In 1997, a 23 year old man named Joshua Harris wrote a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. It has sold well over a million copies. And it greatly impacted many people.
The concept of the book is this. Harris believed that people put up a facade in order to be what other people want. That “facade” can be maintained throughout the date. Therefore, Harris encouraged more group dates, feeling that that would tell more about something then it would be if they were alone. He also proposed something called courtship which he argued that this model is closer to the Biblical idea for Christians to follow.
The book truly seemed to make a positive impact on a lot of Christians. They took his words to heart. Pastors also took his words to heart. They would have either changed, or approached dating with his, and many others at the time, idea. The intent of the Christian would be to honour God. Many strongly believe that the idea of sex, and some even touching, is meant for the confines of holy matrimony.
But yet, as this book was being digested and read, something else happened. It happened slowly and it seemed like years later, we have really seen what has occurred.
A distance developed. Somehow, for many people, it actually became tougher to date. Intentions were questioned. For example, it might have seemed something like this:
Christian Boy: Would you like to go out for a coffee?
Christian Girl: Why, have you prayed about it?
Christian Boy: Um…. Um…. Bye….
Slowly, the average age of people actually getting married increased. Slowly, the divorce rate has been raised amongst those who are Christians. Statistics report it is actually higher than the secular folks that they did not want to be about.
It was a coldness that even Harris noticed in his own church. In 2005 the 31 year old senior pastor of his church spoke a sermon that it is ok for men and women to be friends and go out for coffee.
So, as much as Harris slightly noticed it, many have been angered by not only this book, but other similar books on dating from a Christian perspective. Some have felt they have created some unreal expectations. Further, it has missed the human element as well. Here are some of the top selling Christian dating books that I have discussed and/or read”
Wild At Heart
Dateable: Are you?
Boundaries in Dating
This is books that come from a Christian perspective. There are many ” Non-Christian” dating books that have done this as well. Books like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus and She’s Not That Into You have made huge impacts. And let’s not forget magazines like Cosmopolitan, GQ, and Revolve!
I’m not endorsing one book over another. There is probably some good and some bad from each one. And perhaps the question may be too general. But how have the dating book a impacted our view on relationships?