‘I flew 800 miles for a FIRST date with my Hinge match – it’s been a year and now we’re engaged’

A woman has shared how she flew 800 miles for a first date with her Hinge match – with the pair getting engaged a year later.

Olivia Tapper, 28, matched with Thomas Philipps, 31, from Poole, Dorset, when he was visiting her native country of Sweden.

The duo hit it off instantly online and arranged a date to learn more about each other in person.

But after organising to meet up, Thomas accidentally got his dates mixed up and had to fly back to Britain, with the budding couple’s first date cancelled.

After chatting to each other after their unfortunate mishap and both gutted, Olivia took a leap of faith and got on a plane to the UK.

“I was a blend of nervous and excited,” Olivia, a business developer, told NeedToKnow.co.uk.

“It was a bold move, flying to another country for a date but my intuition told me it was the right decision.

“I was eager to see where this unique connection would lead.

“The distance between the UK and Sweden, coupled with my demanding career, made me question whether to continue our conversations.

“But there was something intriguing about Thomas that made me want to keep in touch.”

Picture Credit: JAM PRESS

Thomas, CEO of Pet Portraits, added: “ I was quite annoyed when our first date didn’t happen.

“Our chemistry was undeniable, and missing that opportunity was frustrating.

“I realised that to make this work, we needed to invest time in getting to know each other through frequent FaceTime calls.

“Both of us were serious about finding life partners, not just casual dates, and that deepened our connection rapidly.”

Thomas and Olivia first met each other face to face at the airport, as he picked her up in his car and the pair drove back to his hometown, just two hours away.

Despite the potential awkwardness of a 100-mile drive, the pair clicked and said their connection was “undeniable”.

Olivia said: “Our first face-to-face meeting was during a lengthy drive from London to Poole.

“It was a situation that could have been very awkward but it turned out to be an amazing journey.

“We discussed everything from business ambitions to personal dreams, and the connection was undeniable.”

After one more visit to see Thomas, Olivia quit her job and moved to the UK permanently.

She now works for her partner’s company as head of growth and operations.

Olivia said: “Asking Thomas about exclusivity was daunting, but his straightforward ‘yes’ was all I needed to hear.

“It solidified my decision to invest in this relationship.

“While I was thriving in my role as a strategic business developer, I craved more rapid progress and a lifestyle that offered flexibility and travel.”

Thomas added: “Her willingness to commit and make an effort for our relationship gave me the confidence and assurance to move forward.

“That’s when I knew we had something special that was worth pursuing.”

Since their first date in August 2022, the couple have gone from strength to strength – with Thomas even getting down on one knee after a year.

Picture Credit: JAM PRESS

The couple also have “weekly relationship reviews” which they say has helped them grow their connection in such a short period of time.

Now, they plan to move across the pond together.

Olivia added: “ Life has been a whirlwind of joy and growth.

“We’re eagerly preparing for our wedding and planning our future in the USA.

“Nurturing our bond through open and honest communication has been key.

“Our weekly relationship reviews have become a cornerstone of our connection, keeping us grounded and in sync.

“I initially thought working and living together would pose challenges but it’s been surprisingly easy and enjoyable.”

Thomas added: “The prospect of building our empire together fills me with excitement and happiness.

“I am truly content with the path we are on and eager to see what the future holds for us.”

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