How a glitch on a dating app brought a couple together – WHY

This story is from The Pulse, a weekly health and science podcast.

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It was a Saturday night in early 2018. Meriem Abella was sitting on her couch in Lansing, Michigan, scanning Tinder, through photo after photo of white boys flexing in gym selfies or standing on their boats holding fish. Then she found Amine Tino’s profile.

Tinder told Meriem that Amine was less than a mile from her. Meriem is North African and said she immediately knew Amine’s name was Arabic. She hoped they might be able to connect through a shared culture. She slid right and it was a game.

Meriem and Amine exchanged messages for about a week. They talked about work and how much they both love to travel. Meriem is half Algerian and Amine is Moroccan. So they also talked about North African dishes and traditions that they both love.

Eventually, Meriem asked, “So how did you end up in Lansing, Michigan, it’s so weird?”

“What is Lansing, I don’t know that word,” Amine replied.

“What do you mean, ‘What is Lansing?'” Meriem asked.

“I don’t understand what that word means. What does it mean?”

“Where do you live?” Meriem asked.

“I live in Casablanca,” Amine replied. ” Is not it ? »

At that time, Meriem had never been to Morocco. And Amine had never been to the United States. Tinder had told them they were within a mile of each other, but the actual distance between Meriem’s ​​home in Lansing and Amine’s home in Casablanca was over 4,000 miles.

They were both disappointed to be so far apart, but coincidentally, Meriem had already booked a trip to North Africa to reconnect with her heritage. She planned to spend a few months in Casablanca. Meriem had even found a place to stay just 20 minutes from Amine’s neighborhood, all before they met on Tinder.

Meriem’s ​​journey spanned seven months after she and Amine first paired up. With this trip in mind, they decided to continue getting to know each other.

“I had other appointments and canceled them,” Meriem said. She even disabled her Tinder app.

The video of Meriem and Amine chatted almost every day for seven months – helping each other practice Arabic and English, using Google Translate a lot and laughing often – until it was time for her to leave for Morocco. She told Amine that after she arrived she wanted to go straight to her Airbnb to shower and freshen up after her eight-hour flight, that she wanted to dress “the same way anyone wants to get ready for a first date”.

Amine, however, had other plans.

“He was very insistent on saying, ‘I’m going to be the one to pick you up, I’m so excited to see you, I want to be the first person you see,'” Meriem said.

When Meriem finally saw Amine smiling from across the pickup area, her anxieties eased.

“I kind of forgot about everything that was worrying me,” she said. “I was still sweaty, nervous and panicked, but I didn’t care. And he didn’t care. We were both so excited to see each other.

Meriem and Amine went to the Airbnb and sat down at the kitchen table to chat. Finally, Amine turned to Meriem and suggested something to eat. “I’m not hungry,” Meriem started to say, then stopped. “Oh, my God, wait, it’s been five hours!” »

At the end of that first date, Meriem had an intuition – an intuition that grew stronger as they spent time together – that she had wanted to be with Amine for a long time.

The story of Meriem and Amine may surprise. The fact that they met seems so unlikely. A match between two people 4,000 miles apart?

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