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I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance Paperback – April 1, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The book is a good starting point for a single believer as long as it is kept in the context of developing a Christ-focused life. It is weak in its lack of depth and stark black and white assertions. I imagine that as he gets older and grows in wisdom, Harris will be able to fine tune his thesis and present an argument that has greater weight. I applaud him for his insight and his contribution to the lives of many who want to have a Christ-focused life. To those who don't agree with the book...so what. Do as you wish, see where it takes you, and if you gain any insight and grow in Christ, write your own book. I am amazed at the many who critisize the book as if Harris crashed into their homes and forced them to change their lives at gun point.
I have never been so happy with the direction my life is taking, and it's getting easier every day. For anyone reading this review, please take heart and give this way of living a chance. The bad reviews sound like they are coming from people who do not have the conviction or will power to give up intimacy. You will meet many, many men/women like this, and they make it very hard to stick to your guns. And others make it sound like living like this makes it impossible to meet people - not true! You meet people of the same sex and become freinds, don't you? Just treat the opposite sex the same way while you are getting to know them! (Very hard, but not impossible!) And just let me say - for those who think that Joshua Harris did not have enough experience or was old enough to know what he was talking about, I believe it is God's message, through Josh, we are hearing when we read I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Please give it a chance - you will not regret it! I've gotten so many rewards already.