This is a story about modern love and missed connections.
It's a bit heartbreaking and melancholy at first, but I assure you there's a happy ending.
There's also a lesson for anyone who's become over-reliant on mobile technology.
It comes to us from Reddit, and shared by a user called mimibrightzola, who describes herself an American studying in Japan, and who recently visited Korea.
On her second to last day there, with no set plans, she decided to look for a date on Tinder. She matched up with a guy, and they had coffee.
'We agreed to keep in touch online'
Their date sounds like it was out of a movie. Total emotional connection.
They both supposedly had places to be afterward, but they got along so well that they kept finding ways to extend their time.
"He was super sweet and very attentive ... I was surprised that we shared many similar interests," mimibrightzola wrote.
Eventually, they walked to the station together. "He told me that he was very lucky to have met me and that I should call him when I reached my hotel safely. We agreed to keep in touch online."
They went their separate ways. And then, mimibrightzola ran into a problem.
Once upon a time, mimibrightzola and her new friend might have exchanged phone numbers, or email addresses, or even connected on Instagram or Snapchat.
But today there are so many messaging and social media apps.
So, mimibritzola downloaded the popular Korean app KakaoTalk while they were together, and added her date on it as a connection using a QR code.
Then, kind of symbolically, concluding that she'd already met the guy she wanted to meet in Korea, she deleted Tinder from her phone.
Then, horror. She discovered that her Kakao account had been disabled, because she'd signed up with a Google Voice number, instead of an actual phone number tied to a wireless carrier.
This left her with no way to reach the guy she'd just had an amazing time with.
"I quickly go into panic mode and try to contact him through other means," she wrote on Reddit, including searching every other social media network she could think of. But nothing worked.
'One big fever dream of my time in Korea'
So, mimibrightzola posted the story as a warning to others on Reddit, under the TIFU thread, which stands for "Today I [Bleeped] Up."
"TL;DR 2 Can't contact guy I went on a great first date with because I deleted tinder and messaging app doesn't work."
Her original post has nearly 1,000 responses, many of them trying to come up with ways for Mimibritzola to hack Tinder, or spoof her phone so she could create a new account.
One person suggested paying for a billboard in Seoul, which is well probably beyond a college student's budget, but might have been crazy enough to work.
Mimibritzola said she contacted Tinder asking for help, but she said she was rebuffed.
"I guess I will never be able to contact him again, and the whole date was just one big fever dream of my time in Korea," she wrote.
Update: Found Him! (TIFUpdate)
Mimibritzola went back to Japan, where she "tried the GPS-spoofing Tinder hack" some Redditors had suggested. No dice.
Wistfully, she replayed the entire date in her mind.
I swear, I thought this story was going to turn into a 2019 version of the 1995 movie Before Sunrise, in which Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet on a train and spend an amazing night in Vienna, but part ways no means of getting in contact again.
Finally, mimibritzola remembered a key detail: Her date had told her about an English language-learning app he was active on.
She Googled, "language exchange apps popular in Korea," and recognized an icon. She created an account.
The story goes on for another 1,400 words in a second Reddit post, Update: Found Him! (TIFUpdate), describing her hassles with the app. But in the end, they connected:
We talked more and he said he was afraid I hated him after ghosting him LOL. He reconfirmed that he had a great time on our date!
I decided to stop being a b*tch and told him I was glad to have met him again. We're supposed to video call tomorrow! Yay
See? A happy ending, but the lesson is clear:
- Technology giveth.
- Technology taketh away.
- Technology giveth again.
Next time, maybe just trade phone numbers. At least as a backup.