Day One   /   lettering by Keetra Dean Dixon

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?
Yes.

What did y’all do together?
We had our first date at The Fat Radish in the Lower East Side. They have the best roasted carrots, and my favorite tequila jalapeño drink.

Did anything interesting happen?
Before the date, Tim had a messenger deliver a cute note: “Me + You x 40. Ready?”

TimNote2

Truthfully, I am quite nervous. However, I know that when an opportunity scares me, I must go for it. I don’t like having fears. No matter what the outcome, it will certainly be an interesting experience. Hopefully we can have some fun along the way, too.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
We discussed Tim’s relationship patterns, and how he’s in a constant cycle between three women. There is always one girl he’s really excited about that he’s trying to go out with, a second girl he’s been seeing for a few weeks and is getting tired of, and a third girl he’s been seeing a while and is getting ready to break up with.

1

He told me that when his mother got pregnant, his father made her choose between keeping the child or staying with him. It seems to me his dating style could result from this. He breaks off relationships before they get too serious to avoid the risk of abandonment. He’s built up this reputation for himself as “the player,” but I see past the façade. He’s been a great friend, and I know he’s a very kind person. We all have our issues and cope with life differently. Sometimes I think the “normal” people are just people you don’t know well enough yet.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
We talked about relationships with parents, and how many girls have “daddy issues.” I don’t have dad issues. I heart my dad!

My parents married at a young age, and have a successful marriage. I wonder if that is part of the reason I am always trying to find the right person and why I feel like such failure when a relationship doesn’t work out.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
I think I have have some sort of guard up preventing myself from seeing Tim as anything more than a very close friend. As his relationship patterns are the opposite of mine, a part of me fears that if we were to really date, one of us might wind up getting hurt. I don’t want to ruin our friendship. We also have a tight group of friends, and I think we are both afraid to compromise that.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
In my work and other aspects of life, I am uncomfortable with comfortable. But when it comes to relationships, I do seek secure relationships that are clearly defined. I know I should relax and open myself up to vulnerability, so I can learn to enjoy dating more in the future.

Additional comments?
Tim insisted on being a gentleman and paying for dinner, which was very sweet of him, but I want to get the next one.

Day One   /   lettering by ROANNE ADAMS / RoAndCo

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
Yep.

What did y’all do together?
We both teach Wednesday nights, so we went out to dinner after class to the Fat Raddish. Jessie brought me a little care package of stuff to jokingly get me through the next 40 days. (And she remembered that I like Clif Bars!)

timpackage

Did anything interesting happen?
When we set the date for this project, I didn’t realize it was actually the first day of spring. I feel like it’s some sort of omen for us. Anyway, dinner tonight was pretty normal, not unlike other times we’ve hung out and had dinner.

Email_Tim_03.20.13

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
We talked about our families more than we ever did before. I didn’t know that her parents grew up poor. It was refreshing to hear this since I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, either.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
Earlier in the day I sent a little note to Jessie by messenger. I wanted to honor our project together with something lighthearted.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
The new Justin Timberlake album came out yesterday and it’s totally got me in the mood … But really, Jessie and I should share a “JT” logo with him. Anyway, I feel like there was definitely a moment last night when we both said to ourselves, “Damn, are we actually doing this?!”

TJ_JT_TJ

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
No, not yet. I did insist that I pay for dinner since it was technically our first “date.”

Additional comments?
I went out with a girl last night, as sort of a ‘swan song’ for my single-hood. Well, she and I ended up talking about the Forty Days of Dating project the entire time. Not exactly what I was anticipating. She was very excited. She thinks Jessie and I are going to fall in love. She texted me later that night:

Text_Tim_03.20.13


Day Two   /   lettering by John Passafiume

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?
Yes, briefly.

What did y’all do together?
We went to our first couples therapy session together. I go to therapy on my own, and have always enjoyed it. Life passes by so quickly, and I like having an hour a week to reflect in an attempt to learn and grow from it all.

Did anything interesting happen?
The psychologist brought up many topics we wouldn’t have talked about on our own. She asked us straight away if Tim and I were attracted to each other. This is something we’ve never discussed, although we have been flirtatious with each other in the past. After some awkward glances, we both admitted that we do find each other attractive.

She then asked why we’ve never tried dating in the four years we’ve known each other. Tim immediately rattled out numerous reasons:

1. He’s not at a place in his life where he wants to settle down.
2. He loves the freedom of the single life.
3. He doesn’t like how I spend money.
4. He sees it as a weakness that I love love.
5. He’s afraid of his commitment issues and doesn’t want to hurt me since he respects me.
6. He doesn’t want to risk our friendship.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
I didn’t realize that my spending bothered Tim! I know I don’t have as much savings as he does, but I’ve always supported myself financially, and I don’t mind spending on great experiences.

I don’t place value on the size of someone’s bank account or material possessions. I’ve been in relationships with guys both rich and poor, and a guys wealth does not interest me. I learned early on that money does not make me happy. There are actually statistics that show that salary increase only make people happier until basic needs of food and water are met. After this is met (around $50,000 to $70,000 per year for a family), an increase in salary does not positively increase a person’s happiness.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
Tim seems extremely overwhelmed by the idea of having to see me every day for this project. He almost had a panic attack when I sent him a list of date ideas for the next week! I do love to plan things and have a schedule. However, I also greatly enjoy spontaneity. So I’ll plan for more spontaneity.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
So far so good.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
In therapy we talked about how I am extremely picky about who I date. However, when I do decide I really like someone, I am quick to jump into a relationship in order to test it out and see how it goes. I become extremely invested in people and things that I care about, which can cause me to fall for someone quickly. Tim thinks I should be more cautious…

Additional comments?
Tim is right, I do love love. I’ve wondered where the feelings actually come from, so I did some reading about it tonight. Apparently, the feeling of falling in love is wired in us to help the survival of our species. While sexual desire exists to make sure we pop out babies, the feelings of love exists to promote bonding and pairing between mates to increase the survival rate of the children.

lovedrug

Love is not a matter of the heart, it’s all in our brain. Chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine are released when in love. The chemicals increases energy, increases focus, and helps make us feel fucking awesome all the time. In fact, research shows brain activity in love is almost identical to our brain activity on cocaine.

