Can’t Stop Reading: Forty Days of Dating

So yesterday I was scrolling randomly through my social networks and came across a site called Forty Days of Dating.

I think these guys are incredibly brave.
I think these guys are incredibly brave.

What’s it about?

It’s a project that two friends in New York started when they realized that they were both single and that they have diametrical relationship issues. Both artists in their own right, Tim Goodman and Jessica Walsh are using this 40-day experiment to explore, understand, and confront their patterns in the face of intimacy. The question here is whether this would help them in the long run or make their issues even worse…especially when they realize barely three days in that they actually are attracted to each other.

Why I can’t seem to stop reading

I have no idea if this is the real deal or if this is just some kind of performance thing. All I know is that a lot of this stuff really cracked me up and made me think.

Each entry focuses on a particular day of their “dating period”, with both participants answering matching questionnaires by the end of the day. Most of my fascination can be attributed to their vastly contrasting perspectives on what happened during their interactions, what they consider important or noteworthy, what they believe the lesson of their experience happens to be. You sometimes get a vivid picture of why these two people are such great friends, you get glimpses of how this romance COULD work, and visions of how and why this could crash and burn like a badly-designed dirigible.


Couple the sheer titillation you get out of peering into these people’s psyches with the sharp and quirky graphic banners meant to summarize their state of mind as reflected in their responses to the questionnaire, and you just fall in love with these people. In a manner of speaking, of course.

I don’t know if it’s because their theme is LOVE, or if it’s because it really is honest and hilarious in equal measures, but I really believe that this has the makings of a really interesting book.

They say that there are new posts added daily from July 10 to August 18, even though the project officially started in March 20. The posts so far stop at day 16, which followed a not-so-shocking development that makes you wonder if (and hope that) they can actually get through this. No matter what happens, though, I think this site is one of the more interesting public experiments I’ve ever seen conducted online. And I think anyone who’s interested in this kind of thing (and admit it, there are LOTS of us) should really check it out.

4 thoughts on “Can’t Stop Reading: Forty Days of Dating

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