1. My parents grew up a few streets apart and played together all the time. They went to different schools and one or the other was always in a relationship or crushing on someone so neither of them really saw each other as an option until they were both dumped on the very same day when they were 17/19 and decided they’d get married at 30.
They’ve been together for 24 years.
2. My best friend since middle school and I made this deal after I got out of an abusive relationship. We ended up falling in love and getting married less than two years after that and our fourth anniversary is coming up.
3. My husband and I were best friends in middle and high school. After multiple failed teenage relationships we made a pact to get married at 35 if we hadn’t found anyone yet. We lost touch in our early twenties for about ten years. Each with a child and failed marriages under our belts, we reconnected in our early thirties, realized how amazing we are for each other, and have been happily together since. It was a year or two into our relationship when a mutual friend reminded us of our pact… We didn’t get married until 36, but go us?
4. My husband and I met playing FFXI (an MMO) when we were about 14 years old. We lived one state over, and became good friends – chatting online and on the phone mostly. When I was going through a typical exaggerated end of the world break up where I claimed to be unloveable and alone forever, he was trying to comfort me and said, “if we’re single at 24, we can get married together.” I reminded him of that a bunch of times in the future when both of us went through bad relationships.
At age 20, finally both single and capable of traveling, we went on our first date. It was lovely. We went to a museum and one of the best steak restaurant in the city – however, we totally couldn’t afford the steak. Did two years long distance (USA – JAPAN). Continued dating, married at 26 (two years late!), and went back to that steak restaurant and got the most expensive steak.
Still married and happy.
5. I met someone once who did this for tax purposes. They were already good friends and planned on divorcing if they ever met someone they wanted to marry
He was confused as to why his relationships never lasted past him saying he was married.
6. I know a couple that did this, she left her ex-boyfriend to be with the guy. They each promised to marry one another if they weren’t in a relationship when they reach a certain age.
The ex-boyfriend, who is my cousin, was not happy when he got out of prison and saw his “girl” married to someone and has a child. My cousin isn’t smart and wants a paternity test to prove the child is his, for the record he has been in prison for 6 years and the child is 4.
7. I had this with a girl. The 30 years of age deadline. We hooked up at 25 and got married at 30. Still together.
8. Said we’d get married if we were both single and 40.
Fell in love anyway. Got married at 29. Still together at 31.
Love of my life. Sometimes though, waiting til 40 still seems like it would have been the right move.
9. I uhhh, married him. We were best friends and joked about getting married if we were still single when I hit 30. Fell in love when I was 22 instead!
10. In high school she threw out the “if I’m not married by the time I’m 40” thing and I volunteered for it. I bet she doesn’t even remember that. Today we’re almost 40 and we’re amazing together. Maybe we’ll carry out that old plan by accident.
11. Been together for 10 years since we were 18/19, when we were 13/14 joked that if neither of us had married by 30 we would marry each other. He turns 30 this year.
12. Me and my ex said this before we started dating as a joke, carried it on through the relationship and even said it after we broke up because we are still close. I’ve got another year to see if that happens, hopefully not because her BF is a nice dude.
13. Not successful but I think it’s worth mentioning. I made a pact with a boyfriend I had at 17. We said if we somehow broke up but still weren’t married by 21, we would marry each other. (Yes, looking back, 21 is insanely young but it seemed so much older when I was 17.)
We broke up 2 months later and lost contact. A few years later, my parents and I moved to a new home. The person they sold our previous home to contacted us to let us know that a note addressed to me was left on their door. The note was from my ex, asking me to call him. By this time, I was in a relationship with someone else but I was curious so I called him. He asked me to meet him for lunch so I did.
While at lunch, we caught each other up on our lives and then he brought up the pact, which I had forgotten about until then. That’s when it occurred to me that he had JUST turned 21. I reminded him that the way we broke up did not leave the door open for a future together, and that I simply wasn’t interested. He kept persisting and I brought up that I’m in relationship that I’m happy in and he still wouldn’t let it go. After that day, he pestered me online for a few weeks but eventually let it go.
The thing that I don’t understand is why he would try to make it work after the events that unfolded after our break up. I had a “friend” who pestered me with personal questions about my relationship right after the breakup. What I didn’t know is that she had secretly called him on my cell phone so that he could listen in on the conversation. However, he didn’t answer so the entire conversation recorded to his answering machine… about how he says his “penis is only 4 inches…from the ground” but it’s actually smaller than my thumb. And how he lasted less than 10 seconds and as soon as he came he said, “I’m done” and got up. His parents are the ones that heard the message and then played it for him. He called me after to tell me about it and I shrugged it off, so clearly he knew about the message, so I will never understand why he’d want to get back together after that.
14. When I was seventeen, I had a friend, B, who was basically a twin in personality. Of course I was attracted to her (and yet hated myself, go figure), but I never said anything.
We grew up in a small town and attended a high school with only 220 people, so everyone knew we were tight. We were best buds, sharing memes before memes were a thing, and generally being disruptive in an unthreatening kind of way.
• One day, we stole a municipal “No Dumping” sign that was put up somewhere because she wanted to hang it in her bathroom.
• At a school dance, during one of those insufferable nineties slow-dance songs, I spun her around—like centripetally, with legs horizontal to the floor—while the other kids were having their awkward hormonal moments.
• She used to come to my bedroom window with buttercups (which was her nickname for me). I once joked it was like Clarissa Explains it All, and she rightly observed that it was different because my window was ground level because I lived in the basement.
