Two New Yorker pals, weary of the big city dating scene, have decided to do something incredibly risky -- date each other. Timothy Goodman, 32, and Jessica Walsh, 26, are already jaded with the dating merry-go round of New York. No shocker there, the city is one of the hardest places in the world to find love. With so many people crammed into such a small space, you'd think it would be easy. But it's not. Too many choices can paralyze you to making any choice at all. So many New Yorkers don't. It can be a ferris wheel of casual dating with no real love or commitment. Goodman says he's a hardcore commitmentphobic. Jessica wants "the one" but can't find him. The two longtime pals decided to start a social experiment and date each other -- maybe they could actually fall in love if they went through the motions?
The pals will "date" for 40 days, and at the end of those 40 days try to figure out if they're in love. Until then, they will see each other every day, go out on dates three times a week, and see a couple's therapist once a week. They chronicled it all in their weblog 40daysofdating.com. As of Day 14, the experiment had ended due to Jessica's health issues and fears over Timothy's "player" tendencies, but the show will apparently go on ... and it already sounds like the two are developing real romantic feelings for each other. And all of the drama that entails!
In theory this sounds like it might work -- after all, the pair already are longtime friends, which means there must be some qualities that each person has that the other one admires, or at least can tolerate.
But if male and female singlets remain friends for a long time without it moving into horizontal territory, there has got to be a reason. And that reason is most likely that they're not sexually attracted to each other. Can sexual attraction be manufactured?
Before women's rights and the pill, couples generally got married before having sex. You really didn't even quite know if you were sexually attracted before you said your "I do's." For some couples, this worked out great. For others, not so much.
I have a friend who was not sexually attracted to a man she began dating but she admired most of his qualities. One marriage and one baby later, she is madly passionate for him. But I also have a friend who married her "good friend" because she was tired of go-nowhere passion flings. But after awhile, she realized she just didn't want to be married to a man she didn't want to sex with, and they got divorced.
I love the idea of friendship catching fire, of getting to know someone first before the heat of sexual chemistry clouds your judgement. But hooking your relationship wagon to a pal is not a guarantee of anything. Also, if it doesn't work out, you could lose a good friend.
Unfortunately, there is no rule book with love. But I definitely think giving your best pal a shot in the dating game is worth a try. I hope it works out for these two!
Have you ever dated a friend?
Image via 40DaysofDating
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