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But in Portage, Phillips appears to have tapped into something.
The first event, in July, was a hit, and there are currently about 85 women on the wait list.
Speed-dating events for seniors are slowly cropping up across the country and, spoiler alert, they're a huge success."I think people forget that when you get older, and especially if you lose a spouse or partner, you're by yourself a lot," Kim Phillips, the senior citizens services manager at the Portage Senior Center in Portage, Michigan, told TODAY.
"Isolation can be a physical killer."Speed dating typically conjures images of big cities and millennials, but as Phillips is learning, it might also be a unique fit for senior citizens.
"Each time, people come in and they're a little tense and a little nervous ...
but as the evening progresses, you can physically see them open up and brighten.
She's organized five speed-dating events for seniors in her community so far, with more planned for November and December."This is definitely out-of-the-box thinking for us, and for a lot of senior centers," she said.
She may feel “too old for this.” Compliment her when appropriate, keep the tone of conversation light, and laugh.Acknowledge your own trepidations and embrace the dating adventure together.Many single senior women are looking for companions, not caregivers.And I think it's just the social interaction, not necessarily the romantic interaction.By the end of the hour and a half, they're expansive, opened up, leaning into each other.