real life

Can you force love in 40 days?


You can do lots of things in 40 days.

If you’re Goliath, you can pester the Israelites enough times that David decides enough is enough and breaks out his slingshot. If you’re Jesus, you can fast in the desert without dying. If you’re Phileas Fogg, you can go halfway around the world.

But, if you’re a couple of single 20-somethings, can you fall in love?

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This is Jessica. And this is Tim.

They’re friends from New York City.

And, for 40 days this year, they decided to date each other.

They also both work as designers, which explains why their website documenting the whole experiment – dubbed ’40 Days of Dating’ – looked like this:

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Each plagued by their own relationship problems (Jessica jumped into relationships way too early, while Tim admitted to often dating three girls at once, in order to avoid commitment), Jessica and Tim set themselves the challenge of dating each other for 40 days.

At the end of each day, they would fill out a questionnaire and post it on the blog. The aim of the experiment was to gain a fresh perspective on their dating behaviour.

They agreed upon the following rules:

1. We will see each other everyday for 40 days.

2. We will go on at least three dates a week.

3. We will see a couples’ therapist once a week.

4. We will go on one weekend trip together.

5. We will fill out the daily questionnaire and document everything.

6. We will not see, date, hookup or have sex with anyone else.

So, did it work? Did they discover that all it takes to fall in love with someone is a little bit of time? Did they find out you can fall in love with anyone if you put your mind to it? Have they fallen in love, married and are currently awaiting the birth of their first child complete with a mortgage, a joint bank account and a labrador puppy?


Reading through their daily journals, it becomes apparent that the pair did exactly what they had done in every other relationship. Jessica committed hard and early, wanting to know what the situation would be after the 40 days were up. And Timothy was so indecisive and afraid of commitment that his final sentence paragraph on Day 40 read:

I love her, yet I know there’s nothing else I can do. We kissed. I gave her a gift. We kissed one more time. I shut the cab door, and I walked away.

They probably ended up worse off than when they started. In that awkward void of platonic friendship with a non-platonic history.

But it wasn’t all a waste of time. The pair now have a better understanding of how they behave when dating, and ’40 Days of Dating’ is becoming a movie, with Warner Bros won an intense bidding war for film rights last month.

Oh, and they got to make some crazy pieces of experimental art and upload them onto their Vimeo.

(And for anyone who’s wondering, yes they did have sex),


You can read more about the experiment here.

What do you think of 40 Day of Dating? Do you think you can force love?

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