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Perfect match

Compatibility test a fun way for retirees to find friendship, even love

Created date

January 22nd, 2013

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch that s the tune echoing throughout Oak Crest this month as residents discover their matches after participating in a compatibility questionnaire sponsored by the Oak Crest fitness center. The test, created by Matchmaker.com, is designed to help participants find true love, figure out if they re compatible with their spouse, or just to meet friends.

For the fun of it

I thought it would be a fun way to bring together people who may have passed each other in the community but have never met. It gives them an excuse to break the ice, says Oak Crest Wellness Coordinator Laura Selvage, who introduced the idea last year. Who knows? It might bring a lot of joy to someone who is all alone. Or it could be just a neat way to find out whether you have something in common with your neighbors. The test features 34 fun questions like: Which part of the newspaper do you read first? What animal best describes your personality? What would be your ideal vacation? Oak Crest participants pay $2 for their test results, and the monies raised support the fitness center. I had a few participants who were looking for love or a serious relationship, but the majority were just doing it for the fun of it, says Selvage. There s no pressure or obligation to meet your matches, but if you are looking to meet someone new, this is the perfect opportunity. One resident told me it was the best money they ever spent.

Is love sweeter after 50?

If you re in your 60s, 70s, or even 80s and looking for love, you re not alone. According to Match.com, a popular Internet dating site, people over age 50 make up their fastest-growing segment of users, with a 300% increase in membership since 2000. Abigail Trafford, a columnist atThe Washington Post, spent a year at the Stanford Center on Longevity at Stanford University interviewing couples over age 50 about their personal love stories and published a book about her findings. The biggest difference is you have some experience, she said in an interview with US News.com. You already have a love story inside you. You re a lot freer. You ve completed your adult tasks, which are to raise a family and establish yourself in the community. In your 20s, 30s, and 40s, you have a really long to-do list. By the time you get into your 60s and 70s, you have a kind of confidence that comes with experience. You are freer to define the kind of life you want to lead. That s a wonderful bonus for relationships.

Match made in heaven

One Oak Crest couple, who prefer to remain anonymous, discovered each other after last year s compatibility test. I took the test just for fun, says the woman who participated. When I received the results, I glanced at them and tossed them in the trash. A short time later, a gentleman who lives just around the corner from me called and left a message for me, indicating that I had come back as a match for him. We ended up going to lunch and really hit it off. A widow for 20 years, she says she was surprised to discover how much they had in common. We both love to go out to eat, to the movies, and watch TV, she says. We re also both discovering new things. For example, I love to dance, but he had never danced in his life. Now he s taking lessons. She says had he not made the effort to call her, they wouldn t be together today. We probably would have just continued to smile at each other and say good morning on the elevator, she says and offers this advice: If you ever have the opportunity to take a test like this, it s a lot of fun and a great way to meet new people. You never know what will happen. I really lucked into it. He s such a great guy.

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