Internet dating used to scream social stigma but in the past decade it’s become more and more acceptable, even advised. But if you’re not convinced that it’s possible to find love online, just ask Montreal’s Cheryl Besner. On February 14th the self-described “hopeful romantic” launched her new website, 365 Days to Find Love as a challenge to herself and other single women to look for love, wherever it may be hiding.
Besner got the idea to start the website when, two years after the end of her 25 year marriage, she found herself “floundering”. “Where do I go from here? I know a lot of people but I wasn’t meeting new people. So I wanted to do something to broaden my horizons.” The website is split up into sections including a personal journal (we totally identified and giggled with Besner’s challenges finding a screen name), reader experiences, advice from experts and fun videos (we loved watching her learning how to use her webcam dressed in head-to-toe sequins).
Though Besner doesn’t believe that romance should be digitized (ask her out in a text message and you’ll blow your chances), she plans on using the digital world as a tool, not only to connect with men on dating sites but also to find activities and other resources to help her find that special someone. But second only to meeting that perfect guy, her goal is to connect with other single women. “I wanted to talk to women in the same position, not someone who was trying to sell me a service,” she explained. “So I figured, while I’m looking around, why not tell me story? I want to inspire other people to start branching out and take the stigma out of wanting to meet someone new.”
Though the website is open to people all ages, Besner has focused on the needs of single women in their 40s. “Most of my friends are married and we’re in routines. We’re not 25 anymore so we don’t get to walk into university and see thousands of new faces.”
She hopes that her website will turn into a platform for single women in their 40s to share tips and offer support in the search for love. You can tell your story or fill in her Love Quest Survey online and share your own experiences finding love. “It’s not just about me. I’m hoping to turn it into a forum where everyone can share their experiences. I’m not a celebrity. I just want women to know that there are other people out there going through the same things they are.”
Some people might feel anxious about dishing their love life online, but not Besner ” People have been asking me how far I’m willing to go and how much I’m willing to reveal. But I’m such a gung ho person that I feel like I have to do this for the community of women who are single. We have to help each other! So I’m not nervous. I think it will be great! And if it goes where I want it to go, I think that women can use it to guide and support each other.”
“I believe there is romance out there for all of us”