It was a match made on Tinder.
But for a pair of Kent State students, the virtual relationship it spawned is the stuff of a romantic comedy.
Josh Avsec, 22, a senior studying zoology at Kent State, in the US state of Ohio, and Michelle Arendas, a junior communication studies major, began trading messages on Tinder back in 2014 when the online dating site found the two might be a match.
Josh made the first move and sent her a simple message in September 20, 2014 of "Hey Michelle."
She answered on November 28, 2014: "Sorry my phone died."
Josh responded the next day that it usually takes him five months to "find [his] charger."
Michelle quipped back that she wanted to make sure her phone was fully charged.
And so began the virtual dance that would go on for some three years, before the Tinder messages were shared and reshared online recently. They caught the attention of the online dating company, which called the pair's bluff and offered to fly them to the city of their choice for a "real" date.
Josh shared some of the exchanges on Twitter on July 7 and the post took the internet by storm.
"Hahahaha one day I'm going to meet this girl and it's going to be epic," he posted earlier this month.
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
Michelle answered back on Twitter right away.
"sorry I'd reply but I need to give it a few months !"
The excuses and long absences between replies Josh shared ran the gamut from telling her he was in the shower and just saw a months-old message, to Michelle replying belatedly that she got caught up in President's Day festivities.
The modern-day fairy tale has prompted perfect strangers to offer their wishes for the would-be couple to finally meet in person, pledging to buy them drinks, dinners and even wedding gifts once they "finally" exchange vows.
The pair picked Maui for their first date and Tinder has agreed to pay for the trip.
"Aloha! We're sending you to Maui but you can't take two years to pack your bags!" Tinder tweeted Tuesday.
The Kent State Bookstore tweeted a photo of some Kent State-logo beach swag they are giving the two for the trip.
While the pair could not be reached for comment for this article, they continue to do their talking online.
Michelle posted on Twitter that "Honestly just a huge s/o to the internet! thx for making some of my dreams come true, I've always been a big fan !!!!!!"
Josh added "This is like some sort of dream. A date in Hawaii is far more epic than I could have ever imagined."
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