We Fell In Love with the Datamatch Supreme Cupids And We’re Still Not Over It

By Ellen S. Deng

It’s the spring semester! The sun is shining! The birds are singing! There’s ice literally everywhere! But at least not in your heart ;) That’s right baby, Datamatch season is here. As one of the only Harvard traditions that survived — and thrived — throughout the pandemic, it’s back again to bring us love, that perfect pset buddy, or free Berryline with your new best friend.

To get the scoop on all things Datamatch, we sat down with Supreme Cupids Melissa W. Kwan ’22 and Katherine Y. Zhu ’23, two true professionals on romance, humor, and ~top secret algorithms~. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or still waiting to lose your Datamatch virginity, we’ve got your guide on returning fav features, new surprises, and why this kooky survey continues to be our personal favorite tradition<3

Katherine Y. Zhu '23 (left) and Melissa W. Kwan '22 (right), Datamatch 22 Supreme Cupids
Katherine Y. Zhu '23 (left) and Melissa W. Kwan '22 (right), Datamatch 22 Supreme Cupids By Courtesy of Datamatch

The Basics

For our freshmen and jaded upperclassmen readers, here’s how Datamatch works in three easy steps:

1) Fill out a cute little quiz.

2) Get a list of algorithmically endorsed matches on Valentine’s Day.

3) Go on a date with free food, courtesy of Datamatch.

Basically, it’s your time to go on some adorable platonic OR romantic dates with other Harvard students! Plus, if you don’t have Valentine’s plans, it’s a great excuse to get free food with someone else who also doesn’t have plans ;) And who knows what will happen? In Zhu’s words, Datamatch is all about “genuine human connection,” and they’re here to help you find love, friendship, free food, or whatever you’re looking for this Valentine’s Day.

If you’re looking to throw a little spice into the algorithm this year, two fan favorite features are returning: Crush Roulette and Search Match.

Crush Roulette lets you tip the algorithm in favor of true love (or dastardly schemes). Put two people that you think are meant to be together in the Crush Roulette feature, and wait to “see if the algorithm is in your favor on February 14th,” as Zhu put it. However, putting two names in Crush Roulette is no guarantee that they’ll match, Kwan says, to avoid exposing who may or may not have put a name in the Roulette (and so you sneaky Harvard students can’t game the system!). As for how it affects the secret sauce of the algorithm, “You’ll get the most bump if you both mutually put each other as your Crush, but if a lot of people ship you two, then that will also provide a boost. Your best bet, though, is putting yourself with someone and them putting you,” according to Kwan. So believe in yourself and shoot your shot!

Want to know if your dhall crush has been thinking about you too? Search Match is similar to Crush Roulette, but less random. If you Search Match a user, and they Search Match you as well, you’ll receive a match. And if they don’t Search Match you back, they’ll never know that you did — keeping your scheming a secret forever!

What’s New?

Still not sold? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of new features to keep you on the edge of your seat. What if we told you that Datamatch could tell you why you’re single, and that the algorithm knows everything about you? Well, their new feature isn’t quite that good, but it’s pretty damn close.

This year, Datamatch is introducing a feature that will infer what your own red flags are based on your survey responses. In Kwan’s words, you can choose not to click on it, but “the more you know, the more you know.” If you’re not ready to know the truth, though, Kwan assured us that you can choose not to click that button, and live in sweet, sweet denial. Or, if you’re on the radical transparency wave, they’ll be shareable too — like your own cursed Spotify Wrapped. Though we can’t guarantee that the algorithm won’t roast you for being a guy whose name starts with J…

Exposing your deepest personal flaws isn’t the only new feature that Datamatch is offering this year. If you’re really feeling a connection with your Datamatch date, you can enter to win a free second date at a ~fancier~ location, like Judy’s Bay. We’re not saying free sushi will guarantee that you’ll end up together, but it certainly can’t hurt.

On a more serious note, Datamatch is upping its security features with a “Report User” function. If your match is sending chats that make you uncomfortable for any reason, you can report a match and they will be unceremoniously yeeted from your life.

