#365 Love is not about being single, it is about being social


I wish to thank everyone I knew before the start of my 365 day journey and those who have crossed my path since then, for being part of my wonderful adventure throughout 2013.  
The relationships I have experienced are the essence of what has helped to bring me to this peaceful space within myself. I have learned so much from all my connections with each person along the way.
I hope that 2014 brings a sense of calm, personal growth and accomplishment to everyone's life.
I know LOVE will follow and flourish from here
Happy New Year!
These two lands are a similar dichotomy such as the expressions:
Nature vs. nurture
Calm before the storm
Less is more
It is New Years week and I found myself at yet another crossroads.
I had every intention last week while in Lake Tahoe, of returning to Montreal, changing suitcases and jetting off to Beirut- but then a bomb went off! Literally and figuratively. The one that provoked me to rethink my position was the one that exploded in my head.
The beautiful Nada Merhi, founder of Red Carpet Magazine Lebanon
I realized that as much as I was looking forward to being with friends, exploring a new city and learning first hand about another culture- I really needed some inner calm and time to regroup for the coming year.
Me time!
This Single Gal is flying solo this New Year's Eve, but not to a place of extravagant restaurants, night clubs and parties.
Instead, The Kripalu Yoga Retreat in The Berkshires called my name. I have traded in my stilettos for my new Nike foot wraps and a yoga mat, trendy continental food for vegetarian cuisine, coffee for herbal tea and Dom Perignon for green juice.
Some may think I’ve finally lost my mind, but the truth is I feel like I never understood my needs or myself better until now.
I am enrolled in their R and R program, as well as a workshop called "The Writing Warrior", deepening our writing by bravely facing yourself. I am looking forward to meeting Laraine Herring. I know I will be doing more self- introspection, while finally learning how to be grammatically correct! LOL
As my year of finding love comes closer to an end, I embrace the thought of spending the rest of 2013 as an individual amongst total strangers and bringing in the New Year with a new sense of balance.
I wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope you are all as in a good space as I find myself today.
I thought it would be fun to look at the various ways people may use the acronym xo to express themselves under various circumstances.
They say a picture says a thousand words or maybe just three?
What do these images say to you?


The ultimate desire for lovers-I love you-together forever. However for a new relationship-in means OMG-run!
The playful and fun loving romantic.
This lover wants you to get the message and feel loved.
Long distance love affair gets the stamp of approval.
Skipping the HUG, there is no mistaking this sign of passion and desire being expressed.
The classic kiss of love.
The artistic lover who wants to color your world creatively.
Expressions of love 2014.
The foodie tells you how delicious you are.
The ADHD lover can't contain their passion and desire for you.
No matter how you choose to express your emotions to someone- remember to say it from THE HEART
Wishing you all a big XO this holiday season.
Gone are the days of it being just little girls in pretty pink dresses that scribble things like BFF and XOXO on sidewalks, with colorful chalk and handmade cards.
Teenage girls end every conversation with "love ya!"
But what does it all mean in this day and age?
I have come to realize that in the adult dating world, it has become common for people to sign off on a text with an xxx or an xo, but why? And how well should you know someone before it's considered appropriate?
Do we give away X's and O's too freely? 
I have felt that flutter of excitement when receiving a note that signed off with a term of endearment, from someone I have gone out with several times. To me, it meant he was thinking of me and would like to give me a hug and a kiss, even though we are not together. Nothing more, nothing less and without expectations.
But shouldn't we be better acquainted with each other the first?
I don't know about anyone else, but I don't usually hug and kiss total strangers!
So, what's with the XO from men that have just met the acquaintance of a woman and reaching out for the first time?
Recently, I was introduced to a handsome business man- public speaker at a conference in TO. Polite exchange of words and business cards lead to an XO text. Couldn't he have just said "Nice meeting you"?
I may not have grown up in this cyber fast paced world, but in my humble opinion, there is something insincere about this use of the acronym.
How can you hug and kiss someone you don't even know?
Have we become a society where we speak but don't express true feelings, as we hide behind screens that make it acceptable to be too familiar too fast?
This week as I was getting ready to go away, I realized I had a lot to take care of in preparation for my holiday.
To do list:
Get new passport
Pick up at dry cleaning and pharmacy
Take dog to sitter
Pack bags and print boarding pass
Call and wish family and friends a good holiday
Go to Globtex to exchange money
Break up with Mr. Maybe. Ugh!
I have to admit that this is the part of dating that I really do not enjoy, as no matter how you phrase it- rejection is rejection and it doesn't matter how many times you have gone out together.
So how to do you tell someone you don't want to go out with them again?
Statement – “I can’t go out with you.”

