Dating Apps? Nah, Datamatch

By Hana Rehman

Are you feeling lonely? Are you looking for a new friend or something more *wink wink*? Well have no fear, Datamatch is here!

Datamatch is a matchmaking app that was founded at Harvard in 1994 where students can opt to fill out a survey to find love or even maybe a ~friend~. Every year, the Algorithm manages to “match” 50,000 students, spread over 40 campuses, to someone they can hopefully tolerate. Also, you have a pretty good chance of matching with your crush, seeing that 80 percent of Harvard undergraduates participate in this opportunity to shoot their shot.

We sat down with this year’s cupids, Chelsea E. Guo ’24 and Alex V. Cheng ’24 to get the inside scoop on the survey most Harvard students are guaranteed to fill out.

The Breakdown:

Maybe you’ve been living under a rock (or a pile of chocolate), but if you’re not really sure how Datamatch works, we’ve got you covered ;)

CEG: What happens is on Feb. 7, which is coming up very soon, we send out this really funny survey that has a bunch of inside jokes and cultural references. People take it, they fill it out throughout the week, they play with our website, and then on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, they get a list of 10 algorithmically selected matches, and they get little coupons and they get to go on free dates with people in Harvard Square.

AVC: For those people that are already cuffed, they also have a friendship option as well. So, if they want to just look for a Datamatch and get algorithmically matched for platonic friendship, that’s definitely an option for them to sign up as well.

What You Need to Know:

So maybe you’re thinking, ‘Huh, how can I take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to finally not be lonely anymore?’ Here are two features the Cupids recommend:

CEG: One of them is Crush Roulette. So that’s the thing where if you put in two people’s emails — it could be your own email, or it could be your friend's email, and their crush too — you get a slightly higher chance of getting matched by the algorithm. So yeah, it’s super fun. Like, people have been making jokes about it. We always get asked, can you just hardcode my match for me — which we can’t, but that’s the closest option: to use Crush Roulette.

CEG: The other thing is our block list. So sometimes people are like, “I don’t want to be with my toxic ex,” or “I’m so afraid I’m going to run into so-and-so,” you know, a sneaky link or whatever. So yeah, you can put in somebody’s email on the block list as well. And then we’ll make sure that you don't get matched with them — so, safety precaution.

What You Have Been Waiting For:

If you’ve been at Harvard and single for a while, you probably knew all that already, so here’s what you’ve actually clicked on this article for:

HEK: Do you have any dating advice for the people?

CEG: Alex is actually dating one of his Datamatch matches.

AVC: I feel like Datamatch isn’t like a super serious thing, and that kind of helps with dating.

AVC: At Harvard, people are always like, “Oh, dating takes up too much time. I don’t want to commit to one person because it just takes too much time and I don’t want to put that investment in.” But I feel like dating should be viewed as more of a fun thing. It's not necessarily some super serious thing. Like my current girlfriend, I matched with her and she was, I think she was like my last match. But I decided to reach out anyway. And we’d known each other beforehand. But yeah, just shoot your shot, like it doesn’t really matter. And like, no one really cares so you might as well just try — it never hurts to try.

CEG: Yeah, I think that’s one of the most important takeaways. You never know what’s going to happen. So don’t be afraid to shoot your shot.

AK: What does love mean to you?

CEG: I have been very happy to have been surrounded by so much love in Datamatch, to be completely honest. As leads, Alex and I have been working really hard to try to make sure that our team dynamic and that our members and our leads really enjoy the work that they’re doing. And honestly, I’m feeling a lot of love in Datamatch. I feel like we all take care of each other very well. We work very hard together. I feel love in the not romantic sense, right, in a more platonic sense, or taking care of each other and really supporting each other with everything that we’re doing. That is a definition of love that I’ve been feeling a lot this year.

AVC: Yeah, I think that's a pretty great definition.

HEK: If you could describe your type with a Harvard house, which house would it be?

CEG: Oh. Mine is gonna be a hot take. I love Currier and I love Currier dining hall. Everybody gives it so much hate because they say it looks old. But I think it looks very warm. It looks very inviting. I love the green. So I would say my type is totally Currier, specifically Currier dining hall.

AVC: I think I'm gonna go with Adams because I'm in Adams and my girlfriend also got lotteried into Adams after we started dating. So I think I have to go with Adams, or else it would not be right.

So that’s a wrap on our Datamatch coverage this year featuring the lovely Cupids. Be bold, make the first move, and stay safe out there. May the algorithm treat you well and the odds be ever in your favor.

Flyby BlogFlyby CampusFlyby Front FeatureFlyby DatamatchFlyby FrontFeatures and Series

Harvard Today

The latest in your inbox.

Sign Up

Follow Flyby online.