The Tinder couple who messaged each other for years without ever meeting were finally able to enjoy some fun in the sun together while on their first date in Maui over the weekend.
Ohio students Josh Avsec, 22, and Michelle Arendas, 21, made headlines in July when Avsec posted their years-long Tinder exchange on Twitter, which started back in September 2014. Though they are students at Kent State University, the two never made plans to go on a date—instead, they sent each other hilarious excuses for not responding, which became a running joke. When Tinder caught wind of their story, the company offered to take the couple on their first date to a city of their choosing, and the two picked a weekend getaway to Maui.
“We are just now sitting down and getting the opportunity to know each other, so there’s probably a lot of learning still left to do,” Arendas tells PEOPLE from the couple’s cabana at the Grand Wailea Resort in Maui. “But it’s been great to be able to go through this adventure and have a partner to go through all of this with.”
The couple met for the first time on July 25 in front of an audience of millions on Good Morning America, but have not had a proper date until now. They flew into Maui on the same flight, but their seats were separated, so their stay on the island will really be the first time they will be with each other without television crews or cameras around.
“All the things I knew about Michelle were through an interview or a phone conversation, and this is the first time we have the chance to just hang out and talk,” Avsec tells PEOPLE. “We’re getting to know each other and it’s very awesome.”
On their first day in Maui, the couple had a lei ceremony at the Grand Wailea, threw coins in the resort’s fountains, and enjoyed a bike ride under the Hawaiian sun. The two say they plan to go snorkeling and get into more outdoors fun before they leave.
With everything moving so fast, it’s easy to forget that it’s been less than three weeks since the couple exchanged their first words to each other outside of the Tinder app. But they say they are not forgetting to stay level-headed about the situation, especially since they still receive tweets every day from people who say they hope the two get married.
“She hasn’t put any pressure on me and I haven’t put any pressure on her, so as long as she and I stay focused on getting to know each other, things will go pretty smooth,” Avsec says.
Whether sparks fly in Maui or not, they both want to continue to see each other when they start class at Kent again near the end of August. Arendas is excited to get back to normal life.
“We haven’t made any concrete plans, but I know both of us are open to the idea of staying friends and getting to know each other better,” Arendas says.
Avsec adds, “It’s impossible to have an experience and memories this remarkable without wanting to continue something in the future. Even if we turn out to be mortal enemies, we’ll be hanging out in Kent together, I’m sure.”