I survived i kissed dating goodbye

I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A Reflection on the Book that Changed Christian Dating Culture

Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, a book called "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris became a phenomenon in Christian circles. The book, which advocated for a courtship model of dating and discouraged casual dating, became a bestseller and influenced a generation of young Christians. However, in recent years, many have come forward to criticize the book's teachings and the damage it caused in their own lives. As someone who read and followed the book's advice during my teenage years, I am one of those critics. But I am also someone who has come out the other side and has learned from the mistakes of my past. Here is my story of how I survived "I Kissed Dating Goodbye."

The Book That Changed Christian Dating Culture

When I first read "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" at the age of 14, I was swept up in the romanticism of it all. The idea of courtship, where a couple would only enter into a romantic relationship if they were seriously considering marriage, seemed like the perfect solution to the confusion and heartbreak I had seen in many of my friends' dating lives. Plus, the book was written by a young man who had gone through his own dating struggles and had found success in courtship. It felt like a guidebook for how to navigate the murky waters of teenage romance.

However, as I got older and started putting the book's teachings into practice, I began to see the flaws in its logic. For one, the book placed an unrealistic burden on young people to know whether or not they were ready for marriage at a young age. It also assumed that all Christians shared the same values and beliefs about relationships, which is simply not true. And perhaps most damagingly, it promoted a purity culture that taught young people that their worth was tied to their virginity and that any sexual activity outside of marriage was sinful and damaging.

The Damage Done

For many people who read "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," myself included, the book's teachings had a negative impact on their dating lives and their sense of self-worth. Some people felt pressured to enter into courtships before they were ready or to stay in relationships that were not healthy because they felt like they had to see them through to marriage. Others felt shame and guilt for natural sexual desires, leading to a distorted view of their own sexuality. And for some, the book's teachings even led to broken relationships and marriages.

Personally, I struggled with feeling like I wasn't "pure" enough because I had engaged in some sexual activity before I started following the book's teachings. I also felt like I wasn't allowed to explore my own desires or take control of my own romantic life because I had to wait for a man to pursue me in a certain way. As a result, I spent many years feeling frustrated and confused about my own needs and desires.

Learning from Mistakes

Thankfully, as I got older and started questioning the teachings of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," I also started learning from my mistakes. I realized that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dating and relationships and that it's important to listen to your own needs and desires rather than following someone else's rules. I also learned that sexual desire is natural and healthy and that shame and guilt only serve to harm us.

Most importantly, I learned that God's love for us is not dependent on our sexual activity or relationship status. We are all worthy of love and respect regardless of our past mistakes or experiences.

The Future of Christian Dating Culture

Today, there is a growing movement within Christian circles to reevaluate the teachings of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" and promote a more holistic approach to relationships. This includes acknowledging the diversity of Christian beliefs about relationships and sexuality, promoting healthy communication and boundaries, and encouraging young people to take ownership of their own romantic lives.

As someone who has been through the ups and downs of Christian dating culture, I am hopeful for the future. While "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" may have caused harm in the past, we have an opportunity now to create a more inclusive and compassionate way forward.

I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye

"I Kissed Dating Goodbye" may have been a bestseller in its day, but it's time for us to move beyond its teachings. As we look toward the future of Christian dating culture, let's prioritize open communication, healthy boundaries, and a diverse range of beliefs and experiences. And most importantly, let's remember that God's love for us is not dependent on our relationship status or sexual activity.