Tinder sends two Kent State students to Hawaii for their first date

Ray Padilla

Two Kent State students pack their bags as Tinder sends them to the island of Maui, Hawaii.

Josh Avsec, a senior zoology major, and Michelle Arendas, a junior communication studies major, met on Tinder in 2014 and have been in contact ever since — but have only shared 11 messages on the dating app.

“Everyone had just started downloading Tinder so I got on it, and I made a joke out of every person that I had matched with — literally every single one, and I had maybe matched with 15 at the time,” Avsec said.

Avsec said he started joking with Arendas after he said, “Hey Michelle,” only to find a message two months later from her saying, “Hey sorry my phone died!”, which started the long-running joke.

“I don’t know what kept me responding after that, but as long as she kept responding, I guess I was going to too,” Avsec said.

The messaging continued for almost three years with the longest stretch of almost a year in between communication.

Then, Sunday, July 9, Avsec tweeted a screenshot of the Tinder messages and wrote that one day he’s going to meet Arendas and it will be “epic.”

“As soon as I posted the tweet, I didn’t expect anyone — I have a couple fraternity friends I expected to get a couple favorites and laughs — but then within the first hour, somebody knew somebody, who knew somebody, who tagged her in the bottom,” Avsec said. “It’s crazy; There is no way this could get any better.”

He direct messaged her on Twitter where they both exchanged numbers and ever since they’ve been constantly messaging each other, as their phones buzzed and rang with notifications.

“The texts were just gibberish,” Avsec said. “Our fingers couldn’t move fast enough. We were just all-caps losing our minds. It was just wild.”

He said before the messages were shared on Twitter, he only had about 700 followers but now has over 17,000 in four days with people messaging him to marry her. Meanwhile Avsec said he barely knew anything about her and didn’t find out her last name until about a day after his initial tweet.

“All I had to go off of her was she goes to Kent, and she has a Tinder account, and we matched,” Avsec said. “That’s it; And then when we finally started texting, all we could text about was what was happening right in front our faces.”

Tinder messaged Avsec on Twitter after his original tweet and said, “It’s time you got together IRL. You have 24 hours to decide the city you want to have your first date in, and we’ll send you there!”

Once the two decided to visit Maui — because they both have never been — Tinder messaged him saying, “Hi Josh, thanks for swiping right! Let’s get you and Michelle to Maui.”

He said it is odd because everyone seems to know more about them than they do and now because Tinder wants the two to wait so they can meet for the first time in Maui, they haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet.

Avsec said his biggest fear would be balancing too much as he watches what he says, keeps his cool, and makes sure he does everything right while the Tinder team follows their relationship by filming the meet. Although, he said he doesn’t want to rush anything with Arendas.

“Tinder hinted that they are going to be around to really capture the moment so I have to somehow balance … And Maui — I’m probably going to have Tinder following the journey the whole way and I have to image it will be relayed to the rest of the world in some way.”

Avsec said he looks for a girl who, in his terms, is not basic. He said he doesn’t want to date a girl who, within one dinner, he could understand 80 percent of who they are and how they think.

“If I could find a pretty girl who’s, whatever you call, interesting, I guess opposite of basic,” Avsec said, “that’s my thing. Just fun and creative.”

Avsec’s family is also interested in his relationship with Arendas, and they know he’s been wanting a relationship for a while, Avsec said.

This wouldn’t be the first relationship in his family that started on Tinder; His soon-to-be brother-in-law Derek Moglenicki and sister Olivia Avsec met on the dating app as well.

While Avsec works as a nanny right now and takes care of three boys, his dream is to work closely with animals, which he said is kind of similar.

“I have not predicted any of this, nothing,” Avsec said. “I didn’t see her name be put in the bottom. I didn’t see Tinder giving us a free trip. I didn’t see news people coming. I didn’t see any of this. All I know for sure is I have no idea what the heck is coming up ahead.”

Ray Padilla is the digital director. Contact him at [email protected].