About three years ago, two Kent State University students—Michelle Arendas and Josh Avsec—matched on Tinder. They’ve been messaging ever since, but have never met in person. Now, Tinder has finally stepped in—and is sending them to Hawaii for their first date, Buzzfeed reports.
It’s a modern day love story that will make anyone believe in fate—but the relationship has been a work in progress. In September 2014, Avsec messaged Arendas with a simple “Hey Michelle.”
“Tinder was super new at the time for my whole friend group,” Avsec told Buzzfeed News. “At the time I had matched with a whole bunch of girls and I took it as a joke. I sent [them] some pretty humorous lines. And then I bumped into Michelle. She seemed a little different, so I sent her something different.” (Take note: This is the best first message to send on a dating site.)
She didn’t respond until November. Her excuse? “Hey sorry my phone died!”
The two kept at: With months in between, one would finally respond to the other using another silly excuse. Funny thing is, it all seemed to start by mistake. Arendas had deleted and re-downloaded Tinder several times, so she’d miss messages or often see them too late, she told Buzzfeed. “I wasn’t too serious about messaging—that’s why I messaged him something funny,” she explained.
But they both stuck with the joke, since neither one wanted to be the first to break it. Finally, just last week, Avsec went to Twitter and shared a screenshot of their messages. To his surprise, it went viral within an hour.
Hahahaha one day I’m going to meet this girl and it’s going to be epic. Look at the dates of our tinder texts. pic.twitter.com/DASQK4c5cX
— Josh Avsec (@Wes_03) July 8, 2017
That’s when things got interesting: To his slight embarrassment, someone tagged Arendas in his Tweet. “My heart was beating out of my chest,” he recalls. Yet somehow, she still kept the joke going.
sorry I’d reply but I need to give it a few months !
— Michelle Arendas (@mch_rnd) July 8, 2017
Avsec—who had not even learned her last name until then—finally direct messaged her on Twitter to exchange numbers, and the Internet couldn’t help but cheer them on. As one Twitter user pointed out, let’s take a minute to appreciate that both of their Twitter profile pictures involve large cats—which makes us believe that fate might just a swipe away, after all.
But the pair still hasn’t met face-to-face yet, so Tinder finally decided to do something about it. The company’s official profile tweeted Monday: “It’s time you got together IRL. You have 24 hrs to decide the city you want to have your first date in and we’ll send you there!”
Avsec responded to the Tweet and said their dream first date would be in Hawaii. To his surprise, Tinder happily obliged.
Aloha! We’re sending you to Maui but you can’t take two years to pack your bags! 🏖
— Tinder (@Tinder) July 11, 2017
The couple admits they’re going to set up a time to meet in person, but until then—they’re happy to finally get to know each other. “Everything is going great and I love talking with her, but I don’t want to rush anything,” Avsec told Buzzfeed. “Conversation has been so easy with her.”
A Tinder rep recently issued a statement about their future first date, Cosmopolitanreports.
“Josh and Michelle’s Tinder story goes to show the power of swiping right, matching with someone, and engaging in conversation—it can truly change your life and create a meaningful connection, no matter how seriously you take it. We’re honored to have the opportunity to facilitate them meeting IRL, and we hope that this encourages other Tinder users to keep swiping, matching and meeting new people. You never know where it might lead.”