The Blocklist is also returning this year, so users can choose up to 10 mortal enemies, ex-lovers, and section kids that are guaranteed to be excluded from their possible matches by the algorithm. Shoutout to Datamatch for securing both our love life AND our privacy.

Datamatch Tells Us How Love Works

So you’ve got all the cold hard facts about Datamatch, but how do you know when you’ve found *the one*? You know, the person who will actually match you back and whisk you away to the shared Jefe’s nachos of your dreams?* Let’s dive into the deepest mysteries of the human heart from the Supreme Cupids themselves.

*Flyby can provide no guarantees about finding you The One, but we can guarantee that actually matching with people is a good start…

The following interviews have been edited for clarity.

RLR: Are there any favorite Datamatch success stories?

KYZ: My personal favorite is always the one between Anna and Ryan. So, Ryan was Supreme Cupid for Datamatch 2020. But essentially, Ryan decided that he needed to put a time limit on himself for when he needed to find a girlfriend. Very romantic. He basically made a dinner reservation for Valentine’s Day with no idea who the other person would be and told himself, ‘This is my deadline.’ So, Anna was on the [Datamatch] team at the time, and they were already friends and she was kind of teasing him about this whole Valentine’s thing. And then, Datamatch comes out, and they both Search Matched each other. So they use the dinner reservation that Ryan made, and they’re still together!

PAJ: For all our freshmen out there, what’s the most ~romantic~ spot in the Yard to take your date?

MWK: In the Yard?

KYZ: I’d say the warm spot by Canaday.

MWK: Uh, I would say, like, one of the basements of a dorm. Maybe Thayer?

PAJ + RLR: Yikes…

KYZ: Hey, at least Thayer’s one of the nicer ones!

MWK: Yeah, I was not gonna say Canaday.

KYZ: And definitely not Matthews.

MWK: No, but I’d say this is strictly worse than anywhere else you could take them. Do not take your date to the Yard.

Tragic. And here we thought John Harvard’s foot was the start of every great love affair. :,(

RLR: Have you ever considered creating a Datamatch feature to help you find someone to help you complete the Three Traditions?

MWK: Oh, what do you mean by that?

RLR: So, there’s three traditions, and two of them are very independent —

PAJ: But they could be more fun with a friend!

RLR: Right. And the last one is, uh, more of a partner activity, one might say.

[prolonged silence as MWK and KYZ consider the legal ramifications]

KYZ: I don’t know if we would be, like, explicit about it. [laughs] Any possible consequences of completing that said third, uh, item, we are not liable for it. I guess all we can say is there are a lot of things you can do with your matches. There are also a lot of things you can do when you’re a senior and fill out Match 22 this year!

MWK: Yeah, there are formal date options, and informal date options…

KYZ: So, we are not suggesting anything…

MWK: No, not at all.

KYZ: But again, the world is your oyster.

Duly noted. We will keep petitioning for a DTFITS feature.

PAJ: For the students who have given up on love in this cold, brick-filled university, how do you convince them to sign up for Datamatch?

KYZ: You’ve got nothing to lose, just go for it.

MWK: If your expectations are super low, that’s actually when the results are gonna happen. So you should go in not expecting too much — just do it for fun, answer things that feel true to you, and then someone who actually has the same sense of humor as you might actually be your match.

KYZ: It’s free, the survey is really funny — we hope you laugh at it because we do so much when we write it — and even if you don’t end up getting something out of it in the end, there’s always free food!

MWK: We cannot emphasize this enough, click match even if you’re only semi-interested because then you can get free food, and we’re trying to give out more and more of that this year!

We don’t know about you, but this interview had us headed straight to the survey.

Well folks, this sure sounds like true love to us (at least, between us and the Supreme Cupids… second date soon?). The Datamatch survey is officially open NOW until Valentine’s Day, so don’t let this iconic Harvard tradition pass you by – Fill! It! Out! We’ll be manifesting free food, great matches, and a love life spicier than Pete Davidson’s for each of you this Datamatch season<3

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