Who Else Kissed Dating Goodbye?

Back in my church-going senior highish days, there was a book that was all the rage titled I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. Does anyone else remember this book (mid/late 90’s)?

It’s a how-to guide for Christian Courtship. It advises against the traditional one-on-one dating scene in favor of traditional courtship. He emphasizes group socialization and never being alone with the significant other in order to avoid those all-too-evil physical moments. As I recall, the only alone-time he advocated involved walking side by side with your significant other in front of her parents house within plain view of the parents.

It’s so funny looking back on that, and how much the church and other religious organizations praised the book. I didn’t take too much of it to heart and thought the courtship idea rather comical even at the time. However, it did sort of warp my view on relationships. For a few years I avoided relationships because in my skewed mindset, they weren’t endorsed by god.

I have no regrets now, because I’m with the best girlfriend ever. During college, it took a while to get out of that weird anti-relationship funk. I finally realized that my prayers to a complacent god who would just drop a girl in my lap were just a pipe dream. You can’t go through life sitting back and expecting a deity to bring opportunities on a platter. I think that’s a given for the nontheists, but it’s something I never figured out till my waning years as a Christian.

Does anyone else remember that book?

5 thoughts on “Who Else Kissed Dating Goodbye?

  1. I never read the book but I do teach my children similar principles. I believe in “arranged” marriages. God arranges them. Seek the Kingdom first and he will add your special one to you. God Bless you!

  2. I read this book and I thought it was a wonderful book. Actually it does teach a lot of great principals.It helps you build a relationship more on a communcation than a physical one. And actually courtship is taught in the bible.

  3. I never read the book, but I saw a few videos and ate that stuff up, as I happened to have a youth pastor who greatly endorsed and teached this model.

    It turns out that all these years later, I’m terrified about being in relationships with women (I still have never had a girlfriend) and am working hard by myself to repair my confidence levels and figure out why I have this problem (and why I was so enamored with the “no dating” attitude in the first place) since I don’t have enough money or the healthcare to see a therapist. I know *exactly* what you mean when you speak of the “anti-relationship funk” because it’s been ingrained within my mind since I was ~17 years old; that’s 10 years, now. Not only did I feel like I was doing the holy thing, but I also believed I would walk right into a relationship with “my wife”.

    Superstition? Yes. It’s not an exaggeration to say I was brainwashed by a well-meaning ignoramus. My evidence is that after 10 years the automatic thought in my head relating to women is STILL “don’t look, don’t touch.” Just imagining kissing a girl on a date still floods me with a nervousness and guilt I remember not feeling when I was younger. I literally believed I would meet the right person, spend time becoming friends while falling in love (courting) and then having sex on the wedding night! If there is a single woman out there — and I don’t mean a 15 year old girl who still listens to her parents… — who is turned on by that kind of fantasy, I’ll pluck out my eye. I actually had a fantasy of being Amish since those are likely the only women alive in America who would be compatible with me. Of course, I’m over this fantasy now and I’m trying to get back on the horse an get in the game. I’m not necessarily an atheist after this, but I am now pretty sensitive to superstitious American Christianity which upsets me a lot.

    Ignorance is dangerous. I won’t make this much longer, but what that Christian youth pastor should realize is that there is no cheap and easy solution to youth sexuality. They better damn well have some real experience on the subject before they go preaching such effective messages to their impressionable teenage flock. I won’t even say there aren’t good ideas to be drawn from a courtship-minded point of view or that modern dating is a sufficient solution for spiritually minded people looking for marriage. But, now I know there are amoebas in sheep’s clothing and I’m somewhat hopeful that as I undo these chains in my mind, I still have a shot at this guy/girl thing.

  4. I am in a dilema,my boyfriend and I are close to each other and not in different cities anymore. We were doing well in out courtship and getting to know each other well, untill one day when we lost it. We had sex!! We plrayed about it and asked God to forgive us and make us over again.Less than 2weeks later, we did it again and evr since then,I have lost count although all this happened within a month. I feel frustrated, I’ve tased the forbidden fruit and even fantasize about it too often,I dont like what is happening because I love the Lord and I know he does as well. We’re lookked at as the best example of other young couples at our church and I am even a worshipper.What is wrong with us and why has this sexual sin taken over us like this. We need help urgently, this can not carry on for the same of our marriage. Which possibly has a chance of not even happening should we carry on.

    TD

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