by Chelsen Vicari, Juicy Ecumenism
It’s been 20 years since Joshua Harris wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye (IKDG), a book offering Christians a new approach to dating and romance. Namely, replacing dating with friendship-based courtship. The book exploded in popularity within Evangelicalism and rapidly climbed the bestseller lists. Harris was only 21 years old when he wrote IKDG. Now the author is rethinking his dating advice.
Stories of damaging consequences affecting many people who encountered IKDG served to highlight the book’s shortfalls, according to Harris who addressed his reevaluation during a recent Tedx event.
“My eyes have really been open,” shared Harris. “I didn’t leave room for the idea that dating could be a healthy way of learning what you’re looking for in a long-term relationship. That it could be a part of growing personally.”
I’ll admit here that I couldn’t make it past the first chapter of IKDG. That could be because I didn’t attempt to read the book until I was in my early twenties. While I respect Harris’ pushback against society’s harmful hook-up culture, IKDG’s overall concept seemed impractical to me. As a young woman working virtually non-stop for a non-profit in Washington, D.C. I just didn’t have time for an interview-style, no-strings-attached coffee meeting, which I’d argue is an unhelpful result of IKDG culture. Instead, I found intentional casual dating a healthier approach.
© 2017 Institute on Religion & Democracy