Fred Meyer met Lisa Goodman in 1998. They enjoyed a long-term relationship, which author Hannah Seligson would describe as being “a little bit married.” Seligson cites a recent trend in some circles: First comes love, then comes a decade of being “a little bit married,” then comes marriage. Fred wed Lisa in 2017.

When the couple met, Lisa was a 37 year-old single mom, divorced for two years and living in Los Angeles with two young children. Over Labor Day weekend, when the kids were with their dad, Lisa was invited to a brunch party at the Venice Beach home of a friend who worked with her in advertising. Lisa recalls: “I forced myself to do something I really didn’t feel like doing.”

Fred, a neighbor in the apartment complex, was also invited to the party.  “I came for the free food and drinks,” smiles Fred. His dog spotted Lisa as soon as she walked in carrying a batch of brownies.  Lisa also caught Fred’s attention, and after spending the afternoon talking, he asked for her phone number. They both agree that there was an instant connection.

Three weeks later they had their first date. “We had fun that evening,” recalls Fred. “We always have fun together,” adds Lisa.

But Fred wasn’t thinking long term.  He was then 30, just starting out in his career as a concert promoter, and had never been married. Fred explains: “Lisa and I were at different points in our lives.  She had real responsibilities.  I had none.  Lisa was more mature than me.”

Their relationship continued even as Fred moved to San Francisco. They resumed the same pattern they had worked out in LA of being together every other weekend.  In-between were the telephone conversations. “In some ways, our relationship was strengthened during that period,” says Lisa.

She continues: “I had never introduced my children to a potential boyfriend.  But by the time of my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah in 2005, when Fred had moved back to LA, the four of us were interacting as a family. And Fred has remained an integral part of the kids’ lives through their high school and college graduations.”

Over the next decade, the idea of marriage was beginning to evolve for Fred. “Marriage and family just seemed to go together,” he remarks. “Her kids had become our kids. It felt right. There was no pressure whatsoever from Lisa.”

In fact, Lisa was content with the status quo.  Linda Waite, a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago noted the following in her research:  “There is a greater reluctance to marry among 50-plus women than men.”

Still, on June 17, 2016, when Fred got down on his knee, Lisa was happy to accept his proposal. They were walking on Pebble Beach in Monterey, California. Lisa’s mom, who lived in Chicago, had already approved of the ring.

Both Fred and Lisa had dreamed of a Jerusalem wedding. Their dream came true when they stood under the chupa with their two children on the Jerusalem balcony of Miriam Wernick and her husband, Rabbi Joe Wernick, a cousin of Fred’s dad. Fred said:  “Getting married was the best thing I ever did. We should have done this a long time ago.”

Fred and Lisa were married on June 4, 2017. Mazal tov.