Pam Ling and Judd Winick from the 1994 season of The Real World set in San Francisco have just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. That’s right—these two found true love amid all the drama that comes with the MTV series.
Ling and Winick were two of the seven strangers who were thrown together 22 years ago for the third season of the long-running reality show—which just began airing its 32nd season earlier this month, making all the ’90s kids out there feel ancient.
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So what’s the secret behind this couple who emerged from such strange beginnings?
Winick attributes their success to not actually getting together until after they were far away from the cameras, telling The New York Times: “I can’t imagine you’re completely you when you’re on camera. It’s when the camera stops that you finally get to assess.”
What brought this duo together—out of the dreaded friend zone—was their mutual love for all things geeky. “She’s kind of shockingly nerdy,” Winick noted. A big interest for them early on was Star Wars and, as Winick explains, they “still love and get obsessive about things together.”
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It’s Ling who offers up the best advice for all of us: “Celebrate your common joys.”
These days the couple—who were married on September 9, 2001—have two children together. Ling, a doctor, is a professor of medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, and Winick writes comic books and graphic novels.
Here’s to many more years of happiness for these two!