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"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.
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.
"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. Census, 14 percent of Kalamazoo County's 250,000-plus residents were over age 65 in 2015. The local Area on Aging expects this figure to grow significantly.
"They have been seeing each other practically every day, and they're happy. 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. Phillips says the agency projects 80 percent more people over age 60 in Kalamazoo County by the year 2030.
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.