NU Match aims to make college sweetheart fantasies come true.

Illustration by Chloe Cohen

If you knew you could find love by sending a $3 payment and completed Google form to three undergrads from the Garage, would you do it? Would you risk it all?

Third-years Alex Halimi and Selin Yazici and fourth-year Arno Murciai wanted to help build romantic connections, but mostly, they wanted Northwestern students to stop being so fucking lonely and lame.

The assignment in their entrepreneurship class was to make as much money as possible in two hours with only $5.  e result: a pop-up matchmaking service that instantly brought the Venmo payments rolling in.

“We were like, ‘Okay, we love being able to bring people together and being able to connect intimately across campus with someone that you don’t know, and how cool would that be if it was spontaneous?’” Yazici says.

The students created a solution for people who are tired of the endless Tinder stream of poli sci bros from Friday discussion, girls who are Virgos but swear they’re chill, everyone in SESP and bored couples who only have sex with their eyes closed, in the dark, and still think you’d want to join. On Valentine’s Day this year, interested students  filled out a survey with questions like, “What’s your ideal date: Netflix and chill or going to the zoo?”

But the matchmakers keep the specifics of their decision-
making process largely a secret. “If you have somebody that envisions themselves in 10 years in a house in Evanston with three kids and a golden retriever, we’re not going to match them with a person that wants to be in Brazil, on a bike,
barefoot,” Halimi says.

Results of the most recent survey show that the largest demographic was female- identifying second-years, who probably aren’t yet jaded by how ugly all the straight men on this campus are.

Rather than just swiping left or right on dozens of different profiles, all NU Match users receive is a phone number, leaving some users with yet another source of crippling anxiety: deciding who will be the first to send the text.

“All my friends were asking me, ‘What’s the  first message I send?’” Halimi says. “‘Do you send a heyy, with two y’s?’”

Third-year Kumail Syedain sees NU Match as more of a game than a dating app.

“That’s why I didn’t really have too much hesitation in texting the person. There’s nothing to lose from NU Match,” Syedain says.
Though it may seem low-stakes, the payoff for winning is incredibly high. It’s the ultimate game of roulette. If you hit the right numbers, you could meet the partner who will wait at the end of the aisle for you, and if not, you’re only out $3.

“We have a ‘Last Words’ section [on the survey],”Halimi says. “For example, ‘NU Match brought me to a crazy breakup. Let’s go again.’”

*Additional reporting by Sammi Boas.