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PODCAST: WMUK 102.1 NPR OF SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN
Not Just Love or Sex, But Companionship: Over-50 Speed Dating

Thursday, August 31st, 2017 • Leave a comment
by Earlene McMichael • August 10, 2017
kim-phillips-speed-dating-portage
Kim Phillips, Portage Senior Center Manager, at one of four senior speed dating events she organized during Summer 2017 after screening The Age of Love.

CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ THE ENTIRE STORY AND LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

HAVING A STRONG SOCIAL NETWORK HAS A POSITIVE EFFECT ON THE HEALTH OF SENIOR CITIZENS. But here’s the thing: Finding a partner and friends can be tougher for older adults.

Tammy, a Kalamazoo-area woman, has been searching for that special someone for a long time.

“I’m 65. I am divorced, and I have been on my own for about 18 years,” she says. “I’ve had some dates in between.” But nothing turned serious.

She’s even tried a matchmaking service. “It’s a paid service, where they do a background check and everything… It’s been three or four years since I signed up with them, and they never really got any matches for me.”

Gordon is a 78-year-old man from Portage. He says it’s been hard to move on after the death of his wife of over a half century, who died three years ago.

He has taken a few women out to lunch since her death, but he says he wouldn’t call that dating.

“When you’re married that many years as long as I’ve been, you figure you’re never going to find love again because it’s too big of a loss,” he explains, pausing, his voice beginning to crack.

“And to try to overcome that loss is a difficult thing to do.”

Playing cupid: Speed dating

Kim Phillips manages the Portage Senior Center. She’s heard similar stories from older adults as they seek to re-enter the dating world.

So in July the senior center started offering its first ever speed dating events to address the social isolation some older adults feel. There’s ones for people aged 50 to 65; another for those 65 and up. The response from women has been especially robust, resulting in waiting lists and, ultimately, more sessions added.

It’s only been a few weeks since launching, but speed dating has already led to some older adults no longer having to spend their days alone.

“We got a call from a gentleman who was at the first speed dating event on July 17th, who said he has made a connection with a woman that night,” Phillips says. “They have been seeing each other practically every day, and they’re happy. He said he almost didn’t show up to the event. He was so nervous in the parking lot.”

What was originally supposed to be a handful of speed dating events will now be many ones offered several times a year on either an every-other-month or quarterly basis, officials say…

PLEASE CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE STORY AND INTERVIEW WITH KIM PHILLIPS

 

CELEBRATING 50 SPRING SCREENINGS, FROM CALGARY TO MIAMI BEACH!

Thursday, June 8th, 2017 • Leave a comment

spring-2017-screenings-for-FB-final

WE’VE HAD A BUSY SPRING SPREADING THE LOVE IN OVER 50 CITIES. With thanks for the memories from (clockwise from top) ‘heart-handers’ at Aging Life Care Association’s 2017 Annual Conference, United Way of Miami-Dade’s ‘Continue United’ program (with AARP Florida), Reston Community Center’s encore screening, the amazing students at NDSU Nursing at Sanford Health, and the Portage MI Senior Center’s screening kickoff to FOUR senior speed dating events they’ve announced for July and August! Now onward to the Fall!

INTERVIEW: WQUN AM 1220 NEW HAVEN — BECKERMAN JCC JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL

Saturday, May 13th, 2017 • Leave a comment
by Ray Andrewsen, Host of WQUN’s ‘The Morning Show with Ray Andrewsen’, 5.9.2017

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RAY ANDREWSEN: TONIGHT, RIGHT HERE AS PART OF THE JCC’s BECKERMAN JEWISH FILM SERIES, AN EXCEPTIONAL FILM will be at Tower One Tower East in New Haven.

It’s touching, it’s poignant, it’s funny, very funny. It’s ‘THE AGE OF LOVE’, a film by Steven Loring, and it’s about speed dating in Rochester, New York. And joining us this morning is Steven Loring at WQUN. Great to have you here. Thanks for being with us.

