College isn’t easy. There’s a lot to feel overwhelmed about – student loans, study drugs, and the scariest thing of all… graduating. On this podcast, we talk to fellow college students about the things that are keeping us up at night. Join us every other Friday for a new episode of All Nighters.
Welcome back to season three of All Nighters! Our host, Lindsey Krill, will be talking to other college students about the things that keep us up at night. At Brown University, there is an online romance frum that has a match-making success rate so rare, it’s almost mythical. Brown Bear Admirers is a Facebook page where students post messages and anonymous compliments inquiring about the relationship status of fellow students. This week I’m sitting down to talk with Carrie Shao and Jordan Fox. In the spirit of Valentines’ day, they’re here to tell me the story of how a single message created a lasting relationship.
Jordan, a first-year med student at Brown, was scrolling on BBA one day, and saw a message that caught his eye.
“There was a post on (Brown Bear Admirers) saying something to the effect of ‘is anyone interested these days in guys who are quiet and don’t like to go out too much, who like to read and keep to themselves? And that was me, I identified with that.”
Jordan saw that Carrie had tagged a friend in the comment section of the post, and her profile photo, which featured a bike path Jordan often likes to go to, caught his eye.
“I clicked on (her profile), and I thought she was cute, but it kind of just stopped there. But after that I kept seeing her around campus, and we tended to eat lunch in the same place at the same time … After that, I thought maybe I should try and see how (BBA) works.”
He posted a message asking if Carrie was single on Valentine’s Day of last year. Carrie soon responded saying she was, but it took Jordan a couple of weeks to message her.
“I was kind of nervous about sending a message, I didn’t want to just starting messaging random people, but through the encouragement of (a friend) … I eventually did send her a message and that’s how we started talking.”
Carrie said that it “really made her day” when she saw his first message, and they kept texting for a few weeks, until Jordan started getting the feeling that he was bothering her. After a hiatus of about two months, the two matched on the dating app Bumble and Jordan asked Carrie on a date.
“I only booked forty minutes for him, because I was having a very busy week, but it ended up being an hour and a half because there were no awkward moments,” Carrie said. “We both felt like it was similar to getting to know someone that you knew already.”
They went on a few more dates, and after just a few weeks they were officially dating. Jordan said he’s not usually the kind of person to approach someone in public, but the anonymity of BBA made it feel safer to put himself out there.
“I don’t know if I would’ve been able to just walk up to her and been like ‘hi, we’ve never met before, but I’m Jordan,’” he said. “But being able to get that step through talking online … there was nothing to lose, I guess.”
Carrie said that the success of her relationship with Jordan has changed her perspective on BBA as a creator of real connections.
“Now when I go on BBA and read a post, I think about the possibility that there’s someone behind (the message) wanting to reach out to someone, just like how our story started,” she said.
BBA may have kickstarted their relationship, but at the end of the day, both Carrie and Jordan feel like their relationship was just meant to be. “We just get along so well, and there’s never a dull moment. I would like to think that without the internet, it would still have been able to come to pass.”