Senior speed dating offers a new way to meet people

Senior citizens looking for a quick, casual way to get to know others their age with similar interests have a chance to give speed dating a try.

“Speed dating is a way for people to quickly meet others and find out their particulars in a non-threatening environment,” said Stephanie Smith, president of Senior Advocate. “Once they have met everyone, they have a chance to speak more in depth with the people they may be interested in befriending or dating. Speed dating has become a popular form of dating, especially for older people, who tend to know exactly what they are looking for in a potential partner and can quickly size up who they may have similar interests with.”

Each speed dating participant will have 2 minutes to describe themselves to the other person, then the men will get up and move to the next seat to meet the next woman. The speed daters will have a chance to speak more at length with each other during the social event afterward.

Senior Advocate hosts social events for seniors on a quarterly basis. Cynthia Gillespie, 65, has been attending events for the past five years.

“I like to go with a friend and we always have a great time,” Gillespie said. “It’s nice to go to an event where you know you will be around people your age. It’s empowering.”

Social events such as these can be fun for seniors, especially those who live alone. Surrounding themselves with other people helps prevent isolation, which can lead to a host of health problems for single seniors.

“Any social activity is important for seniors,” said Randi Chew, marketing and development manager for Peninsula Agency on Aging. “Speed dating doesn’t have to be anything romantic. It can be about just getting out, getting to know someone and making a friend.”

Want to go?

Williamsburg’s Single Senior Social will be held 4-7 p.m. Dec. 7 at Commonwealth Senior Living, 236 Commons Way. The free event will include a social as well as a round of speed dating. Those who wish to participate in the optional speed dating session are asked to bring a friend of the opposite sex. Registration is required by Dec. 4. To register, visit SenAdv.com or call 757-724-7001.

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