So this is partly just talking about something I found but on the other hand it’s also a bit of a review. And on that cryptic note I’m just gonna dive right in!
So a couple of days I stumbled upon a site called Forty days of dating. Right now it actually starts on a video about the book that they have released. But before this was a book it was actually just the site behind the video. And that site was the documentation of a social experiment, conducted between two friends. As the site name might have made you guess, it’s about forty days of dating. So if you put those things together you get the whole idea: two friends who date each other for forty days straight without them having any feelings beyond friendship at the start. Jessica is a serial monogamist who dreams of true love and wants to find it just like her parents and grandparents before her. Timothy on the other hand is a serial dater who shies away from most relationships from the moment things take a turn for the serious. They decided to head into this experiment to find out more about each other, themselves and their dating styles. At the start of the experiment they set some ground rules such as “see each other once a day”. They thought up a questionnaire that they would fill out on a daily basis and that is what this site is. All 80 questionnaires, sorted by day and interspaced with pictures, drawings and sometimes even videos.
And now for the review-y part of this rambling blogpost! When I started reading these people’s daily thoughts on each other and dating I was enjoying it a whole lot. I was completely engrossed and wanted to find out how this would work out in the end. Would these people still be able to be friends afterwards? Would they end up dating? What will they find out about each other and themselves during these forty days? To summarize: I was stoked, hooked, excited. I speedread through about half of the days but after that it sort of slowed down for me. Not because I came less curious about the outcome per se, but more so because I wasn’t enjoying the format any more. The same questionnaire for every day became a bit tired. After another short while it became clear to me how this thing would end.
But the thing that was most poignant to me about this whole experiment was definitely how much both views differed on occasions. At times both parties really remembered things very differently mostly because they were clearly focused on different aspects of these shared moments. And there were definitely some times at which I just really wanted to knock their heads together because clearly they wanted to do good, but it didn’t always work out that way. For example: Jessica was suffering from cluster headaches a whole lot during the course of this experiment. But she is the type of person who doesn’t really tell people about these headaches because she doesn’t want to drag people down with her. So she doesn’t share it when she is suffering from these headaches. On the other hand there is Tim, who is constantly thrown by Jessica’s behavior which is just all over the place (due to headaches coming and going over the course of he experiment. And cluster headaches, or suicide headaches as they are also called, can definitely influence anyone’s mood). This results in a lot of miscommunications and unnecessary tension between the two parties. A lot of this could have been foregone if Jessica had just been open about these headaches, so that Tim would know her state of mind. This is definitely not the only case of me being frustrated with the experiment. There is a lot of miscommunication, and I really don’t blame these people at all, it’s not just them, it’s everyone having these situations happening to them in their lives. It’s just annoying when you see both sides and understand so much better why things are going awry when they could have gone smoothly if there had just been better communication.
In any case this is an interesting read. I’m wondering if I’m going to pick up the book or not. You should definitely check out the site and let me hear your thoughts about it all!