Day Two   /   lettering by Jon Contino

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
Yes.

What did y’all do together?
We went to our first therapy session together. I think it was a bit soon for this, but our therapist Jocelyn wanted to have a consultation first.

Did anything interesting happen?
Jocelyn hit us with a TON of questions that I’m not sure either of us were prepared to talk about so quickly with her:

1. Why are you doing this project?
2. What is the goal of this project?
3. Why don’t you just really date each other?
4. Do you want to date each other?
5. Are you ready to be hurt?
6. What happens if you screw up your friendship?

And on and on and on! I almost had a panic attack. However, neither Jessie or I would have talked about this stuff so soon without having the therapist as a soundboard. I think it was helpful. I spent five years seeing a therapist, so this isn’t strange to me. Jessie is currently in therapy, so it’s all good with her too. However, this couples thing doesn’t feel natural or easy.

Therapist

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
Jessie didn’t like that I talked about how we approach money differently. I wasn’t being critical, nor do I think it’s a big deal. But I do save money, while I think she lives off her salary more.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I get uncomfortable talking about what could happen in the next 40 days. I’m not worried about the unknown, but about us falling into our usual roles, and how we deal with that.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
I was wondering the whole time during therapy, “Wait, why are we doing this?!” As Jocelyn said today, “emotions know no project boundaries.”

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
I was sort of freaking out after therapy. I was texting with one of my best friends, Greg in Chicago, and he told me to just have fun with it. So, I want to make sure I just have fun with it.

Texts_Tim_03.21.13

Additional comments?
I was thinking about some of my buddies who are in a relationship that doesn’t completely stimulate them. So many men and women accept this standard, it’s no wonder why half of all marriages end in divorce. Are we so desperate for companionship that we’ll compromise our happiness? Are we afraid to go after what we really deserve? And why don’t we realize this until it’s too late?

Divorce


Day Three   /   lettering by Darren Newman

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?
Yes.

What did y’all do together?
I got us tickets to see Really Really at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in the West Village.

ReallyReallyTickets4

Did anything interesting happen?
The play is about a bunch of college students going to parties, getting drunk, having sex, and their complicated interpersonal relationships. The characters are either opportunistic, self-serving, entitled, indulgent, or power-seeking. Tim found it difficult to empathize with any of the characters in the play as there was no “hero” character. I found the complicated dynamic of these different personalities to be an interesting twist on the usual character development.

ReallyReallyPlaybill

The play paints a pretty bleak picture of Americans in “Generation Me.” Maybe slightly ironic in the context of this project . . .

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
After the play, we wandered over to a bar nearby in the West Village for a drink. Tim told me about his last serious relationship with a girl he dated in San Francisco when he worked for Apple. I feel like he broke her heart. Things were getting serious between them when she had to leave for business for a few months. The long distance scared him, and he broke off the relationship when she got back. He seemed to feel bad about it.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
One part of the play stirred up emotions from something that happened in my past. I was slightly shaken up after the play so I told Tim about it to explain why I was acting strangely. I try not to look back too much and get caught up in the past, but sometimes it does unexpectedly creep back up on me.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
It was cute that Tim insisted on being a gentleman and walking me home after the play. I am a sucker for the common dating courtesies.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
Tim seemed slightly annoyed that I missed his text messages before the play. I hate text messaging. My fingers get tired. The misunderstanding and the AutoCorrect drive me nuts. And what’s with the new “read on xx” timestamp on the iPhone? How much does it suck to see someone read your text and then they don’t write back?

When I have a crazy day at work, I often forget to check my cell phone. Actually, sometimes I don’t bring it to the studio at all. I know this drives certain people a little crazy. I guess I should look into an app that downloads texts to the computer.

Additional comments?
Not Really.

Day Three   /   lettering by Sam Potts

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
Indeed I did.

What did y’all do together?
Between work functions and personal plans, I haven’t had a night off in over 10 days. I just wanted to stay in and watch the Knicks game. However, Jessie and I have something planned on Sunday, so it was probably best to do a date tonight instead of Saturday night. Anyway, we went to the Off-Broadway play, Really, Really.

Did anything interesting happen?
We went out for a drink after the play. Jessie told me some very personal stuff that’s happened in her life. I’m happy she did, and that she trusted me enough to tell me. When someone does that, your natural inclination is to tell them something extremely private back. I didn’t do that, though. I just listened and asked a couple of questions, and let her talk.

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
Before the play, I was texting her. I waited, and waited, and waited. Apparently she doesn’t check her texts much, which I somehow did not know. How is that possible? I can’t stand it if I have one red alert on my phone. The things you learn about someone that you think you know.

Texts_Tim_03.22.13

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
I love crowds. I don’t think Jessie does. As we were sitting in the theater waiting for the play to start, I was looking around everywhere. Then I felt a bit constrained, like I should be giving all my attention to her. Good thing I brought some surprise candies to keep us busy.

EasterCandies

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
I feel much better than I did yesterday. Tonight was the first time things felt date-y and I felt okay about it. The intimate talk and the crisp spring air made our walk home feel a bit romantic.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
Well I certainly won’t text her if I need to get a hold of her.

Additional comments?
I think Jessie caught me looking at the Knicks score on my phone during the play. Whoops.