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The book was perfect for the moment: Abstinence-only sex education had become well established in many public schools, and organizations such as True Love Waits were taking evangelical culture mainstream.
“I Kissed Dating Goodbye” sold more than 1.2 million copies and has remained a fundamental text even as purity culture peaked and cooled.
The book begins with a young couple on their wedding day, besieged by relationships past.
That same year, Harris stated that he reconsidered his view that dating should be avoided, apologizing to those whose lives were negatively impacted by the book and directing the book's publisher to discontinue its publication.In an interview with Family Christian Stores, Harris indicated that "people have taken the message of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and made it something legalistic – a set of rules.That's something that's beyond my control and it's disappointing at times..." Christian psychologists Henry Cloud and John Townsend suggest that avoiding dating in order to avoid suffering, as Harris advises, causes those who do so to forgo opportunities to mature, especially through learning how to create healthy boundaries.I no longer agree with its central idea that dating should be avoided.” There was a bombshell conclusion: “In light of the flaws I now see in ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye,’ I think it’s best to discontinue its publication.” He has directed his publisher to cease printing the book.In essence, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and its (inevitable, if you think about it) fall represent a mind-set prominent in evangelical culture, but also in American society more broadly.