When a couple is married, they repeat the vow “…till death do us part,” not knowing when or how that phrase may impact their lives. After decades of marriage, children and grandchildren, one spouse may pass away, leaving the other to navigate the world alone and without companionship. Waltonwood Providence (11945 Providence Road in Charlotte) is offering a unique way for seniors to connect with one another in a safe, fun way. The senior living community will host two events to show area seniors that love is ageless. On Friday, February 12 from 1 to 3 p.m., they’re holding a special screening of the documentary “The Age of Love,” a movie that follows the humorous and poignant adventures of seniors participating in a speed-dating event exclusively for their age group. Then on Friday, February 26 from 1 to 3 p.m., the community will bring the documentary to life by hosting its own speed-dating event exclusively for seniors 70 years old and up. Waltonwood Providence is hosting these events to bring like-minded single seniors together without commitment. Guests will have the opportunity to get to know each other through a series of short, one-on-one chats, and if a match is made they will have the option to pursue the relationship further. The public is invited to attend one or both free events. By hosting these fun and interactive events, the community hopes single seniors will be able to come together to find friendship or romantic love.
79-year-old Waltonwood Providence resident Richard Solar has been widowed for nearly three years, and like many seniors, had hoped he would share his retirement years with his partner by his side. Now, Solar is looking for a companion to share the many facets of his life with, which still include a lot of activity and new experiences. He has dabbled in dating some, and is looking forward to meeting new faces at these upcoming events.
“I’d hoped we’d go through retirement together here,” said Solar. “We had a nice marriage and a lot of fun together. I enjoy traveling and trying new things and would like to be able to find a companion to do that with and feel that spark again with someone. I’m very much looking forward to meeting women who are open to the possibility of dating, and open to finding someone to spend time with at this time in their lives.”
When Waltonwood Providence resident Lenore Labiner, 82, lost her husband eight years ago to Lewy Body Dementia, her relationship expectations changed drastically. She now concentrates on finding someone to have a good time and try new things with, rather than finding another soul mate. Labiner has been dating off and on, and is looking forward to seeing some new faces and seeing where things go. While Labiner has never done speed dating before, she does have some experience in the online dating world. When her friends would create profiles, the college English major would proofread and edit their work to help them meet their match.
“My children encourage me to try to things at least once, so I’m going in with an open mind and looking to have fun and meet new people,” said Labiner. “It’s harder to meet someone when you’re older–there just aren’t really the same opportunities to meet people–and I’ve never really felt like online dating would work for me. Dating as a senior is different than dating in your 20s because we’re coming into a relationship with a lifetime of experiences already, but I also think I’m smarter about it in certain aspects. I think the speed dating is going to be a lot of fun.”
“We’re so excited to provide area seniors a way to meet and let them know that it is okay to find happiness or even love again,” said Leah Nash, Waltonwood Providence’s associate executive director. “The humorous documentary breaks down many stereotypes and fears seniors may have about getting back into the dating game. We encourage those interested in finding companionship to come to these free events to learn more.”
To RSVP to either screening of “The Age of Love” or the speed-dating event, please call 704-233-7222.