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Social media is an unlikely space to start a romance, but Gundam Guy and his Twitter sweetheart beat the odds when they got married on Aug. 1.
Despite attending the same high school, they didn’t meet until they matched on Tinder years later. Elizabeth Howley’s profile featured the line “buy me anime figures and let me snuggle your pets” and a link to her Instagram, which must have seemed like the perfect chance for Gundam Guy, aka John, to impress a girl with his Gundam-making skills. Howley first tweeted about the social media interaction in 2016, and it went viral.
holy shit it was really his gundam pic.twitter.com/qOkgAgSX7J— elle (@mitsurutenma) March 24, 2016
@akashikuniyuki I WAS EXPECTING A DICK PICK TBH— elle (@mitsurutenma) March 24, 2016
@akashikuniyuki RIGHT????? LIKE. WOW I MISJUDGED U BIG TIME NICE GUNDAM BRO— elle (@mitsurutenma) March 24, 2016
“I was expecting a dick pick tbh,” she tweeted at the time.
When asked if she’d really been expecting a dick pic instead of a Gundam, Howley said, “hahaha kind of a bit of both!!! I had a FEELING he was going to be a decent guy, and thankfully I was right! but the joke just had to be made—if there’s a chance to make a joke, I take it or die trying.”
Howley announced the couple’s engagement in a tweet in 2017.
i’ve never been so happy to have been right about something in my whole life pic.twitter.com/rgNamiY0iE— elle (@mitsurutenma) August 4, 2019
There’s something really charming about two nerds in love, especially when you learn that they actually eloped because they didn’t want to wait to get married any longer! However, there’s also a more serious element to it, as part of the reason they moved the wedding up was so they could add Howley to her husband’s health insurance.
*casually slips this in bc i’m suffering* so we eloped because we can’t wait to be married, but because our plan is to get me on his health insurance which will allow me to see doctors in NYC - but i’m too sick to work, and he doesn’t make enough. https://t.co/H21bw3wtQl— elle (@mitsurutenma) August 4, 2019
Howley suffers from endometriosis, a debilitating health condition that affects 10% of women to varying degrees. Howley’s is serious enough she’s unable to work, which makes it impossible for her to access the treatment that might alleviate the problem.
Then again, in a world without universal healthcare, maybe marrying someone so they can access yours is the most romantic thing a partner can do. Either way, despite the practical edge to their marriage, no one can deny that Gundam Guy and Howley are adorable.
every time we kiss in front of people we laugh bashfully afterward pic.twitter.com/YROHjw59IB— elle (@mitsurutenma) August 4, 2019
Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org