First Internet Couple Celebrates 25 Years

Sometimes you gotta look back and see where it all started. How did people find love online before match.com? (The answer for me was Love @ AOL, which eventually got eaten by Match.)

The answer is apparently Compuserve! This couple found love in a Compuserve CB Simulator program in 1982. I don’t remember those days because I was probably running around my parents’ backyard in my underoos.

“I happened to find the person I fell in love with on a computer,” said a nonchalant Chris. “And 25 years later we’re still in love.”

Chris and Pam’s courtship and wedding caused a bit of a media frenzy. The couple appeared on “Good Morning America,” “The Phil Donahue Show,” “20/20″ and in numerous magazine and newspaper articles, including a Chicago Tribune story on Jan. 26, 1983, headlined “Cupid and Computers Conquer All.”

“We got married at City Hall,” said Chris. “Me, my wife, three friends and five TV cameras.”

Now, of course, a couple falling in love online is hardly noteworthy. But Pam and Chris were operating in uncharted territory.

“At that time,” Pam recalls, “computers weren’t as pervasive in our homes and our daily life. To a lot of people, especially my parents’ generation and their friends, it seemed very alien, a very suspicious concept to even be communicating like that.”

But Chris, a technophile from an early age, was hooked on CB Simulator from the moment he logged onto it in his New York City apartment. Pam, a zookeeper at the Lincoln Park Zoo at the time, was less enamored of machines, but happened upon CB Simulator at a friend’s birthday party one night and proceeded to spend the next five hours “chatting.”

“It wasn’t this lonely-hearts-club-type thing,” Pam said. “Back then I had been pretty adamant about not getting married. I was of the mind that a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. It just didn’t seem important to me.

“But then,” she added, “I met Chris and we clicked so profoundly that I really wanted to be with him.”

It’s amazing how much society’s views on online dating have changed since 1982. Heck, even when I first hit the online dating scene in the late 90s, it was still pretty “weird” to date someone you met on the internet.

Oddly enough, the first guy I dated from the internet is still one of my closest friends. (Hi Sean!)

What do you think? With the way society is becoming more and more dependent on technology, will there be a day when this will be the “weird couple”?

Comments welcome!

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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