Their quirky relationship became the Tinder match of the year, but now there has been another twist in the heartwarming story of Josh Avsec and Michelle Arendas. The couple who had never met but partook in one of the longest running virtual running jokes ever have finally met and not just anywhere but in front of million viewers on Good Morning America.
The two students of Kent State University in Ohio originally matched on the online platform in 2014, but it took them several months to finally get in touch. Over the course of the intervening three years, they kept coming up with increasingly outlandish and creative ways to avoid meeting up, while always getting back in touch with witty jokes and comebacks. When their story went viral after Josh shared their conversation history earlier this year, Tinder itself jumped in and offered to send them to a destination of their own choosing for their first date.
Although the two originally chose Hawaii, Josh and Michelle’s first encounter wasn’t on the beaches of Honolulu, but rather in the Good Morning America studio in Times Square, New York. In front of an expectant crowd, both at the studio and around the country, Josh Avsec and Michelle Arendas met for the first time on Tuesday, the 25th of July.
Josh’s tweet became a global phenomenon when it was picked up by the Twitterati: after meeting live on Good Morning America the couple are on the way to their romantic trip to Hawaii on Tinder’s expense
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, 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 humor so I was not going to be the one that gave in and gave up that great joke we had,” the 21-year-old confessed.
On the other side Josh, who is studying zoology, had to answer did Michelle know that her exchange was being shared online, for thousands of people to see? She didn’t.
“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, the long-awaited moment when all that smart Tinder banter finally came to a head – where there were neither screens, nor studio backdrops separating them, and 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 in the flesh for the first time.