Do you know someone in their twenties? Then you’ve probably heard about the viral experiment 40 Days of Dating, a project where two long-term friends decide to date — for real — for forty days. Today, the 40th post on the beautifully designed site (they’re both graphic designers! Go figure) was revealed. Did the relationship between Tim Goodman and Jessie Walsh have a happy ending? Viewers can cheat and go read Day 40 right now, or start over at the beginning (they chronicle their journey day by day).
For everyone else, read our guide to the viral site below.
So what is 40 Days of Dating?
From their About Us page: “The dating life in New York City can grow tiresome and wearing. Tim is afraid of commitment, often dating many girls at once, and he’s losing sight of what a healthy relationship means. Jessica is a hopeless romantic, jumping into relationships too quickly, always looking to find ‘the one.’ It’s been said that it takes 40 days to change a bad habit. In an attempt to explore and hopefully overcome their fears and inadequacies, Tim and Jessica will go through the motions of a relationship for the next 40 days: the commitment, time, companionship, joys and frustrations. Can they help each other, or will they fall into their same habits? Will they damage their friendship? What if they fall in love?”
Wait. They’re friends and they suddenly decide to date? One of them must have secret feelings for the other. This is either a rom-com or the worst idea ever, yes?
Yes. You know that friend you have who always makes really bad relationship decisions? It’s that person writing this blog. Popular stereotypes are dispatched early: The girl who loves love and the player guy. Cynics would say the two are just fooling themselves (or us).
What are the rules?
The listed rules for this experiment include seeing each other every day, going on three dates a week, talking to a couples’ therapist weekly, go on one weekend trip, fill out a daily survey (which is the content for the daily posts) and agree to not “see, date, hookup, or have sex with anyone else.”
I feel like this would be really awkward.
It definitely is at first! On day 2, Tim shares, “I get uncomfortable talking about what could happen in the next 40 days. I’m not worried about the unknown, but about us falling into our usual roles, and how we deal with that. I was wondering the whole time during therapy, ‘Wait, why are we doing this?’ As Jocelyn [their therapist] said today, ‘emotions know no project boundaries.'”
Ooh. This is starting to melt my cynical heart. What are some other key posts to read?
There’s a bad dinner party on Day 11 (Surprise! He thinks she’s coming on too strong!), they have sex for the first time on Day 24 (Note: They’re remarkably candid throughout this whole experiment, which is definitely part of the reason it’s taken off like it has), awkward ex run-ins on Day 34, and they even go to Disney World together!
Who comes out of this looking better?
The one this isn’t about: “While we’ve been having a great two days here, Tim finds moments to slip in negative remarks. He said I’d be more attractive to him if I would gain more weight and have more curves. He said that he was bothered by how accommodating I am to him and his desires. He said I should pay more attention to my grooming. He said that it’s annoying that I don’t eat enough. He said it’s disgusting that my nail polish is chipping off.” Points to Jessie. You do you, girl.
This sounds like a movie, or at the very least a book I’m going to flip through at Barnes & Noble.
Hollywood thought the same thing! The duo signed with Hollywood talent agency CAA in mid-August, so while the experiment may be over, this likely isn’t the last you’ve heard of them.
Leave your best tagline for the inevitable movie poster in the comments.