Onlinedating site for flirting and sex

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They messaged for a few days by fax and email before speaking on the phone, and then went on their first date to a Chinese restaurant in 1996.

Freddie wasn’t technical enough to upload a picture, so Bill had no idea what she looked like - which was relatively common in the early days.

Eric Klien, a Las Vegas-based entrepreneur, had spent six months pondering the dilemma of dating.

“Traditional methods of courting and flirting are risky generally,” he wrote at the time.

Reclining on a purple velvet throne, inside his castle – a sixth-floor office in a grey tower block in central London – Karl Gregory is reeling off some of his favourite statistics. ” He whisks a print-out from a pile of papers on his desk and prods a blurry image in the middle.

“517,000 relationships, 92,000 marriages and around a million babies,” he grins. It’s a picture of a customer’s baby scan under the words: “all thanks to Match.com”.

“It’s amazing to have been a pioneer of something that is now so normal,” she says.

Though early users were taking a gamble by signing up to the site, the real leap of faith in Match.com’s history took place on December 27, 1992.

He purchased for ,500 (£1,650) and launched it as a dating service on the open internet in 1995.

At the British HQ of the world’s biggest dating agency, every day is Valentine’s Day.

The lift doors ping open to reveal a wall plastered in photographs of happy couples – cliché upon cliché of wedding shots, beach scenes, even a pair strolling through a sunflower field.

The couple from California are among the first in history to have gone on an online date – and, two decades later, have a long, happy marriage to show for it.

“I had just broken up with somebody and I decided, aged 53, that maybe it was time to get married,” says Freddie.

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