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Picture this: A group of senior citizens gather in a room, mingle over drinks and snacks, and then find their seats at one of the many small tables, one man and one woman at each.

They have five minutes to talk, to learn each other's names and interests and backgrounds, and then a bell rings. Events like this are usually aimed at young professionals — until now.

(Men are harder to get involved, she said.) A restaurant hosts the events, and they're open to the general public, not just members of the senior center. For Phillips, half the fun is watching the seniors open up, as if they're reawakening something that's been inside them all along.

Phillips and her staff have already witnessed dozens of love connections: There's the couple who met at a restaurant for their first date and talked for hours until they realized they'd forgotten to order dinner, and the man who had to undergo a sudden open-heart surgery weeks after meeting someone: "His girlfriend came in and said, 'I am so glad we met, because that would have been a very lonely experience for him to go through,'" Phillips said. "The only word I can come up with is transformative," she said.

Speed-dating events for seniors are slowly cropping up across the country and, spoiler alert, they're a huge success.

By the end of the hour and a half, they're expansive, opened up, leaning into each other."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.She's organized five speed-dating events for seniors in her community so far, with more planned for November and December.You will be surprised at the sheer number of mature men and women online and registration is very quick, very simple and it's FREE to try!!!Being over fifty and single can be hard, whether through choice, lack of opportunity, divorce or bereavement, we often retreat into our own worlds and deny ourselves the pleasures that we did when we were young.

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When using an online dating service, instead of sending a personal ad in the post to a newspaper, you would simply type a short profile about yourself into a dating website such as ours, for other members to find and read.

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