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thereviewman

The Review Man

Formerly of Goodreads, now of both words, in the coming times only here?

Currently reading

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I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance - Joshua Harris I'm going to tell you a story about The Review Man's adolescence. (Don't say I've never told you anything about myself!)

The Review Man grew up in a home that was weird about sex. His parents made it very clear that he was not to date girls until he turned 16. Young and naïve, The Review Man took this to mean that sex was frowned upon, so he pretended in front of them that he didn't like girls yet. In fact, he basically didn't talk to girls at all. He wrote one a love letter once, but that ended badly. (Turns out she was actually a lesbian, but that's another story.) High school was at times awkward. He asked a girl he liked to prom and you can guess the rest of the story.

So when The Review Man started dating, he had little (if any) idea how to do it successfully. The good news is that he's a quick learner (and incredibly handsome too, if I may) and has quickly adjusted. The same may not be true for others, however.

~~~~

Your future husband/wife (if that's in the cards) probably won't fall out of the clouds one Sunday afternoon. How Joshua Harris expects you to meet him/her, then, is a bit of a mystery. There's a lot of dithering and asking people's parents if their son/daughter is 'ready' to date in I Kissed Dating Goodbye; it's mostly nonsense. Sure, I don't think 13-year-olds have much business dating, but who's to say the whole process is a waste of time for people of all ages?

Surely not Joshua Harris, who wrote the book at the tender age of 23. But don't worry; he was married by then! Betcha ten bucks he dated his wife too, the term (or lack thereof) he applied to his courtship notwithstanding.

And there's the catch. Harris isn't really kissing dating goodbye at all; he's just relabelled it. It's courtship now, not dating, because the former sounds more chaste. Harris' point is essentially that people who date should do so in a Christlike manner. Would it have been that difficult to just say that? I'm willing to bet the sensationalist title has confused more than a few young people. Similar attitudes sure confused me.

If I may present as broad a generalization as Harris' in I Kissed Dating Goodbye, the problem facing today's youth wasn't and isn't dating. Telling kids to stop holding hands and going to the movies won't solve the problem. Telling twenty-somethings to avoid the dating scene might very well turn them into single thirty-somethings, then single forty-somethings. In what universe is that constructive advice? Substituting courtship for dating won't hit those foundational problems, will it?

In a way, this is not completely Joshua Harris' fault. Amid the rhetoric, however, he may have forgotten that banning something isn't always the best way to deal with it. Forget goodbye; I'm kissing dating good morning.