You must hand it to CJAD program director Chris Bury. He continues to add unique and interesting programs to the weekend lineup. On the Record with Jason Rockman, where the host interviews noted personalities about their careers and then plays some of their favorite songs, is solid. Now comes Solo in the City with Montreal-based dating coach and event planner Cheryl Besner on Saturday evenings at 10 p.m.
When I last interviewed Cheryl more than two years ago she was launching a high profile blog called 365 Days to Find Love, which chronicled her journey in the hopes of connecting, inspiring, and educating single women everywhere.The online journal of her then newly single life developed a nice following, focusing on women over 40 who were remerging in the dating scene. She shared advice from international matchmakers, explored various Internet dating services, and developed some of her own ways to discover serendipitous encounters at places like the gym or grocery store. She introduced readers to other searchers of love: the cynics, the starry-eyed and the star crossed, and the men she met. Although she only got involved in a committed relationship recently, her 365 day experience which started on Valentine’s Day in 2013 was a great experience.
“I learned a lot about myself,” Cheryl now admits. “I did have a few relationships, but because of what I was doing this became a bit of a catch 22 situation. A lot of the men were worried I would blog about them. I did, but I never mentioned names. I merely described the type of people they were.”
Cheryl, a mom of three, says the one thing that stood out from the experience was her desire to step up and assist all of the single people out there spending most of their time at home alone. “I realized that nobody was really putting this topic under one umbrella,” she notes. “I went to a conference in Los Angeles and from there I went to New York and got my coaching certification in dating.”
It was soon after that Cheryl coined the term Solo in the City. “I wanted to help people find a place to go,” she explained. “One of my messages to singles was that you are not going to meet someone by staying home. Go to a restaurant, an event or a library. Odds are you will meet someone and start a discussion. Everyone loved Solo in the City term because it is non-threatening and non-invasive.”
Enter the new CJAD show, which made its debut on March 21. It is her hope that the multiplatform show will actually get singles out from behind their computers and into the urban dating jungle with ease.
“Connecting people is something I have always done naturally throughout my career, so why not apply my skills to the most important connections of all?” Cheryl said. “I’ve finally found the networking niche I truly adore. What can be better than helping people find love connections?”
The show takes a multifaceted approach to meeting new friends and potential partners. She aims to take the pressure out of awkward blind dates or superficial online chatting by simply connecting Montrealers on a human level first, through events or designated meetup locations across the city. Encouraging singles to be, above all, sociable will maximize their chances of making new friends and eventually finding love.
“Very few people find love at first sight, or first swipe on Tinder,” added Cheryl, touted by her publicist as a fixture of Westmount’s social scene who has created exclusive events like The Angel Ball benefiting the Jewish General Hospital, thrown dinner parties for Dom Pérignon and hosted elite soirees for celebrities like Mia Farrow and Sir Richard Branson. “Let’s take the pressure down a notch and just get people talking! Maybe the person next to you at a Solo event won’t be the one, but knows a friend who could be. If you can’t be a little sociable and comfortable in your own skin, it will be that much harder to find love.”
Check out the all-new website, solointhecity.tv, featuring event listings, blogs and content geared toward Montrealers looking for love. A parallel Solo in the City dating site has also been launched with the theme: Coffee, tea and we - meet local singles at designated spots in town for a low-pressure cup of coffee!
If you cannot catch the show live, you can access the podcast anytime at solointhecity.tv.