Good things come to those who wait, but how long is too long? For two procrastinating love birds stalling to meet each other, well, they would have kept waiting if they didn’t get a little push.
Ohio students Josh Avsec and Michelle Arendas matched on Tinder way back on September 20, 2014. But instead of exchanging a few pleasantries and setting up a date (which wouldn’t have been too difficult since they both attend Kent State University, after all), the two kept sending each other excuses for not responding.
This continued for almost three years as the students went weeks without making contact, only for one of them to randomly message an excuse, like, “sorry was in the shower,” or, “sorry my phone died,” in the middle of the night.
Avsec posted screenshots of their messages—which, at some point, just turned into an inside joke of sorts—to Twitter on July 7, saying, “One day I’m going to meet this girl and it’s going to be epic.”
But to Avsec’s surprise, the tweet ended up going viral, raking in hundreds of retweets and likes. Then, someone tagged Arendas into the tweet’s thread. It was the first interaction the two had outside of Tinder. “I was like a deer in the headlights, because I didn’t expect that,” Avsec tells PEOPLE about the moment he saw Arendas had been tagged in the post.
Then Arendas cracked a joke about their joke in a tweet, and Avsec knew his Tinder buddy was taking it in stride:
As the post received more and more attention from the internet, a bit of a fanbase started to build:
Avsec direct messaged Arendas over Twitter, and both of them marveled over the attention their three-year streak had received.
“I’m stubborn and I wasn’t going to be the one to ruin a good joke like that,” Arendas tells PEOPLE about why she never made a move to meet Avsec IRL. “I’m stubborn and I’m committed to my sense of humor, that was definitely it for me. I didn’t want to be the one to break the joke.”
But that would soon change after the tweet got the attention of Tinder. The company found out about the students’ long-running joke and said they were willing to send them on a first date to a city of their choice. The two had just 24 hours to decide.
But they didn’t need it—that same day, Avsec responded with the city of their choosing: Maui, Hawaii.
Avsec and Avendas tell PEOPLE that have almost done nothing but laugh with each other over the last week—a great sign for any pending couple.
The trip doesn’t have an official date as of Tuesday, but they believe it may happen sometime in the next month. And no, they still haven’t met yet—they’re saving that for Maui. But, they must be getting butterflies as their date approaches, right?
“I will definitely say that I’m excited, but I might be more nervous about the whole gravity of the trip,” Avendas says. “We’ve been talking and we’ve really started to get to know each other, so I’m not that nervous, I’m just really anticipating it.”
As for Avsec, well, he might be breaking a sweat, but he’s ready to have some fun.
“I pride myself on my ability to talk with people or work with people, but I can tell you—I am very nervous, yes,” he says while laughing. “I am so unbelievably excited, I’m like the energizer bunny!”