some common ground, and this is a great way to explore what could be a good friendship—or more. Unfortunately for you, this means that you may actually have to say “hello” when you pass them on the quad rather than pretending to text your mom.

Your roommate: maybe it’s time for that mega-bed you’ve been thinking about. Or maybe just time to recognize that the mysterious Res-Lifers that match all of the roommates may actually know what they’re doing. Either way, you’ll still be sleeping together, so play nice—and maybe now they’ll let the room get dirty (hehehe).

Your TA, pre-O leader, etc.: these are a little trickier, but our best advice is that power dynamics can be hot—but remember what happened to Jan and Michael. Do not be Jan in this scenario. Also, don’t be Michael. Man, did that relationship go poorly.

Actually in a committed relationship: well, this is a tough one and kind of a bummer, but still reach out because it could foster a great friendship, or create an exciting love triangle. Get them to set you up with their significant other’s match, because at this point the two of you have a LOT in common, and a LOT to be mad about.

Your ex: oof. Give it another shot, or pretend a friend filled out the form in your name because your friends are crazy like that. Also, ask the designers of the program why the f*** they messed up so badly.

Someone you are genuinely not attracted to: well, this one seems rather obvious—don’t actually tell them that. Just say something nice, have an awkward dinner in Thorne (hopefully they’ll at least serve dirt cake) and be on your way. As Janie at Bowdoin, Tiktok’s grandma when it comes to telling us how to eat at 50 percent capacity, says, “Don’t dilly dally.”

The worst: this may be a time to do some serious self-reflection, because it could mean that you are also the worst. Or maybe the algorithm got it wrong. On second thought, it’s definitely that one, so don’t worry about it. For real, don’t feel obligated to spend time with them if you don’t want to.

Your best friend’s ex who is actually super cute and nice and has been flirting with you a lot but you’ve been like “uhhh what the heck am I supposed to do” so you’ve been avoiding them but also forming a crush on them: take a deep breath. Talk to your friend and see how they are feeling. If they are a good friend (this is gonna be a bold claim so get ready) they probably want you to be happy and will keep that in mind when they give you advice. Or, just keep it a secret because that’s easier—forbidden romance is hot and you love when things totally blow up in your face.

In general, the Love Doctors think your best next move is to meet up with your “perfect” match. Even if you filled it out as a joke, you may have more in common with your match than you think, so why waste an opportunity for an algorithmically-guaranteed friend?

You’re welcome for another fire article from the best writing duo since Woodward and Bernstein (thank goodness we didn’t have to talk to someone named Deep Throat, am I right?)


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