Into the Book


I Kissed Dating Goodbye - Joshua Harris

I’ve read this book now three times. And I still love it. If I were to recommend one book to any teen in a relationship, it would be this one. The only other that comes close is “Boy Meets Girl” the sequel (but you’ll have to wait for the review on that one, I want to re-read it! :D)

I really enjoy many parts of this book, and so many good things that he says. So at first I will very briefly summarize the book, and then I will take some of my favorite quotes and put them in…beware, I have a lot!

The first part of the book is titled “Isn’t There a Better Way?” It focuses on three things: The Little Relationship Principle, “Seven Habits of Highly Defective Dating” and “Five Attitude Changes to Avoid Defective Dating” (More on these in a second). The second part of the book is titled “The Heart of the Matter”, and it covers more of a concrete nature of dating. It covers God’s definition of love, and being redeemed from past mistakes. The last chapter in this part, The Room, has been widely circulated in many other publications, but it is still amazing. The third part of the book is named “Building a New Lifestyle” and talks about getting back on track with God’s plan, and keeping friendships in the ‘friendship zone’. Fourth is “Looking Ahead”, and talks more about looking ahead to marriage, and closes with the story of Josh’s parents.

The first part of the book is what I feel is the most essential, and it is where Josh lays out his ideas to you. First of all he gives you the Little Relationship Principle:

The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment.

Then, he goes on to list seven habits of highly defective dating:
1. Dating tends to skip the friendship stage of a relationship
2. Dating often mistakes a physical relationship as love
3. Dating often isolates a couple from other vital relationships
4. Dating can distract young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future.
5. Dating can cause discontentment with God’s gift of singleness
6, Dating can create an artificial environment for evaluating another person’s character.
7. Dating often becomes an end in itself.

Once Josh Harris has listed these, he doesn’t leave you hanging. In the next chapter, he covers five ways to avoid the above seven pitfalls of dating:
1. Every relationship is an opportunity to model Christ’s love.
2. My unmarried years are a gift from God
3. I don’t need to pursue a romantic relationship before I’m ready for marriage
4. I cannot “own” someone outside of marriage
5. I will avoid situations that could compromise the purity of my body or my mind

Now that I’ve actually told you some of what the book covers, I’d like to stick some of my favorite quotes in here. They are all really good, but by far my most favorite is the following:

The world takes us to a silver screen on which flickering images of passion and
romance play, and as we watch, the world says, “This is love.” God takes us to
the foot of a tree on which a naked and bloodied man hangs and says, “This is

I just love that quote, and it is so true. It is something we need to remember daily. The next is Josh’s opening challenge:

And because I’ve experienced it–because Jesus died for me–I’m committed to a
love life that is controlled by Him. I invite you along. In the light of the
love He’s given us, let’s make purity and blamelessness our priority.

Choosing to quit the dating game doesn’t mean rejecting friendship with the
opposite sex, companionship, romance, or marriage. We can still pursue those
things, we just choose to pursue them on God’s terms and in his time.

By nature, our instincts want to set us on a course for destruction. Our
feelings can lie to us. We shouldn’t allow them to set the tone or the pace of
our relationships. Instead, we need to let God’s Word and patience and
selflessness to guide us.

In chapter eight, when Josh shares his part about the Room, he says,

We each have a ‘room’ containing all our sinful deeds and thoughts. But just
because we admit this or feel bad about it doesn’t mean we’re forgiven. Remorse
can’t save anyone. Only faith in Christ can. Only trust in His death and
resurrection for us.

This is one of my favorite quotes in the book. Before reading this, I had really been wrestling with the guilt about a past relationship. This quote helped me then.

“How can I start being the kind of friend to the opposite sex that they need?”
We need to take our focus off of ourselves and look for ways to serve those
around us.

The human heart doesn’t like taking orders from the mind. The time will come for
all of us when we won’t feel we’re doing the godly, responsible thing we’re
resolved to do.

In our daydreams about marriage, we too often forget what a drastic course of
action marriage is. We read the captivating headlines but neglect to read the
exacting fine print.