Explanation – “I’m not ready for a relationship yet.”

Apology – “I’m sorry, but…”

Appreciation – “I’m flattered that you asked, but…”

Concern – “I hope you don’t take this too hard…”

Encouragement – “You’re a really great person…”

Different relationship – “Maybe we can be friends first.
I found that in this case, simple was the best- "this won't work out" was all I said- no explanations were requested so I didn't elaborate. 
All my bags are packed and I'll be traveling light into 2014.
As the sun comes up.
I take a leap of faith.
No need to catch me.
I know my future is coming up behind me.
It feels good to be fearless and free.
It is time to be me.
Now come and find me - I'm here.
By Cheryl Besner
I invite all of you to join me in sharing our stories with each other. Please fill out this survey and maybe you will be next week’s Talk To Me Tuesdays featured love story! Share your thoughts at Love Quest Survey.
Meet Francois- a man in his 30s from Montreal. Here are his answers to the Love Quest Survey.
1. Do you believe in love at first sight?
2. Would you/have you ever used an online dating site?
3. Would you/have you ever used a matchmaking service?
4. Do you kiss and tell?
5. Do you believe in soulmates, i.e. that there is only one person out there for you?
1. What’s the worst opening line that’s ever been thrown your way?
"I know you're not my type and all and we won't get along, but I just thought I'd come and talk to you".
2. If you had to plan your perfect date, what would you do?
Send for a professional chauffeur to pick up my belle at a location of her choice. The driver would drive her to a harbour. I would have flowers in hand and welcome her onboard. We would have a sail-away romantic dinner around the scenic view of the city. The rest could be history.
3. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on a date?
The person showed up looking completely different than on her pictures. The date was at a restaurant where I was a regular. Not only was it the most embarrassing date, it was the shortest.
4. Under what circumstances would you say it is permissible to date a friend’s ex-spouse (if any)?
Only with his / her permission.
5. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for someone else?
Have the perfect weekend with them after 4 years of courting to then not push for a relationship / more intimacy only a month later because I had to move across the country because of work obligation. I thought it was the best decision I could do so she would not end up heartbroken. I still think of this decision to this day.
What would you do if your date showed up, not looking anything like their online profile?
Share your stories with me and have a chance to be featured for next week's Talk to me Tuesdays! 
I recently had a discussion with a friend who believed that like him, most men are attracted to a woman's essence rather than her looks. 
After doing some research- my study indicated that "in general", men are attracted visually, contrary to women who normally are stimulated through audio. 
Either way, I do believe that there are exceptions to the rules and men can and should be attracted by more than just physical beauty. 
Here are the 10 things that one gentleman by the name Damien Bohler (The Elephant Journal) is attracted to.
Do you think most men feel the same way? Are you a sapeosexual?
After almost 300 days of actively declaring my desire to find love, I am claiming victory!
I realized over the last few weeks, that I am not only back on the dating market, but also exploring and embracing every market and conquering them all!
I am back in the financial market, handling my own affairs and planning on diversifying, maybe even investing in the stock market. I investigate the market place, when deciding what items to buy and where, comparing services and fees. I shop at the farmers market on weekends, now that I don't go to the country. I have an e-membership with Meet Market Adventures, which give me the opportunity to choose activities offered out in the social market. Least not forget, I love to dine at Spice Market in NYC (Ok-may not be significant but delicious, so I just had to mention it!)
This may not sound sexy, but in actual fact, all this analysis and learning is providing me with a lot of satisfaction and belief in myself as an independent woman.
I am growing and making choices for myself- and that can only add to my confidence, which MARKET RESEARCH shows, men find very sexy.
I am hitting every market head on and my cart is filling up with life experiences that can't be bought. 
Some day I know I will be going to the supermarket for two, but until then my cupboard will never be bare, nor boring. 
Remember- as for the dating market- if you don't go shopping, you don't eat or the only person you may meet is the deliveryman. 
Have you gone to the market lately?