Love and Expectations in the Digital Age

40 Days of Dating records a couple’s time together

Priscilla Ng

Staff Writer

    40 Days of Dating is a social experiment website that examines the idea of love and explores how the mechanisms of relationships truly work.

    Created by two friends, Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman, the website was first created because the two had grown weary in the search for a partner and thus decided to date each other. The two established a set of rules to follow, such as not seeing other people, and committed themselves to seeing each other every day for forty days. Each day, the two friends filled out a questionnaire that revealed how they felt about the experiment and their evolving thoughts on love in general. Through the entries, it is revealed how their personalities affected their perceptions of love and how their relationship evolved over time.

  “Love is a central theme in humanity across time and cultures,” the 40 Days of Dating site said.  “It’s one of the main topics in music, film, novels, poetry, and art. But what exactly is it, and why do we all approach it so differently? How does it affect us so deeply that sane people have gone mad over it?”

Junior Amy Chang reads the entries on the 40 Days of Dating website on October 10, 2013. The website features graphic design pieces for each entry and also includes various gifs and videos. PC: Priscilla Ng
Junior Amy Chang reads the entries on the 40 Days of Dating website on October 10, 2013. The website features graphic design pieces for each entry and also includes various gifs and videos. PC: Priscilla Ng

    Although Walsh and Goodman are adults in New York City, the questions they pose about love are still applicable to high school students.

    “True love exists maybe one in a million of a chance,” senior Leigh Anne Tang said. “People in relationships always like to think they’re unique in their love. But what exactly is love?”

    Some students disagree, saying that love cannot, and perhaps should not, be defined concretely.

    “People overthink love,” junior Samuel Shing said. “Everyone wants that perfect relationship, but they know that it is not realistic.”

    This statement appears legitimate, as Walsh and Goodman describe themselves as “a hopeless romantic” and “afraid of commitment” respectively, perpetuating the stereotypes that media often portrays.

    “TV shows and soap operas that target a female audience, those tend to idealize the warm, fuzzy, happy parts of a relationship,” junior Clement Ng said. “For guys, the media tends to emphasize the more physical aspects of a relationship. All this leads to disjointed opinions about love that can only cause more conflict.”

   Ultimately, the site reveals that there will never be a complete consensus about love – personal opinions will always interfere.

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