In celebration of Match turning 20, we decided reach back to our “original” success couple – the first online dating success story who met on Match when we pioneered the category in 1995. Meet Bill and Freddi Straus. We sat down with the happy couple from California to find out how they initially met on the site, their first date story and what life’s like today in a world where meeting online is now the norm.
Q: Tell us a about you both.
Freddi: I grew up in Oakland, CA. I went to a boarding school in Switzerland for 2 years. I graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in business. I was married twice before I met Bill. I had one daughter with my first husband, Stacey, who now has twins, Ben and Graycie. We divorced after ten years and about five years later, I met my second husband. After he passed, I moved to the LA area and remained single for around ten years until I met Bill. I am a travel agent by day and a tournament master Bridge player by night!
Bill: I traveled to LA from New York with my first wife. We moved to the San Fernando and had 2 children. I now have five grandchildren. I married my second wife in 1980 and we were married for five years. I worked in aerospace and semiconductors and have also worked at an NPR station programming and hosting a Latin jazz and Salsa radio music show for a 4-hour block on Fridays. I joined Match in 1995 because I’d been single for 10 years and I thought it would be easier to meet someone in a somewhat structured environment, and it was.
Q: Tell us how you initially met on Match.
Freddi: Well, after ending a 5-year relationship, a friend told me I had to go on Match and meet someone my age and eventually think about getting married again. I met many men and was just about ready to give up before I saw Bill’s profile. He was exactly what I was looking for: Jewish, about 5’10, gray hair and a hairy chest. Ha!
Q: Tell us about your first date.
Freddi: We emailed and spoke on the phone for about a week or so, then made a date for lunch at a local Chinese restaurant. He wanted to impress me so he ordered the lobster. When the check came, he was $5 short so he had to borrow it from me. As we walked out, he said he would like to see me again so he could give me my $5 back. We quickly planned our second date for Sunday. I tried to cancel our second date after I decided to get a perm (bad decision), but he wouldn’t budge! When he came to pick me up for dinner, I greeted him at the door with a paper bag over my head with the eyes, nose and mouth cut out. He laughed and loved it and that was it! It was a done deal.
Q: Tell us your engagement story.
Freddi: We dated for 1.5 years and he moved in for another 1.5 years. He had asked me to marry him many times throughout our relationship, but I just wasn’t ready. Once I was ready though, it was an easy “YES!” I’ve kissed a lot of frogs along the way to finding my prince.
Q: Tell us about your wedding.
Freddi: We got married on January 1, 2000. We picked a date we figured we could remember as we got older. We had around 60 people, a Chuppah and a Rabbi performing the wedding.
Q: What is life like today with each other?
Freddi: We each have our own individual passions. Bill loves music and I play a lot of competitive Bridge and do volunteer work. We enjoy cruises, and I’m actually hired by many cruise lines to run their Bridge program onboard. We both love sushi and movies. My typical day is teaching Bridge, playing Bridge, and being a travel agent. We are both very avid LA Dodgers fans and watch all of the Dodgers games.
Bill: I prefer staying at home now, listening to music and taking care of things, as I traveled much of the world for work and pleasure for 30 years. I’m an advocate for all things green and more. I also fill in at the Bridge club when needed.
Q: Any words for Match on our 20th anniversary?
Bill: Without Match, I never would have met Freddi. Thanks for providing an easy way to meet sincere potential mates. Keep up the good work!