I Kissed Dating Goodbye (1997, 2003) by Joshua Harris is a dating book about finding love through guidance from God.
I picked this book up in a charity shop because I liked the cover. Didn’t read what what it was about. Definitely never judge a book by it’s cover because this is a total mismatch for what I would believe and be interested in. Needless to say, very soon into the book I realized that. I still continued reading because I’m a curious person and it all sounded even from the opening pages so surreal and outdated that I wanted to get an idea for why someone could think the thoughts that were in this book. I guess that’s the writer in me.
It is a very uncomfortable read so if content in this book triggers you, do not go near it because it is loaded in that kind of content. Topics which are bashed, because that’s what it was, are women, gay men, cohabitation and sex outside marriage, any religion outside of Catholicism but especially Humanism/Atheism/Secular society in general and any kind of freedom to date however you feel is right for you.
The author wrote this book at 23 and I read the book not knowing anything else other than the book about the author. It was probably the best way to read it without anything to in any way cloud my review but I have read since that he has changed his mind on and apologized for the message of the book. Now whether that was about all the opinions or a certain amount of them, I’m not sure but I think it is important to put that into the review. The author, in hindsight, does not see this book as a success and I 100% agree with him on something at last.
I am saddened that this book had a huge negative affect on many peoples’ lives. I fear it may have made a lot of readers have negative attitudes toward other people who are not being hurtful to them. Because the message is reinforced and reinforced and it’s not a good message from a place of trying to help anyone. It is an ignorant message but I can imagine there is people, especially young people, God-fearing people, people who love God in an obsessive kind of way or people who have just got out of a bad break-up, who might be very susceptible and in a vulnerable position to this book through feeling guilty or feeling not worthy. That’s worrying if the message and the theme is close to a person’s heart. I mean it wouldn’t be to mine so I felt uncomfortable reading it but I could also laugh at how ridiculous it sounded. The letters and stories I read about in this book about and from people who were very into the message worried me a lot about both the people themselves and the people they could hurt by bringing this message out into the world.
I give kudos to the author for apologizing about this book and am glad to see that growth and that attempt to make things better in light of his reconsidered thinking about the book. But as a reviewer, a terrible book with a dangerous message.
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