About the Author
Joshua Harris's first book, written when he was only 21, turned the Christian singles scene upside down...and people are still talking. More than 800,000 copies later, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, with its inspiring call to sincere love, real purity, and purposeful singleness, remains the benchmark for books on Christian dating. Now, for the first time since its release, the national #1 bestseller has been expanded with new content and updated for new readers. Honest and practical, it challenges cultural assumptions about relationships and provides solid, biblical alternatives to society's norm. Tired of the game? Kiss dating goodbye. Going out? Been dumped? Waiting for a call that doesn’t come? Have you tasted pain in dating, drifted through one romance or, possibly, several of them? Ever wondered, Isn’t there a better way? I Kissed Dating Goodbye shows what it means to entrust your love life to God. Joshua Harris shares his story of giving up dating and discovering that God has something even better—a life of sincere love, true purity, and purposeful singleness.
First of all, when I first picked up this book, I couldn't believe that a twenty-something-year-old SINGLE guy wrote this book. It was a two-way shock. One, I couldn't believe that someone who was so young with little experience was bold enough to publish a book about dating and relationships. Then after reading this book, I was shocked again, but this time, at the wisdom this guy had at such a young age. But I know that many times age means nothing when it comes to wisdom.
Since there are so many interpretations about this book, I won't even attempt to defend this book. That would be Joshua's part. I'll share what I got out of this book, though.
This book didn't tell me to stop dating - I know, it's contrary to its title. What I learned from this book is to have a different approach and attitude about dating. Before the book, I thought that in order for me to find my life partner, I'd have to date around. The scenario would go like this: If there's a guy that I was interested in, I'd go on a date with him and if we liked each other, we'd enter into a more serious relationship and then see how we fit. If we're not a good fit, we end the relationship and then when I meet a new guy that would interest me, another dating cycle would begin.
Here's the book's approach to dating: When I find someone I'm interested in, rather than going on a date with him (so rather than jumping into a romantic relationship right away), I'd develop a good friendship with him first. If you think you can't get to know someone by just being their friend, you haven't experienced good friendship. The book explains that this is a healthier way to get to know someone (that is a potential spouse) without the 'romantic' pressure and confusion. This is what Joshua calls kissing dating good-bye. But he doesn't end there.
If, through your friendship the intrigue and respect grows, then you enter a 'courtship.' (I know I said I wasn't going to defend Joshua but he DOES say that 'courtship' could be called whatever you want - e.g. DATING. So he wasn't telling everyone not to date!!!) The difference between what people call 'dating' and 'courtship' is that 'courtship' is purposeful. You're getting to know each other to see if you are right for marriage. How is 'courtship' different from the 'serious relationship' I described above? Well, in a courtship you wouldn't be acting like your typical boyfriend/girlfriend. Rather, courtship would be like a job interview (but obviously more fun, less rigid, with more food). You're taking time out to get to know each other to see if you're both right for marriage.
I bought into this book 100% because I've decided that I don't want to hop from one relationship to another giving pieces of my heart away - I'd like to reserve that for just one person. Some people may say, you can guard your heart while dating...well, easier said than done. But if you think you can 'date' around and still have a purposeful relationship that honours God, then great! I wish you all the best!
But if you're like me, I highly recommend this book. Not only that, if you're someone who's entering the dating world, or are confused about dating, I also recommend this book to you. You may not agree with everything in this book, but it may give you some good guidance to dating.
One last note about this book. It focuses on pleasing God. As Christians, we strive to commit our lives to God daily in all areas of our lives. For the singles, dating is a big part of our lives and this book constantly goes back to the question 'Is this pleasing to God?' Whether you follow the principles in this book or not is not the big question, but awareness and acknowledgement of God is.