Let’s Discuss Forty Days of Dating

Were any of you following Forty Days of Dating? I won’t spoil the outcome for anyone who hasn’t read the whole thing, but I was sad to finish reading the last post as I’d gotten a bit attached to Tim and Jessica. For those who missed the hype, two friends with opposite relationship patterns found themselves single at the same time and decided to do an experiment. They committed to date for 40 days in an attempt to better understand and hopefully change their bad dating habits, blogged about it (obviously), it went viral, and I found myself completely enthralled by the dating lives of total strangers. If you’ve got some time, head over and start at the bottom on day one, then come back here and talk to me about it.

When I first heard about it I was skeptical. I mean, part of the experiment involved holding hands nonstop for 8 hours. What? Why? Who are these people? Oh, hipsters. Silly antics aside, the hook is the sadly relatable self-inflicted torture of the relationship postmortem when the analysis turns inward. In other words, the “what the hell is wrong with me” moment. We’ve all been there, but Tim and Jessica chose to make it a huge part of their day-to-day relationship (which in my mind is akin to choosing to unleash thousands of spiders in your own apartment, so props to them for their bravery). Weekly visits to a couples therapist forced them to do the icky work of identifying the underlying forces guiding their destructive relationship patterns. Reading along as my new friends (we are friends right?) struggled with incorporaitng that information into their effort to change emphasized that understanding the cause of your unhappiness is actually the easy part.

The Forty Days experiement was timely for me. Now that I’m feeling a bit more settled in Toronto I’m giving dating a go while trying to keep my own patterns and less-than-nice-at-times behaviors in check. Coming home from another stress inducing and ultimately disappointing post-work drink to catch up and sympathize with Tim and Jess’s latest struggle had a similar cathardic effect to a glass of wine with a girlfriend. I have to say, the idea of pseudo-dating a friend in the name of self-improvement is starting to look a hell of a lot better than facing another bad first date, so maybe they weren’t so crazy after all. At least they got a book deal.

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