The Profile

Joshua Harris: Apologising for his bestselling Christian book on dating

April 19, 2019

Imagine authoring a book that sells millions of copies around the world. Then imagine receiving messages, years later, from people who say they were deeply damaged and hurt by your work. What would you do? Joshua Harris was just 21 when I Kissed Dating Goodbye was released. His book warned that dating could cause irreparable emotional damage. The solution was to embrace courtship – where couples pursue friendship before romance, and parents are given permission to offer advice and help guide the relationship. Harris also advocated for strict boundaries within this: no kissing, no holding hands and no being alone together before you tie the knot. Perhaps most famously, he recommended only beginning a relationship with someone if you could picture yourself marrying them in the near future. Now, he’s apologising for writing it and is the subject of a new documentary film entitled I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye. The film, which is available to watch free online, sees Harris sitting down with his fiercest critics and listening to their stories. Having heard their testimonies, Harris has now decided to withdraw his book from sale. In this in depth interview with Premier Christianity’s Sam Hailes, he explains what made him re-evaluate the work, and what he’s learned in the process.

Follow Joshua on Twiter @Harris_Josh  

You can also read this interview on the Premier Christianity magazine website. Or for a free sample copy of the latest print issue visit