One Hundred Dates has meant a lot of things. It’s been a blog. It’s been an adventure. It’s been a grueling schedule. At its core though, it has always been a social experiment and a personal journey.
After spending years as a serial monogamist, I found myself heartbroken, single and living in New York City. Thanks to a matchmaking friend, I went on my first adult date in February of 2011 at the age of 25. It was a blast. It was fun. It was eye opening.
I had always thought that you only went on a date if you already liked a person and intended to date them seriously. In general, you knew you wanted to be with them. What I found was that it was amazing to not feel the pressure of a relationship and to simply get to know someone new, to flirt and maybe if I was lucky, even get a kiss out of the whole deal.
Around the same time, I began talking to friends about dating in NYC and many of them were frustrated. It was stressful. It was a game. It was rarely what they wanted it to be—fun. Sure, people were usually dating with some kind of romance in mind, whether it be true love or a casual encounter, but that goal seemed to get in the way of enjoying the experience with another person.
A successful date seemed to be a matter of perspective. Dates didn’t have to signify love. A date could just be a great way for two people who had some mutual attraction to hang out one-on-one and do something out of their regular routine. I wanted to explore that angle. I wanted to learn how to date—no matter the circumstance. I wanted to see who would be adventurous enough to tag along.
Perhaps most of all, I wanted to stay single to one year of my adult life—something I’d never accomplished.
Inspired by Gaby Dunn’s incredible 100 Interviews, I created a list of 100 dates that I went on in one year, between July 2011 and June 2012. That meant just under 2 dates a week with 89 different women, 2 men and a group of speed-daters, all on top of my regular life working a 9-to-5 financial software gig and spending many a night performing improv comedy.
Though I had intended to track all the dates in a real-time blog, that simply wasn’t possible. So, now that it’s all over, I am taking the time to make good on my promise and write about each and every date.
It was a crazy ride. I’m excited to share the stories and what I learned along the way.
This video was on the original site as an introduction:
These rules were considered heading into each date.
- No phoning it in.
- No more than a handful of dates with the same person.
- No women I would avoid dating normally.
- No single date would account for more than one off the list.
- Addendum: Everyone had to know about OHD.
Evan Forde Barden
Born and raised in the MA state, but living in NYC, Evan used to describe himself as a serial monogamist. In order to combat that tendency and to learn about the dating world, he went on 100 dates in one year.
Click here if you want to hear more about Evan.
From Evan’s dating profile, circa 2011:
Weight: 140 lbs
Hometown: Winchester, MA
- I try my hardest not to take myself too seriously.
- I love travel, comedy, and music more than anything.
- I try to visit one new country each year.
- I’ve been doing improv comedy for about 7 years.
- I’ve played a couple open mics by myself. They went as expected.
- I like sports.
- I’m often very opinionated but believe strongly in different strokes for different folks.
- Yuppies think I’m a hipster and hipsters think I’m a yuppie. People who know me know that I’m neither.
Web Design by Patrick Cartelli
Video by Andrew Osborne
Photo by Ian Stroud