Love down under

He was only supposed to go to Sydney for a few months. Then he met Mariela.

Renzo was only planning to be in Sydney for a year.

The Argentinian flew to Australia to visit a friend and stay for the duration of his work visa. Since he didn’t know anyone else in the country, he decided to download a dating app for the first time.

As it turns out, Renzo didn’t need to be on Tinder for long. He quickly matched with Mariela, a Sydney native whose family is from Argentina. Their first date at the Opera Bar was a success, and they soon started seeing each other.

Over the next few months Renzo and Mariela were inseparable. And eventually, she invited him to stay with her rather than return to Argentina. Renzo now lives in Sydney full time.

Here’s their story. 

Editor’s note: Portions of this interview have been translated from Spanish.

How’d you meet? 

Mariela: We met about a year and a half ago. We matched on Tinder initially and spoke for a day or two, and then we exchanged Instagram accounts. We kept our conversation going on Instagram for another day or so and then we didn’t speak for about four or five weeks. I thought he had completely forgotten about me! 

Apparently he thought the same until he uploaded a story on Instagram and I replied to it. That’s when we started to chat again. 

What were your first impressions of each other’s profiles? 

Mariela: It jumped out to me because he had on his Tinder that he was Argentinian. And I was born in Sydney, but both my parents are Argentinian. I thought he looked really kind from his photos. 

Renzo: I thought she looked very pretty. And she was laughing and smiling in all her photos, which I liked. 

So after you first spoke, things slowed down? 

Mariela: Like I said, it just completely fizzled out. But the thing I liked about him was when I replied to that story he didn’t beat around the bush. He just said “Well, I’m free on Saturday, so why don’t we just meet?” And then that was it. We’ve been together ever since. 

What did you think when you saw Mariela replied to your story? 

Renzo: I was happy, I wasn’t expecting it. I asked her if she wanted to meet at the Opera Bar in Sydney because I really wanted to see her. It was also the first time I had downloaded a dating app or matched with anyone. It was a first time for everything! 

Wait, Mariela was your first match?!

Renzo: Yes! And I had never used the app before in my life. It was my first and last time using it. 

How’d the first date go? 

Mariela: We got there at around seven or eight, and we stayed there the whole night chatting. It was as if we had known each other a whole lifetime beforehand.

We stayed there until it closed, and then we ended up going to get ice cream and then went out for dinner. It was like the never-ending date.

I remember leaving that night and thinking I hadn’t had such a great first date in so long because our conversation just kept flowing and flowing and flowing. 

How did things grow from there?

Mariela: Since the beginning, Ren was really honest with me and said he came here on a working holiday visa, which is only valid for one year unless you keep extending.

He said his intention wasn’t to stay at all. But flash forward to now and he ended up changing his ticket back home to a one-way ticket and stayed here and he’s here with me now!

Renzo: It was important for the both of us. When we met for the first time, it felt like we’d known each other our whole lives. We were having a really lovely time together those first few months.

When we were getting closer, she proposed me staying here with her. And I accepted, I didn’t want to be apart from her. Even though it was a sacrifice to be away from my family, I didn’t want to lose her. 

What’s the secret to salvaging a dating app convo that has fizzled out? 

Mariela: I’d say give it another go. You have nothing to lose. For me, he replied instantly and I thought “Great, this is going somewhere.” 

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Interviewed and transcribed by Nicolas Vega. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.