What the internet’s strangest dating sensation teaches us about old-fashioned romance

If you’re a twenty-something with access to the Internet, chances are that you or someone you know has been reading “40 Days of Dating” this summer. The beautifully constructed website—which went live in mid-July—chronicles the experiment of two long-time friends fed up with the New York City dating scene who begin a relationship told through a series of daily blog posts.

At first glance, the site looks like every trope of millennial life gone wild, the sort of narcissistic, Internet-addled behavior that leads to labels like the “Me, Me, Me Generation.” Weirdly, what has given the site such a following may not be its newness but that it has revealed something far more traditional.

“Courtship” is a word rarely heard in the discussion of 21st-century dating. Still, it’s an accurate description of what transpires on “40 Days” between graphic designers Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman.


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