Tinder is not exactly famed for its romantic credentials but execs at the eponymous dating app played Cupid in an old-school, Barry White-style manner recently, when they stepped in to help two young students who were forever... not quite getting together.
The story of Ohio seniors Michelle Arendas, 21, and 22-year-old Josh Avsec reads like the script of a slightly anti-climactic rom com.
Their non-romance began when Arendas replied to Avsec's hello message two months late, joking, “Hey, sorry my phone died!”
Ever since that fateful encounter almost three years ago, the pair – who both study at Kent State University – have checked in with one another every few months to exchange banter over excuses for not seeing each other.
Both him and her, it transpires, were just going with the flow of the joke to see what happened.
“I was not really expecting he would message me back and play along with it. I thought my message to him would be the end of it,” Arendas tells Buzzfeed, of her original quip.
“I didn’t think she was interested. I just took it as a joke, so every couple of months I’d check Tinder and I’d get a message,” says Avsec.
However their non-goer of a relationship was given wings all of a sudden, when Avsec tweeted about their little back-and-forth game (above).
Their playful exchanges immediately caught the imagination of the internet, who cheered the couple on and urged them to get together for real.
Needless to say, the whole thing got a bit over-excited, with folks offering to pay their drinks, put them up in hotels and even officiate their wedding ceremony, should it come to that...
I am laughing like hell😂. This is too much. You guys should meet n pls tweet about it too 😂😂😂— BlurryFace (@sam27march) 10 July 2017
if you ever end up meeting, first round of drinks are on me (maybe even the second round, if you guys get to that).— Louis Zúñiga (@LZuni) 12 July 2017
This restores my faith in true love. Still hesitant to create an online dating profile for the __ time, but happy for you both! 😊😊😊— Jaclyn Marie (@stahpwhaturdoin) 13 July 2017
Hey Josh! I'm a local wedding officiant & Kent State alum! Once you have a magical first date I would love to officiate the wedding someday!— Married by Megan (@MarriedbyMegan) 12 July 2017
Australia needs to know how this works out, keep us in the loop mate. 🤙— Dan (@BrissyDan) 13 July 2017
Can you guys finally go on a date oh my god— happy new year (@killtomholland) 12 July 2017
Eventually, the guys and girls over at Tinder heard about the story and – in a truly Hollywood move – came up trumps by promising to take the couple on a date to any city of their choice.
Arendas and Avsec brilliantly opted for the Hawaiian island of Maui as their destination of choice; with plenty of sunshine, palm trees and cool ocean vibes to conjure up a mood of romance.
Those watching the story closely couldn’t be more delighted for the couple – in fact, it seems the entire viral world is right there on the sidelines of their exotic date, egging them along:
Hope you both have an awesome time in Hawaii! 🏖️ Hugs from Norway 😊— Ingeborg Hordvik (@Tigerjento) 12 July 2017
I am so rooting for you guys!! Hope you guys have a great time in Hawaii!— Rachel (@rachelcrrook) 12 July 2017
please get married, if this aint true love in 2017, I dont know what is— Irene (@Irene_Byun_) 11 July 2017
So, how will this mesmerising tale of missed opportunities and impromptu romance conclude?
With so many strangers personally invested in it, we can only hope the Maui date goes swimmingly.
Watch this space.
Images: iStock and Twitter