Steven Loring: Thanks Ray, it’s my pleasure.

Ray Andrewsen: You know, I can’t imagine a 70, 80, 90-year-old person speed dating. It just doesn’t sound like that would be an event you’d naturally call to mind, somebody who’s an octogenarian or a nonagenarian. But somehow you filmed all of this, and put it in this great film.

Steven Loring: Well, I think it’s a concept whose time is certainly coming. The world is changing in so many ways, demographically. When I was growing up, I know my grandparents were in their 60s and they were already “old” and retiring and looking for a few activities to do in the years they had remaining. Whereas today, people 70s, 80s, 90s, even 100 and beyond, are out living and growing and experiencing things in a whole new way. And as long as you’re alive, people want to grow, and growth means connection, it means emotional connection. And so it just makes sense, I think, that we’re starting to get rid of some of those stereotypes and address aging as it is in this millennium. Which is a lot different.

PLEASE CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO HEAR THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW

 

FEATURE: MIAMI HERALD — Speed dating with a walker? Well, why not?

Sunday, January 29th, 2017 • Leave a comment
by Ana Veciana-Suarez, Syndicated Columnist, 1.30.2017
miami herald 1_30_2017

THE HAIR MAY BE GOING GRAY AND THE EYESIGHT DIM, but the yearning for social connection — for the touch of a hand, the sound of a companionable laugh — remains a person’s strongest need through the decades.

In some cases the longing for love can mean a willingness to do the unexpected. Like speed dating at 80. Or speed dating while on an oxygen tank.

United Way of Miami-Dade volunteers and staff discovered this when they launched Continue United, an effort to bring retirees and pre-retirees together to contribute their time and talent to the community through the local nonprofit. The interest in the dating scene is such that Continue United’s second event, a dinner-and-movie night scheduled for Feb. 2, sold out after a single email blast. The committee has started a waiting list for the evening, which is co-sponsored by AARP and the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade.   Continue Reading

FEATURE: WISC-TV NEWS 3 MADISON, WI — Madison Senior Center holds speed dating for singles 65 and older

Thursday, November 17th, 2016 • Leave a comment
by Dannika Lewis, News Reporter, 11.16.2016madison-senior-center-speed-dating

MADISON, WIS. – PATTI HEMMING IS NOT ONE FOR WAITING. Comfortably situated at table seven with a condensation-covered copper cup in hand, she was already well into her mindset for her happy hour engagement.

“It’s an adventure,” Hemming said.

John F. Kennedy was president when Hemming met her husband. That was the last date she ever went on.

“March 19, 1963,” Hemming said.

She lost her one-and-only years ago, and knowing he would want her to be happy, Hemming found herself at a series of events hosted by the Madison Senior Center centered on helping people make a match in their later years.

Hemming managed to convince a few friends to come with her to the Madison Concourse Hotel. They had six minutes to meet and greet their fellow seniors, all at least 65 years old, in the first senior speed dating event of its kind.    Continue Reading

INTERVIEW: KUNR 88.7 RENO – NPR — Film Highlights Elder Speed Dating

Saturday, October 1st, 2016 • Leave a comment
by Noah Glick, News ReporterKUNR-screenshot

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW WITH FILMMAKER STEVEN LORING.

A NEW FILM CALLED ‘THE AGE OF LOVE’, WHICH FOLLOWS A GROUP of seventy- to ninety-year-olds as they try speed dating, is coming to the University of Nevada, Reno. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick recently chatted with the film’s director, Steven Loring, to talk about what dating is like for this group.

Noah Glick: Tell me a little bit about the film and what you experienced.

Steven Loring: The story of the film is the adventures of 30 70-to-90-year-olds in Rochester, New York who sign up for a very unique speed dating event. And the film follows them from the time they sign up through their experiences at the dating event and when they receive their results, and then we follow several of the couples who go out on dates afterwards.

