After matching with him on Tinder in the airport, a woman went 7,500 miles to Hawaii to meet the stranger. They fell in love and later welcomed their first child.
In July 2019, American Brady Elliot, 25, was returning to Hawaii from a trip to Ireland when he connected with native Clodagh O’Sullivan, 22, through a dating app. The two stated they had a “instant connection” when they first started messaging one another in August 2019 and spending hours FaceTiming.
Brady got Clodagh to fly to Hawaii in November 2019 so they could meet in person while he was stationed there as a navy marine doctor after they had spoken on the phone for three months. The couple said that they fell in love at first sight, and Clodagh afterwards went back to Florida, the United States, to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with his family.
On a trip to Jamaica and the United States in October 2020, where Clodagh became pregnant, they made their relationship official. In December 2020, the Brady family moved to Dingle, Ireland. Following their fortuitous meeting, the couple fell in love and welcomed their son, Jamie Elliot, on July 23, 2021. They are now contently cohabitating in Ireland.
“Never in a million years did I think I would fall in love and start a family after receiving that Tinder message,” said Clodagh, a bartender from Dingle, Ireland. I almost persuaded myself not to meet him.
“He might have been an 80-year-old man catfishing me, for all I knew. But I’m so glad I made the flight reservation and gambled. I knew he was the one as soon as we met.
They were matched, but they weren’t able to meet before Brady, a musician, had to fly back to Hawaii for work.
Clodagh said: “Brady was on a day trip to Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, so our apps must have been in proximity for about hour when we matched. It’s really lucky we crossed paths.
“I couldn’t really see his photos on Tinder so I wasn’t that interested, but he then sent me a funny meme from the Office and it made me laugh. He was about to fly so couldn’t meet in person, but asked to add me on Instagram, and we started sending messages and speaking. To be honest, I didn’t expect anything to really come from it.”
The two began communicating everyday and spent a lot of time conversing on FaceTime getting to know one another. Even after talking to Brady’s family and friends, Clodagh became completely smitten with him.
A few months later, in November 2019, Brady worked up the nerve to extend an invitation for her to come see him in Hawaii, which was 7,500 miles away. Clodagh booked a ticket and boarded a plane despite being wary because it would be their first time meeting in person.
She said: “Even though we had spoken on FaceTime, I was still very unsure. But I spoke to his friends and family which helped put me at ease.
“I was so nervous on the flight thinking: ‘What am I doing here? It’s really not like me to do something so spontaneous.
“I did worry I wouldn’t feel the same when we met in person, but I definitely felt a spark straight away.”
Clodagh planned to spend seven days with Brady but ended up extending her trip by an extra week. She even flew back across to spend Christmas and New Year with his family in Florida, USA, in December 2019.
Despite Covid scuppering some travel plans, the couple managed to visit each other back and forth over the next couple of years. During a trip to Jamaica, then to America, in October 2021, Clodagh fell pregnant with their son, 11-month-old Jamie, who arrived on 23rd July 2021.
Brady moved to Dingle, Ireland, when they found out she was expecting in October 2021, and have since settled in the country together, and hope to tie the knot in the future.
“We didn’t plan to have a baby, but it was the best surprise,” she said. “Since Jamie was born, Brady has moved to Dingle, and we’ve got a house together.
“I never thought anything like this would ever happen. But things felt right with Brady, and I had to follow my heart.”
Brady, who relocated to Dingle, Ireland, with Clodagh and their son, recalls the first time they met. He said: “We matched on the last day of my vacation, and I thought she was gorgeous. I was pretty obsessed with her from the get-go.
“Even though it seemed a bit silly to keep texting someone two oceans away. I asked the universe for a sign and then ‘Nancy Mulligan’ came on by Ed Sheeran, and I knew for sure it was meant to be.
“I kept asking her to visit me in Hawaii because I knew she was something insanely special. We kept talking for months and call nonstop and finally got her a ticket.
“Meeting her at the airport was the most nerve-racking day of my life. I knew Clodagh was the one right there in that airport and our first few weeks together felt like we had known each other through a thousand lifetimes.
“Living in Ireland is amazing – I never would have imagined living in a different country. But living here with her and our little baby boy is the most surreal thing I will ever experience, and I love every second of it.”