A very public romance: New Yorkers blog as they (do or don't) snog

Bloggers chart their romance online, becoming so popular they're now recognised in New York

Boy meets girl, girl meets boy. They become “just” friends. Years later they decide to date for 40 days and blog about it in 40 installments. Their blog goes viral, they are featured in the New York Daily News and their videos are watched hundreds of thousands of times. They are signed to a Hollywood talent agency.

This isn’t a Richard Curtis plotline but the story of New Yorkers Timothy Goodman, 32, and Jessica Walsh, 26. The pair, who are both graphic designers, decided to test the theory that friends can become lovers without ruining their friendship. And if you’re a plugged-in twentysomething with an internet connection you’ve probably been asking “will they or won’t they?” since their first blog post 41 days ago.

Chronically single, the two good friends were struggling to find the right mate in Manhattan, and eschewed casual hook-ups in favour of a fully formed relationship. In April Goodman, who described himself as afraid of commitment, often juggling several women at once, and Walsh, a self-described “hopeless romantic” who was always looking to find “the one”, decided to date for 40 days while adhering to a strict set of rules; they would see each other every day, not date anybody else, go on a mini-break and, as well as visiting a relationship counsellor once a week, they would separately complete a questionnaire about their experience each day.

These questionnaires formed the basis of a beautifully constructed website complete with emotional videos, GIFs and date-appropriate pop art and illustrations provided by their friends and colleagues. Their first date was on 20 March but it was only in mid-July that the pair started posting on their blog, 40 Days of Dating, and captured the attention of hopeless romantics worldwide.

It charts how Walsh and Goodman, who are now reportedly recognised on the streets of New York, spent the first half of their experiment plotting an awkward path between friendship and romance, before they kiss on day 18, fall into bed together on day 25 and book a trip to Disney World for days 38 to 40.

Perhaps predictably on day 39 things go wrong with Walsh writing, “He said my strong feeling for him deeply worry him, and, like usual, I was moving too quickly.” Goodman replied, “I barely even held her hand today. And as much as I try to convince myself, it’s obviously not working for me”. The scene was conveniently set for a Hollywood-style final scene at the airport on day 40.

Sure enough the next blog post sees an emotional break-up and what had been seen as a modern internet sensation finishes as an old-fashioned tale of romance gone wrong. In his final post Goodman wrote: “I just feel like such a disappointment to her and myself. It seemed inevitable that all the pressure would make this blow up.”

That will sound familiar to many of their readers, but there is hope Goodman tells The Independent: “We never defined what success might mean ... It was an experiment, a study, a chance to get a glimpse into our dating habits and fears with the help from each other. When else can you do that in life? The project could be considered successful if we came out of it as more aware individuals, regardless of if we fell in love or not. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are closer than ever now.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?