40 Days of Dating: An Experiment – Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh

First, I have to say how much I loved how different this book was from the graphics to the style of the book itself. 40 Days of Dating (40DoD), which has now been turned into a blog, is about two good friends who are tired of the current prospects of dating and have complete opposite issues when it comes to relationships. The two of them, Timothy and Jessie, come up with an experiment where they will date for 40 days and record their experience along the way.

As I got to know Tim and Jessie, I appreciated their vulnerability in presenting their private lives to the world. The background of the 40DoD is that the two of them had to follow 6 rules for the experiment to be genuine:

  1. They have to see each other every day for forty days
  2. At least three dates a week
  3. They had to see a couples therapist once a week
  4. They would go on one weekend trip together
  5. They are to fill out a daily questionnaire and document everything
  6. They will not see, date, hook up or have sex with anyone else.

Without giving too much away, Jessie grew up in a household where both her parents and grandparents, not only married young but stayed married for a lolng time. On the opposite spectrum, Tim grew up in a single parent home where his father abandoned him and his mother. As the two of them journal their 40 days, it becomes evident how differently the two of them approach relationships in general and with each other.

What helped with this experiment is the friendship the two of them already had and the fact that they had previous conversations regarding their past relationships and their failures. When it comes to the 40DoD, I actually think it’s a great idea. What I liked about it was that two friends who had an attraction decided to take a chance on seeing the possibility between them. I like that it was two friends who had an attraction deciding to take a chance on seeing the possibility between them. Now while they may have had the original intention to see if 1. would they work as a couple, but 2. to bring awareness and understanding to themselves and why their previous relationships didn’t work out as they expected. Also I liked that they didn’t know whether or not this would work but they were both willing to take the huge risk together.

Before I give my opinion on how Jessie and Tim did on this project, I want to say this experiment/project again is a great idea. I think a lot of times we have a tendency to create an image in our mind of our ideal mate (myself included). The two of them talked about the takeover of online dating, which has obviously changed the dymanic of dating today, and how that’s affected the two of them. Jessie admits to delving inot it while Tim detest it. To be honest, we really don’t know what we want in a significant other (SO), we have an idea of certain characteristics and qualities that we want, i.e. religion, family oriented, outlook on life etc., but all the extra things like he has to be 6’5″ with a medium build, Morris Chestnut chocolate, not Don Cheadle chocolate, a voice like Tyrese and a smile like Shemar Moore. Basically it’s turned into online shopping which is how Time and Jessie describe online dating, which as crazy as it sounds is true. You look for a shirt you want, what fit, color, size, etc. which can sometimes takes out the whole element of fun and chemistry in meeting someone. I’m not saying that there aren’t amazing stories that come from online dating but I completely agree with them.

For me, there has been some guys in my life who I wrote off because they weren’t “my type” or because they wee good friends but I wonder if I knew about this project would anything have changed. I would definitely encourage my friends to take the leap of faith and date someone that they may have an attraction to and see if they could do something like this. Thre is obviously the risk of the friendship but you honestly never know until you try. I have to say for me personally, I have learned that the person you least expect can wisk your heart away.

I could go on and on but I do want to wrap this up. Not focusing so much on whatever outcome came about for Tim and Jessie, but I think the journey is what brought about growth for the two of them, individually and together. It was even clear how their upbringings had so much of an impact on their dating, how Jessie had a desire to find love like her parents/grandparents or how Tim would run at any sign of serious commitment as a way to protect himself from getting hurt. I can’t say this enough but I loved their willingness to throw caution to the wind and step out to take this opportunity, despite opposition from friends and people they were close with.

Check out this book, it’s definitely an interesting read. As I stated previously, they ended up turning this experiment into both a book and blog: http://fortydaysofdating.com. The  graphics are pretty dope. I’d love to hear my reader’s opinion on the book, the blog or even just the idea of 40 Days of Dating.


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