It started off as a Tinder match, and slowly turned into a running joke of epic proportions. The quasi-romance between Michelle Arendas and Josh Avsec has developed into an Odyssean 21-century relationship. First, they matched in 2014, then they went months without talking to one another, but thought of increasingly outlandish and creative ways to avoid meeting up over the next three years. Finally, fate (or rather, an enamoured online community) intervened, and these two reluctant lovebirds were set to meet up for the first time.
Eventually, their story caught the eye of the dating app itself. Tinder offered to send the couple on a romantic trip to Hawaii, but Josh and Michelle’s first encounter won’t be on the beaches of Honolulu; rather, the Good Morning America studio in Times Square, New York. In front of an expectant crowd, both at the studio and on televisions at home, Josh Avsec and Michelle Arendas met for the first time and it was a pretty beautiful moment for everyone involved.
Josh and Michelle’s slightly unorthodox courtship went viral earlier this year, when Josh posted a screenshot of his hilarious exchange on Twitter. It was quickly picked up by the Twitterati, and soon their story blew up to the point that Tinder got involved. Now, the couple are on the way to their romantic trip to Hawaii. But before that, they got to see each other for the first time, live on Good Morning America.
Initially, the two were separated by a screen while Michelle and Josh were quizzed by the Good Morning America hosts. On one side, Michelle, a junior communication studies major at Kent State in Ohio, was asked what the secret was to maintaining a rapport over so many years and so few Tinder messages without actually meeting up.
“I was committed to my joke… I love the fact that we had a similar sense of humour so I was not going to be the one that gave in and gave up that great joke we had.”
On the other side Josh, who is studying zoology at the same university, had to answer a question pertaining to his viral Twitter post. Namely, did Michelle know that her exchange was being shared online, for thousands of people to see? Short answer: no.
“As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know Michelle’s last name until the day after I posted it and a friend of a friend commented and tagged her on it.”
Finally, after quite a bit of deliberation, the moment came; the moment where all that hilarious Tinder banter finally came to a head – where Josh and Michelle met in person for the first time. You can see the entire Good Morning America segment below.
“This is a dream come true. I can’t believe I’m seeing her right now,” said Josh as he laid eyes on Michelle for the first time. And I’m sure the pair will be seeing plenty of each other when they take their trip to Hawaii. Online dating can sometimes be a bit difficult and I’m sure I’m not the only one to get ghosted by my matches on Tinder. Sometimes, as Josh Avsec and Michelle Arendas show, those long conversations can be worth the wait.