August 9, 2013

40 Days of Dating: A Happy Ending?

40 Days of Dating: A Happy Ending?, Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim, 40 days of dating

...Or a curious project / social experiment, in the least. If you've yet to hear about this project by New Yorker graphic designer friends, Timothy ("Tim") Goodman and Jessica ("Jessie") Walsh, you heard it here then!

Frustrated with the dating scene in the Big Apple, Tim and Jessie embarked on a 40-day project in April 2013 during which they tried dating each other. Their experience has been now chronicled on the website '40 Days of Dating', which is updated every weekday, beginning from July 10, 2013, till August 22, 2013.

How does the project work? Every day, Tim and Jessie answer a questionnaire about time spent together, their feelings about each other and the project. Rules include not seeing other people throughout the 40 days and visiting a couples therapist once a week.

What makes this project so buzz-worthy? For starters, Tim and Jessie are polar opposites in their approach to dating. Tim is commitment-phobic and dates many girls at once, while Jessie is a hopeless romantic, falling too quickly and searching for "The One". This pretty much sets the stage for the well-loved (or done to death? - depends on your level of cynicism) "opposites attract" story. (I wouldn't be surprised if they get a screenplay offer, given the buzz that '40 Days of Dating' has generated.)

Admittedly, there is a voyeuristic thrill from being able to read into their lives and thoughts. However, there are some genuinely fascinating moments, ranging from cute to cringe-worthy to classic Mars vs. Venus. Tim tries to flirt, Jessie takes things too literally. Anyone who has had some form of dating experience can relate to trouble with communicating and interacting; their daily questionnaire answers, when put side-by-side, illustrates this rather starkly.

The website also benefits from their graphic designer backgrounds, with creative graphics and fun typography every day (this speaks to my aesthetic-seeking side). I'll leave you with the video... don't be surprised if you begin to feel invested in this project after diving in, as I am!

For more videos, check out the '40 Days of Dating' Vimeo site.


  1. Nice one Yi Wei ! For weeks now this has been on the top of my must-read sites. In love not only with the concept, but the general feel of the site, the effort invested and creative take on things, all of which feeds my early morning need to nose into a stranger(s) life and thoughts.

    1. It's such an adorable concept no? I'm almost rooting for them to get together after the experiment, but who knows? All the same, I think the level of self-reflection they've attained from this project will help them move to a better point in managing their future relationships (if not with each other!).