• Someone we barely knew once asked me permission to ask her out, and to see if she’d ever mentioned him to me, because people knew I would know.
Anyway, the point is, we were close. One night, after joking about Bert being evil, we were talking about relationships and how neither one of us was particularly eager to be in one. (Yeah. I liked her. I was a coward. I was a friend and not eager to screw that up, so I played along.)
At some point marriage came up and we decided together that if there came a point when we were both thirty, and we weren’t seeing anyone, we’d get married.
I think we were serious, too. I know this because we wrote it on the roll of pink toilet paper on which we would scribe all the interesting things we did and would do. (It’s a long story.) The things contained on that scroll were sacred to us. I still have it in my keepsake box, somewhere.
I never did tell her how I felt about her.
Alas, her thirtieth birthday rolled around (she was a year younger than me), and we were both in relationships. I don’t think we ever seriously brought it up. We haven’t talked in a long time, but I wonder if she remembers that particular pledge we made?
I consider this to be a successful relationship because it fulfilled the purpose it needed to at the time—we were close and it was a way to face a scary future. It was sort of an informal pledge to stick together and see it through. And in that, it worked.
We found other people to be with in the end, and that was probably for the best. Yet, every once in a while, I wonder what might have been if we’d made good on it, and if our lives would have been better or worse for it.
15. We both worked at BEST BUY and we were working overtime one weekend when she said that if we weren’t married to someone else by the end of the year then we would get married. Well we did end up getting married.
16. She got married to someone else and so did I. We don’t talk anymore.
17. Not successful. She asked me to marry her by 30 when we were both 19. I said sure because I had a huge crush on her anyway. We dated briefly for a summer before she went back to college and have been good friends the rest of the time. She ended up becoming a catholic sister after college (she takes similar vows of celibacy and poverty as a nun would, but lives “in the world” as opposed to being secluded in a convent) and works for the church in finance.
We still see each other, are both in our late 30s. We have talked about it and she does admit to wanting in the past to be with me romantically again, that I am the only person she has been intimate with, but that she believes strongly in what she is doing and her vows. I love her dearly as a person and don’t think of her romantically anymore, but it would be hard for me to say no if she left the church and wanted to see me again.
18. We met when we were 5 years old. We had a crush on each other, but we both switched schools after 4 years, and lost communication. We met again in 9th grade and became good friends, but he had a gf. For years every time one of us was single, the other was in a relationship. So we stayed as best friends, and only kissed once during senior year. Eventually, after a bad breakup, he tells me if we hit 30 and we’re still single we should get married. I agreed.
Fast forward to 10 years after that, and we’ve been together for almost 2 years. Not married, but still very happy.
19. We agreed many years ago if we were still single at 40, we’d get married. Had a 1 year relationship with her at 30, and it ended badly. We’ve spoken 3 times since then, and I’m in a relationship I’d rather not be in almost 10 years down the line. She is still single, and I wish I could go back and fix the problems.
20. I’ll answer in a couple years… friend and I are planning to do this.
21. I made this pact with a very good friend. We’re both in our separate relationships that are both going very strong, and we still talk very often (she’s in another country so meeting up is kinda hard). I don’t think either of us ever believed we would have needed the pact, but at the time it was nice knowing that we weren’t gonna end up alone.
22. Not me, but my two friends who made this pact both turn the appropriate age in March of this year and I can’t WAIT to remind them.
23. I made this pact with a girl. She’s really special in my heart although I’ll probably never even see her again. She was one of the few girls of my life that I felt I really was in love with.
24. I had it set up with a coworker. We agreed that when I hit 30 or 35, we would get married. I ended up getting married 3 years before.
25. Jokingly had this arrangement with my best friend from high school after a few bad relationships; we would get married at 25 if we were both still single. Well she’s been happily married and I’m turning 26 in two weeks.
26. Not successful at this time: We never made a pact or set a deadline, but we’ve been joking about it for the past 20 years or so. Problem is, I live in a place she’d never move & she lives in a place I’d never move, about 8000 miles away. We still manage to talk almost every day even though we’re 11 hours apart. We both think it’s pretty funny. Maybe when we turn 80.
27. I don’t know if this counts, but two years ago my best friend was thinking about leaving for the navy (he hadn’t gotten the score he wanted on the test previously and decided it was time to try again) and I was a little upset he wanted to leave. We decided that he’d go serve the 4 years then he would come back and we’d get married and move on from there. He decided to stay and marry me instead of joining. Got married last September!
28. Made this deal with a guy I dated in high school. The timing was always off when we tried to rekindle. Eventually we both started seeing other people, I got married and he planned to do the same. Fast forward two years, to NYE 2019. We are both single and rekindling things, or attempting to. An awkward night plus awkward sex = the end of the mystery of what could have been.
29. I knew a couple that sort of did this. One went on to get his PhD and they broke up because the work required would have ruined a relationship. “But if the PhD thing doesn’t work out, we can start dating again.”
The other stared dating, got married, had a kid, got divorced because the guy was abusive, started dating again, got married again, got divorced because he cheated on her.
Years later, they reconnect on FB. Her kid has started college at this point. The PhD thing didn’t work out for the guy, so he went into IT, but never married. She reminded him that he said that if the PhD thing didn’t work out, then they could start dating again. So she packed up, and moved to his city.
When I last saw them, they had been together for seven years.
30. Not successful story. Met a guy in high school, we made the pact (I still have the “written contract”) for 30. We dated on and off for 10 years. I got married at 28, and he got married at 30. We still talk now and again. He is married overseas with a new baby and I have 2 kids. His wife hates me.