Dating Friends: A New Hope For Love In The City?

Date A Mate Screenshot

The demands of City life can make it hard to meet new people. Sixty hour weeks don’t leave a lot of time for romance; even speed dating needs a turbo boost to find a free slot in the diary. But there is an answer: don’t bother!

Don’t bother meeting new people, that is. What’s the average R.O.I. on new people anyway? For every 10 people you meet through online dating, how many turn out to be time wasters, serial daters, weird OCD stalkers, or some other variety of no-good hobo? You'd probably get a better return investing in Betamax manufacturers.

Two longstanding New York friends think they have the answer; date each other. Their experiment, 40 Days Of Dating, sought to test the possibility of breaking free from the dreaded ‘friend zone’. With a title and a plot worthy of a U.S. RomCom (and incidentally, it has been optioned by Warner Brothers), the experiment had the pair commit to dating each other, and to have sex, to see if friends really could do a Captain Kirk and cross that final frontier, and do it without ruining everything.

So how do the rest of us, without the justification of 'let’s do it in the name of science' and without the eyes of the world’s online community rewarding our very public success or failure, cross that barrier? After all, the concept is a good one. Friends are the people we already know and like, so why go digging around the dumpster looking for a diamond in the garbage?

Unfortunately, people treat their love lives with a degree of caution and risk aversion more befitting a credit-crunched investment portfolio. If your feelings for a friend are unrequited, making a move could turn things decidedly pear shaped. Or if you try to mix the money with the honey and hit on your boss, you might end up with nothing more than the pointy end of a bee’s bottom. So making a move on people we know is a bold and surprisingly hard thing to do.

But there is a possible solution. If you have an Android device, you could download the Date A Mate app and see if there is a secret lover lurking in your list of friends. Like a blind exchange, the app lets people find out how they feel about each other, but only if the feelings are mutual. Nobody needs to take a risk by making a first move.

Maybe love in The City has a new hope in the shape of old friends!