You could describe it as kind of a humorous and poignant meditation on the overlooked hearts of that generation: the needs, the emotional desires of a group of people that we really haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to.    Continue Reading

The Age of Love, Fall 2016 Screening Kickoff

Thursday, September 15th, 2016 • Leave a comment
Fall 2016 screenings montage

OUR FALL SEASON KICKS OFF WITH SCREENINGS SPONSORED by universities and senior communities, at festivals celebrating love and feminism, in libraries, theaters, pubs and classrooms in four countries (including Senior Speed Dating in Moscow!). Check out our schedule and join in the love near you!

FEATURE: SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS — The search for love never gets old for senior citizens

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016 • Leave a comment
by Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 7.1.2016
photo credit: Brittany Greeson San Antonio Express-Newssan antonio web logo revsan antonio speed dating 2 Brittany Greeson San Antonio Express-Newssan antonio speed dating 3 Brittany Greeson San Antonio Express-Newssan antonio speed dating 1 Brittany Greeson San Antonio Express-Newssan antonio speed dating 4 Brittany Greeson San Antonio Express-News

DATING AT ANY AGE CAN BE STRESSFUL, EXHAUSTING, EVEN HAZARDOUS TO ONE’S SELF-ESTEEM. Now imagine wading into the dating pool when you’re past retirement age.

Indeed, fireworks are rare for those who date during their so-called golden years, especially for women, who significantly outnumber their male counterparts. To help right this imbalance, some seniors are borrowing a strategy from younger generations and trying speed dating in hopes of once again feeling that spark of attraction.

“It’s hard meeting a man who’s single,” said Sandy Camero, 69, who attended a recent event at the Igo Public Library designed for seniors who wanted to meet new people. “They’re either too old and don’t ever want to do anything or, if they’re my age, they’re looking for someone younger.”   Continue Reading

REVIEW: CHARLESTON CITY PAPER — Taking a chance on love

Friday, April 29th, 2016 • Leave a comment
by Connelly Hardaway, Charleston City Paper reviewer, 4.29.2016charleston-city-paper-4_29_2016

THE AGE OF LOVE, A DOCUMENTARY PRODUCED BY DIRECTOR STEVEN LORING, will screen at the Terrace Theater this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The film follows 30 Rochester, NY senior citizens who sign up for a speed dating event, tracking their journey before, during, and after the event.

“It’s very much a personal journey,” says Loring of making the film. “It’s about launching an investigation into something that’s important to you.” Loring first started to think about senior citizens and love when he watched his mother struggle with her identity after his father died.

“You still feel so young inside,” he says. So when he heard about a speed dating event for seniors ages 70-90, he knew he had to explore the possibilities of older people falling in love. “There’s an assumption by society that falling in love [when you're older] is cute. But it’s real,” he says.   Continue Reading

ESSAY: SCITUATE (MA) MARINER — Senior speed dating

Sunday, April 10th, 2016 • Leave a comment
by Robine Andrau, Scituate Mariner, 4.6.2016              scituate-mariner-article-graphic-for-website

IT’S APRIL FOOLS’ DAY AND I FEEL A TAD FOOLISH, but I’ve signed up, so I’m going. I leave the house early to assure myself a good parking space near the entrance. When I get to the town parking lot in front of the movie theater, I’m lucky to find any space at all. Of course, I should have known, seniors are usually early. I’m happy for the senior center’s director, Linda Hayes, who organized this event. Perhaps there’ll be a fairly decent turnout, maybe even 30 or 40 people.

When I enter the theater, I’m floored. I do a rough count of those already seated as people keep pouring in. One hundred twenty I estimate. Maybe more. Most of those gray- and white-haired heads belong to women. Where are the men? Are they afraid to show up knowing they’re outnumbered? Or have they moved to apartments in Boston after losing their mates to divorce or death?

We’ve come to see “The Age of Love.” The movie shows non-actor seniors in their 70s and even 80s unafraid to reveal that no matter what their age, they desire companionship and relationships as much as do those many years younger. And these brave souls are up for taking part in an unrehearsed senior speed-dating event and doing it in front of cameras.   Continue Reading

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