40 Days of Dating: First Comes Friendship, Then Comes…Dating?

This just in: dating is hard. Scratch that. Dating used to be hard; back when boy met girl and girl agreed to go steady. Yes, plain old going steady was still hard, without the help of technology, when it was still called going steady. Now we find ourselves immersed in 2013, a year in which dating is tougher than most Olympic sports and your ability to lock down plans with a sane prospect for Friday night should land you atop the medal podium; definite gold goes to those whose night doesn’t end resembling a scene from Girls. So, what are modern day guys and gals to do when the tweeting, texting, facebooking, online-dating world of present-day love has tired them out and let them down? Well, best friends Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh decided to date each other. Luckily for all of us, the duo documented the experiment every step of the way.

By now, you have probably heard of 40 Days of Dating. Envious observers have been posting their obsessions over the project via various forms of social media for weeks; friends wait anxiously for the previous day’s activity to form the present day’s post, leaving them to discuss the developments. The dating life of Tim and Jessica is consuming the happy hour conversations of both committed and single men and women all over the nation. If you have somehow escaped being sucked in to the latest internet craze, allow me bring you into the vortex with the rest of us.

Tim and Jessica, best friends living in New York City, found themselves single at the same time after seeing one another through years of crazy relationships and endless dating. Their single statuses wouldn’t last however, as they concocted a crazy, yet amazingly awesome, idea that would reveal if opposites really do attract. Walsh, a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic who is constantly searching for “the one” wondered if she was sabotaging her relationships by jumping in too quickly; or perhaps the guys she dated just sucked (sometimes, it is totally their fault, ladies.) Goodman’s situation was just the opposite; he was the one half of the friendship possessing a romantic history littered with often meaningless dating and, as stereotypes would have it, an evident fear of commitment. Owning up to their faults and realizing their vastly different outlooks on love, the long-time friends made the decision to pair up and explore their fears and inadequacies. Since it has been said it takes forty days to break a bad habit, Goodman and Walsh vowed to go through the motions of a real relationship for that exact amount of time in hopes of overcoming their dating downfalls. Thus, 40 Days of Dating was born and the millennial generation rejoiced.

The allotted forty days has come and gone for the friends turned couple and now the whole world gets to read about their trial period one day at a time. Currently over halfway through the unveiling, the website provides daily updates on the happenings and events of the couple’s dating life, as well as Tim and Jessica’s emotions and thoughts through graphic designs, original art, videos, photos and question and answer sessions. The rules their followers are eagerly observing them abide by seemed simple at the onset- see each other every day for forty days, go on at least three dates per week, see a couples therapist once a week, go on one weekend trip together, fill out the daily questionnaire and document everything and, lastly, not see, date, hookup or have sex with anyone else. On second thought, how simple would it actually prove to be? Would their dating ruin their friendship? What if they hooked up? Would it be awkward after? Would they end up together? All questions they asked themselves when they dove in head first; all things we are learning one day at a time.

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