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Christine (61) meets with Herman (63) on speeddate: OCMW of Ghent helps aged over 60 to new love
Ghent, The OCMW of Ghent, notes that many single zestigplussers are looking for a new love, but do not know how to begin. So they organized a speed-date for them in the St. anthony chapel, with the subtitle of ‘lust for life’. Sixty seniors came to this, though most of them had, however, cameravrees.

Christine Dupont (61) was very excited to speeddate. “I have a leaflet found in a Local service Centre, social WELFARE office and wanted to try,” she said. “I'm already 17 years old only. That was a deliberate choice, I wanted no one in the home as long as my daughter living at home. But now that it stands on its own feet, it is back to me.”

Her first date of 7 minutes had Christine Herman (63), and that was already very good. Herman proved to be very popular. “But that is not of me,” he chuckled. “There are just a lot fewer men and I think I'm one of the youngest am, that's why.” Seven minutes for a first introduction seems short, but Christine found it ok. “Maybe it's me, but I feel very quickly, or it with someone click, or not.”

As zestigplusser a new relationship to start, is not easy. “I've been online dating tried, but I found that a thick disappointment”, says Christine. “I've had three encounters in the past but it's still weird. While you are here in direct contact with real people of flesh and blood, that is something completely different.”


Desperately she is certainly not, says Christine. “I have a very busy life, and lots of hobbies. When I first retired, I am completely on my own from Ghent to Compostela walk. Four months I'm on the road. I walk like, I paint, I photograph. In short, I'm busy. But it would be nice to have that with someone to share. And I miss the physical contact also. I am here without any expectations. I learn friends here know, or more? Very good. If not, then it was a lot of fun.”

At the WELFARE office they notice that there really is a demand for activities such as this. “Friends can seniors find in the local service centres. Here they know of each other that they are specifically looking for a relationship. That lowers the threshold. We have this already done, but then in ‘series’. Then there was a speed date, then a cooking class, and then a dansinitiatie. Now we have only a speeddate. We assume that people here know and contact want to keep up with each other, sometimes without our will.”

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