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Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships Paperback – February 21, 2000

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Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships + Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life + Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1 edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310200342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310200345
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Dating can be fun, but it's not easy. Meeting people is just one concern. Once you've met someone, then what? What do you build? Nothing, a simple friendship, or more? How do you set smart limits on physical involvement? Financial involvement? Individual responsibilities? Respected counselors, popular radio hosts, and best-selling authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend apply the principles described in their Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries to matters of love and romance. Helping readers bridge the pitfalls of dating, Boundaries in Dating unfolds a wise, biblical path to developing self-control, freedom, and intimacy in the dating process. Boundaries in Dating helps singles to think, solve problems, and enjoy the benefits of dating to the hilt, increasing their abilities to find and commit to a marriage partner. Liberally illustrated with insightful, true-life examples, this much-needed book includes such topics as: Sins You Can Live With--Recognizing and choosing quality over perfection in a dating partner - Don't Fall in Love with Someone You Wouldn't Be Friends With--How to ensure that honest friendship is one vital component in a relationship - Don't Screw Up a Friendship Out of Loneliness--Preserving friendships by separating between platonic relationships and romantic interest - Kiss False Hope Good-Bye--Moving past denial to deal with real relational problems in a realistic and hopeful way . . . and much more.

From the Author

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend are popular speakers, licensed psychologists, co-hosts of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and co-founders of Cloud/Townsend, Inc. Both graduated with doctorates in clinical psychology from Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology, and both maintain private practices in Newport Beach, CA. They are best-selling coauthors of several books, including Boundaries with Kids, The Mom Factor, Safe People, Twelve “Christian” Beliefs that Can Drive You Crazy, and the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries. Dr. Cloud is the author of Changes that Heal and Dr. Townsend is the author of Hiding from Love.

Customer Reviews

I found this book extrememly easy to read and very insightful.
Amazon Customer
Very helpful at understanding the necessary boundaries and limits to making a successful dating relationship.
I read their other book "How to get a date worth keeping" first.
kevin the reading machine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

170 of 185 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Boundaries in Dating" is a guide toward dating intentionally, intended for those who wish to have some spiritual guidance in their dating relationships. It helps to answer in part questions that should be a part of any dating relationship: where is God in all of this, and what role does God play in our dating relationship? How do I reflect God's values in my approach toward dating?
In Part 1, the authors recommend the approach of "taking God on a date" with you. They encourage requiring and embodying truth in dating relationships, guard against repeating the past, and remind that "dating won't cure a lonely heart," for that role belongs to God. (Additional spiritual reading, such as Henri J. M. Nouwen's "The Inner Voice of Love," support the theme of addressing needs and loneliness from a spiritual perspective as a foundation to addressing them from a relational perspective.) Part 2 examines character discernment of one's dating partner, and Part 3 examines self-reflection, particularly the issues of clinging to false hope (when a dating partner's actions don't support stated intentions) and the role of blame. Part 3 is particularly valuable in assigning responsibilities to roles in the dating relationship, sorting out what's your responsibility and what responsibility lies with your dating partner.
Chapter 17, "Set Appropriate Physical Limits," is the best discussion I've ever read on the long-term, destructive effect of premarital sex on our emotional, spiritual, and relational well-being. Far more than being merely prohibitive, it examines deeply the importance of delaying self-gratification.
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204 of 234 people found the following review helpful By Erik Olson VINE VOICE on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Many Christian authors insist that courting or betrothal systems are God's way for us to avoid pain and find a "soul mate." These methods are often based on a dubious patchwork of Bible verses or an adaptation of Old Testament cultural norms. We can learn from the past, but duplicating it is not the answer. For those Christians who live in 21st century culture and deal with age-old relational issues, "Boundaries in Dating" is a practical resource.

Drs. Cloud and Townsend wrote "Boundaries in Dating" in part to rebut the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," by Joshua Harris. While they applaud Mr. Harris' intention to help people forsake sin and find a good spouse, they are skeptical of his anti-dating conclusions. The authors claim that character, and not a method, is the real key to finding a quality partner. If you have good character, then any matchmaking methodology will work. However, if you have relational problems or are a bad person, then no method will overcome these handicaps. Indeed, one who is deficient in character but skilled in manipulation may corrupt a method for his or her advantage. I've seen too many peers who jumped through all the typical Christian pre-wedding hoops, only to wind up divorced or in troubled marriages.

The authors acknowledge that most folks have hang-ups that make romance difficult. And unfortunately, there are wolves in sheep's clothing that must be avoided. Therefore, boundaries are a necessary part of a healthy dating relationship. "Boundaries in Dating" describes where boundaries are needed, ways to set them, and how to enforce the consequences when they are violated. Some complain that boundaries are a way to control other people. However, the authors view them as tools that reveal good character or uncover impure motives.
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69 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Marie Browder on May 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
My Christian teenage daugher has many Christain friends who have bought TOTALLY into the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Josh Harris. One of them gave the book to her in order (I think) to set her straight. She is a very bright, fun, thoughtful young lady who has dated and had some very good experiences with it and also rough experiences. She and I both read the book and discussed it together. It left her very distressed. She was made to feel like dating was a sin and yet, she couldn't really understand (Biblically) why. I, too, was very bothered by the legalistic approach of that book.
I went in search of a resource to clarify things for both my daughter and myself. I found this book and read it first before giving it to my daughter (no need to set her up for more confusion!) This book gives a wonderful and clear outline on the purposes and values of dating. It is biblically-based and sound in its information. My daughter is about halfway through reading it and as we discuss it, she is constantly saying, "now this makes sense". I especially appreciate the empasis placed on the issue of maturity in dating and how God can use dating (if done within His boundaries) to grow her into a mature Christian woman who will have the ability to make a wise decision when the time comes for her to marry.
She plans to share this book with all of her friends!
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Dachsielover on April 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was life changing. Coming out of an abusive situation which led to a divorce, I knew I needed help if I were ever to marry again! I figured that it was best to figure out why the abuse happened, as well as what I had done wrong in my choice of mate. This book was SO insightful that I wish it had been in print before my first marriage.

As it happens, I got into a dating relationship much sooner than I had expected. I had figured that I needed at LEAST 2 years to regroup before even planning to begin dating again. "Fate" had other plans. I got into a very bizarre and abusive dating relationship with a man who was unlike anyone I had ever known in that he manipulated me, lied, and had the gall to accuse me of trying to control him! Soon I began to feel those awful, trapped feelings from before.

I kept trying to step back and just slow things down (since he wanted to date me AND someone else at the same time and I happen to think one should be patient enough to date only one person at a time for the sake of other people's feelings). Part of the reason it felt so exhausting was the way he would talk about really wanting to marry me and then in the next breath tell me about a date he planned with the other gal he was just starting to see. When I challenged him about the hypocrisy and cruelty of playing with my feelings, he would accuse me of being controlling. When I tried to just be "coffee friends" until he decided how he felt about the other gal, he would accuse me of being controlling and not wanting the best for his son and himself. God had to finally wrest him away from me by having him dump me without telling me and then find out in a month or so that he was planning to marry yet a different gal in 4 months.
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Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships
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