Friends Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh are the creators of a website called 40 Days of Dating which chronicles their 40-day "trial period" as lovers. The site launched on July 10 and quickly went viral, attracting attention from the blogosphere and Hollywood producers interested in using their story as the premise for potential films.
The New York City based pair are platonic friends wrestling with their individual relationship problems—on their website "Forty Days Of Dating," Goodman describes himself as a commitment-phobe who typically dates multiple women at once, while Walsh is a self-professed "hopeless romantic" who jumps into relationships too quickly. In order to combat these issues and ultimately find true love, the two agreed to date each other for a period of 40 days (per the adage that it takes 40 days to change a bad habit). In that time, the two friends do everything real couples do: daily drop-ins, romantic dates, sex, arguments, weekly couple's therapy. Then they post their daily progress together online. Technically, the project ended in the spring but Goodman and Walsh, are just now "airing" the results of their trial on a daily basis. (The results of Day 36 of their 40 days together were posted on Friday.)
Can relationships really form out of a mutual forced commitment? Is time really the elixir of love? And are these two people crazy? So many questions, and after a deep dive into their daily journals, a few of them have been answered. Here's what we've learned from these romantic guinea pigs about relationships.
There are no perfect couples: On day 13, Goodman told Walsh that he didn't see their relationship progressing further because her quirks bothered him. This didn't surprise Walsh, who wrote, "As soon as he starts seeing a girl, especially a girl he really likes, he’ll focus on bizarre things about her that bother him. [But] there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Tim uses these excuses to protect himself from getting too attached to a girl. I think he fears that if he gets too close he’ll lose control of the situation and get hurt."
ID'ing your issues is the first step toward resolving them: On day 21, Goodman wrote, "I can already see how I’m just putting Jessie in a little box, not letting her touch the rest of my life. I know this isn’t healthy. I’d like to change it, but I’m not sure how to really do that right now."
Let the little things go: Walsh bickered with Goodman on day 34—she said he dated a girl they know, he denied it. After going in circles for an hour, the pair ended the argument by kissing. Walsh wrote, "I have gotten much better in my life about about stepping back from miscommunication and drama in order to see the bigger picture. I don’t feel the need to win arguments or feel right or wrong anymore, I am more interested in keeping the peace. I feel good about this."
Friendship is the basis of any great romance: After visiting their couple's therapist on day 31, Goodman wrote, "I love that Jessie lets me be me. I never feel like I have to conform for her, nor do I worry about her in social settings. We both had a lot of friends and people we knew there. I can be very sociable at parties, and even though she’s a bit more reserved, she’s always fun and up for whatever. I really appreciate this."
Good sex stays on your mind all day: On day 25, Goodman wrote of Jessie, "She’s great in bed. All day I’ve been thinking about the intensity between us, how she tasted, the way she felt, and the way she made me feel like she needs me."
To find out how it all ends, check their site on Tuesday, or hold out for the movie version.