But it isn't." Loring provides speed-dating kits to senior centers and communities that screen his film, with instructions for how to host their own event.
So far, he's given out 200 kits, although many of the events he's heard about are one-offs, he said.
(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.
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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.
"Each time, people come in and they're a little tense and a little nervous ...