06/09/2013

40 Days of Dating


An unlucky in love pair of best friends in New York have made the headlines recently following their decision to date one another for 40 days as part of an experiment.
 
The pair, Jessica Walsh and Tim Goodman, had been best friends for four years before deciding to embark on the 40 day relationship after they both found themselves single at the same time.  They agreed on six rules: seeing each other every day, going on three dates a week, completing a daily questionnaire, visiting a couples' therapist every week, going on a weekend trip together, and abstaining from dating, kissing or having sex with anyone else.  Complete monogamy. 
 
But would you consider dating one of your best friends if you were yet to find ‘The One’?  And can you really ever escape the ‘friend zone’?
 
I think it would be a possibility.  There’s always the worry that things will not work out and your friendship, as a consequence, will be ruined.  But what if it did work out?  You’d have the best friendship in the world then!
 
Blurring the lines between a friendship and a relationship can have its complications but it can also have numerous benefits - you already know each other really well, and most probably each other’s family; you feel comfortable in each other’s company; and you’ll already know each other’s circle of friends. 
 
Of course, there’s the awkwardness which could occur if/when things began to get intimate.  Even if you have previously harboured feelings for your best friend it will always be a bit strange the first time you endeavour to cross that line.  More often than not, best friends of the opposite sex see each other as siblings rather than anything else. 
 
But how would all of this play out during a 40 day trial relationship?
 
Changing your relationship status on Facebook, going on dates, suddenly being a couple... all overnight!  No gradual build up of feelings, just a sudden change of labels and ‘rules’.
 
Yes, it sounds like a fun experiment and it’s always nice to be able to know the answer to ‘what if..’  But it can also come across a bit desperate.  Why try and force a relationship between the two of you when you are such good friends already?  Surely if anything was ever going to develop it would happen naturally, over time.
 
I suppose the best way to think about it is like a test drive.  You have to test drive a new car before purchase because you don’t know how it is going to suit you, how it is going to drive, and how much it is going to cost you.  The exact same principles apply for a relationship.
 
I’m not sure whether I, personally, would ever embark on such a trial.  Although, who’s to say anyone would want to take me on for a 40 day trial!
 
If you want to read about how the experiment worked for Jessica and Tim their daily diary entries can be found on: http://fortydaysofdating.com/
 

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