Still Reading: Forty Days of Dating

Okay, I just HAVE to do another post about this project.

Not only is it so gripping that I’m not sure what I’m going to do in my spare time AFTER we get to Day 40, it’s also so popular that my post on it has something like 180 views. That kind of traffic is insane, as far as I’m concerned.

To those who happened to pass through this blog because of 40 Days, hi! Have you gotten to Day 24/25 yet? Because holy heck, they actually went for it. Not that I’m surprised, but this is one of those things that could either work out really, really well or really, really badly. Call me a pessimist, but it really feels like the latter to me. I don’t think their neuroses complement each other at all. It’s not that I don’t believe in the opposites attract thing – I do. It’s just that “attraction” doesn’t necessarily translate to a successful love story in real life.

Forty Days 26 (from the site Forty Days of Dating)
Forty Days 26 (from the site Forty Days of Dating)

You know, this whole thing kind of makes me think of my overall attitude about relationships: they’re wonderful, but they don’t need to end in “marriage” or “happily ever after after”. This is not an issue of commitment – I can be committed as heck if I want to. It’s just that I’ve seen way too many couples who break up after they get married or after years together. And that’s even if they seemed perfect for each other.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have issues with marriage; I don’t see why it has to be THE proof of commitment, when there are other ways to express commitment. Half the time, I think it’s that piece of paper or the promise of “forever” that destroys the relationship because it puts so much pressure on it. Unless you’re ALREADY extremely committed, I don’t think that a wedding or any similar deals will do anything to really reinforce the romantic partnership. I know that there’s this thing about pressure and diamonds, but I always thought that it only works when you’re dealing with coal. I don’t think that romance is anything like coal. I could be wrong.

My point is that I’m probably more like Tim in the experiment – even though I’m far from being a serial dater. As such, Jessie’s earnest desire to have a relationship like her parents’ makes me slightly uncomfortable. I think that’s too much to hope and push for, especially when there’s no relationship to speak of. They don’t say it outright, but I think she occasionally approaches attraction with unconscious expectations of happy endings. That, I think, can be totally unfair to a partner.

What do you guys think? Will Jessie and Tim make it or will they crash and burn? What are your opinions about relationships, commitment, and romantic expectations?

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.

It’s GLORIOUS.

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.

Writing Challenge 13 – My Current Relationship Status

This one’s easy – my current relationship status is “in a relationship”.

The boyfriend, circa 2010. Photo care of Marc Tan
With this guy. ❤ Photo care of Marc Tan, circa 2010.

And it’s a pretty good relationship, to boot. We celebrated four years together last February. Those years were spent laughing and geeking out over various things. We’re still laughing and geeking out over various things. I’m not sure when we’ll stop doing that. Not for a while yet, I hope.

Strangely enough, I think that this relationship lasted this long because of our compatible opinions over the subject of getting married. Most people our age (and we have a bit of an age difference, by the way; just don’t ask which one of us is older) are getting married – if they aren’t already married and having kids. Jie and I really can’t see ourselves doing that. We have different reasons, I’m sure, but in the end it’s still the same: we’re not the marrying types. It might change, it might not change. Maybe if it does change, it either only changes for one of us or would not change for us at the same time.

But I really don’t think it matters right now. We’re pretty happy the way we are, indulging each other’s quirks, acting as foil to the other as necessary, and making our expectations clear.

Bliss. ❤ Even Tom Hiddleston can’t top that.

PS: Jie enables my Hiddlestoner ways. That is more awesome than I can express in words.