And this last one, which really speaks to me as well:

The question is not merely, “Are you and a potential spouse saved?” but rather,
“Are both of you in love with Jesus Christ? Will you place Him even before each

Andrew J. is the founder of Into the Book and keeps the site up and running. He is an avid reader and loves to write as well as read new books. He is a part of the Rebelution movement, a teenage rebellion against low expectations.


  1. I have read the book as well and really like it! The most important thing is to trust God to bring the right person into our lives. It's hard but well worth it. Keep up the good work guys!!

  2. There are pros and cons with Josh Harris's book. I have a blog where I critique his book:

    Unfortunately Josh Harris is quick to point out the defects of dating but doesn't share the problems his approach has caused over the years including at the church he is now Senior Pastor.

    IMO, the approach he promotes is more designed for teenagers vs. older singles. Unfortunately Harris doesn't seem to understand or make that distinction. In other words what may be applicable to teenagers isn't always the correct approach for older singles.

    Also, the groups that I have seen that promote this approach usually always leads to singles avoiding relating with those of the opposite sex vs. learning how to relate.

    Josh Harris wrote his book as a testimonial of how it work for him as a teenager who was "overdating." Too many people have taken what worked for him and feel it should be the standard.

  3. I do agree with you on some points, Steve. Joshua Harris did write his book as a testimonial of how it worked for him, and he did write it for younger people. He is showing us his mistakes in the book and pointing them out to us. He is like a construction worker with a big caution sign, indicating that there's a pitfall ahead.

    I also agree that 'overdating' is one of these things. I think that we need to use Joshua Harris' cautions and apply them to our own lives, rather than just blindly accept it as a standard.

    I think that some of the options that Joshua Harris points out are very applicable and good courses to take.

  4. I am now reading this book and I am really caught up to thinking and reevaluating the kind of relationships I have right now. This is really a must-read and must-have book! If anyone is generous enough to give me a copy, i will really appreciate it because i just borrow the book i am reading now. I also want to read its sequel. I know it will be a great help for me in preparing for a better tomorrow with the "one"God has prepared for me.

  5. I'm almost done reading this book, and I'm going to re-read it once I'm finished!! It's so good, and I'm certainly going to recommend it to everyone! Even though I've never dated, it's helped me form a good mind set for when ever I'm ready to commit to marriage. I haven't read his next book, but, I'm sure it's a great "follow up" and I hope to read it soon.

  6. Thank you to our God who has made Joshua to be His way of encouragement for us teenagers. I am absolutely convicted by His book, though I haven't reached my limitations, still it feels great to have the chance to read this book to find my true purpose as of now. That we must all seek Him first our "first love" To God be the glory. Let's all remain to be faithful. :)

  7. I'm not a teenager but even I was able to gain valuable insight through this book. Suddenly I'm thinking more about the men in my life as precious brothers than just potential husbands. I want to protect their purity as much as I'd like them to protect and respect mine. It adjusted my mentality to be a mentality that reflects God's will over mine. I look forward to reading "Boy Meets Girl". I thank the Lord for having opened my eyes to Him in a new way. :)

  8. God wrecked my life with this book. I had the perfect guy at my fingertips, and God had me read this before he had the chance to ask me out. After this book I read: Authentic Beauty.. (another incredible one) Over the past few months I have delt with many heartbreaking things, including having to walk away from my dream guy. I am currenly writing a book on how Christ became my Romeo. I'm 15, and I've decided to live a set apart lifestyle to osave my purity. Thank you Joshua Harris.

  9. I read this book when I was 13. My parents dated. Everyone I knew dated. But when I was introduced to this "new attitude" my life was forever changed! I made a vow to God to not date, to save everything - including my first kiss - for my husband on our wedding day...and ten years later, my faithful Lord Jesus, gave me the most amazing man and the most heavenly wedding day ever. I am a living testimony that HE is faithful.

  10. Seeing a success story like that is very encouraging to young people like myself who have made similar commitments.

  11. As Christian woman, I loved this book! Christian parents will also love this book. It makes a perfect present for your teenagers and anyone looking for love. This book is about waiting, of course. It is not offensive or too much for a teenager and shouldn't turn them off. It doesn't tell you like a bossy know-it-all adult, so it isn't offensive to the reader. In fact, it makes waiting for love beautiful.


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