"The goods are odd but the odds are good," or so goes the saying about the dating scene at the University. But the stories of three couples, all graduating students, who have been together since their first year, defy the statistical averages.
Shannon and Matt
One of the few married undergrad couples here at the University, Shannon Corbitt and Matt Martino first met during their O-week. Flint house buddies, friendship quickly evolved into love as the year developed.
Together since November of their first year, Corbitt and Martino have seen their share of ups and downs and have used several methods to counter the typical ills of relationships. Talking, walking away, and breaking up-"but only for a day or two"-has landed this couple right in the middle of holy matrimony. Married this January, Corbitt and Martino say marriage has definitely spiced up the relationship and created "some pretty funny stories."
Corbitt and Martino rely on a steady formula for talking about current and future issues concerning their relationship. "Mannon," as they are affectionately called by friends, have never spent a summer together since they've been dating, relying on calling and e-mailing when they couldn't be together.
For the two, there was no reason to not get married. Religion was a motivating factor, as Corbitt wanted to live together after college, but her religion needed the "I do" before they could start picking out paint samples. Since both are heading to Pennsylvania next year for grad school and work, they decided that marriage couldn't wait and getting married while still in school was ideal.
"Getting married at Bond chapel and then the reception being at the Quad Club made it much easier for all of our friends to attend," Corbitt said.
Martino concurred. "It was a lot cheaper, too." Chicago couples, both current students and alum, can be married at Bond Chapel for discounted rates.
The happy couple has one piece of advice for anyone getting married: take dance lessons before your wedding.
"Our first dance was kind of a disaster," they laughed.
John and Jessica
Like Corbitt and Martino, John Chen and Jessica Hanser met their first year in their dorm. The two found themselves at a crossroads one fateful Friday night during fall quarter of their first year. To kiss or not to kiss was the question on both of their minds that night, until Chen made the first move. After their first kiss, they both agree that it was smooth sailing from there, although Chen still thinks that Hanser liked him more.
"Well, I did think he was foreign...he was known as a mystical figure around the house," Hanser said. "I just thought that all the time he spent in my room was for help on his poems...I had no idea he liked me." Chen is actually from the Chicago suburbs.
Although Hanser and Chen have managed to spend most of their summers together, last summer was the true test of their relationship-Hanser was living in Germany.
The couple will be facing the long-distance relationship again next year when Hanser, who is the recipient of the Donnelley Scholarship, moves to Cambridge, England, for a one-year Masters Program. Chen will be traveling, most likely to China for six months, and working in the UC hospitals, but they have no intention of breaking up.
"I want her to buy a Webcam," Chen said, half joking.
A fairly stable couple, Hanser and Chen are not that worried about the distance. They have never broken up seriously before.
"John is a very patient person, who puts up with my mercurial behavior. We also have similar interests in that we're neurotic Reg rats," Hanser said.
Both Hanser and Chen think marriage is a distinct possibility, although they said there is plenty of time to discuss that option and have no immediate plans for marriage. Their close friends joke that they already are kind of married.
Kamille and Mike
Whoever said that economics was not a hot major has clearly never met Kamille Curylo and Mike Delcour, two economics concentrators here. Through Broadview bonds and economics problem sets, Delcour and Curylo grew so close that they eventually found themselves engaged. Fast workers, this couple got together the third day of O-week.
Delcour confided that his main strategy for landing Curylo was leaving his coat in her room. A lot. Apparently it worked.
Curylo attributed their enduring relationship to the fact that they never scream at each other. "We talk for hours and hours when things go wrong," she said. Delcour jumped in to clarify that it's usually his fault anyway.
Besides their economics and Broadview bonds, the couple revels in the fact that they are both only children. "We understand that only children grow up a bit spoiled, so we both make sacrifices for each other," Curylo said.
These bonds and many others are what led Delcour to propose to Curylo last summer.
"I started thinking about asking Kamille to marry me about halfway through third year," Delcour said, "and then finally decided to do it when I visited her last August." Delcour added that he called her parents first to ask if he could marry her.
According to Delcour, Curylo's mom was ecstatic but her dad didn't respond for about 10 minutes. Mr. Curylo eventually approved, however, and Delcour flew to Chicago to ask Curylo's hand in marriage.
When Curylo picked him up at the airport, Delcour worried that when she hugged him she would find the ring in his pocket.
When Delcour finally popped the question, Curylo said she was surprised.
"I was so shocked, but of course I said yes," she said. "I knew the first week I met him, that I could see myself with him for a long time. I also had to give him credit for picking out such a beautiful ring and saving the money for it."
The couple has yet to set a date, saying that they are waiting to formalize their plans for next year. Curylo will be working in banking in Chicago while Delcour is still deciding between attending law school or working.