The internet is swooning over a pair of would-be lovebirds who matched on Tinder three years ago but have yet to meet face-to-face. Instead of the standard 3 a.m. “Where you at?” message that’s the default setting for most college Tinder users, Josh Avsec and Michelle Arendas have based their unusual relationship on a running gag.
When Avsec first matched Arendas back way back in 2014, he kicked off their flirtation with a ho-hum “Hey Michelle.” But when she told him that she’d missed the message because her phone had died, it sparked a correspondence that spanned only a handful of messages spread across three years.
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
Not only is the stamina of their joke impressive, but so is the fact that neither Avsec or Arendas were tempted to break it, especially taking into account the fact that they’re both seniors at Ohio’s Kent State University. Do you remember what it’s like to be in college? Apart from learning the intricacies of Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation, hooking up is priority number one.
Some update photos 🇿🇦❤️🇿🇦❤️🇿🇦❤️🇿🇦❤️ pic.twitter.com/HpgRd6wYxa— Josh Avsec (@Wes_03) October 8, 2015
BuzzFeed tracked down the duo after their correspondence went viral and found out how their joke endured all thee years. “Tinder was super new at the time for my whole friend group. At the time I had matched with a whole bunch of girls and I took it as a joke,” Avsec said. “I sent [them] some pretty humorous lines… And then I bumped into Michelle. She seemed a little different, so I sent her something different.” Arendas’ answer was a bit more forthcoming. “I didn’t want to be the one that gave in, and broke the joke,“ she said.
But after Avse posted their correspondence online, they might not have a choice. When Twitter turned their epistolary romance into something of a phenomenon, Tinder caught wind of it and offered to fund their first date in the city of their choosing (they chose Maui).
This is either be the most cunning brand activation of all time, an elaborate hoax by two friends, or the definitive love story of our generation. The romantics in us like to think it’s the latter.