And Starbucks and Barnes & Noble are nowhere (penned when he was only 21), has caught the attention of hordes of young women of my generation—particularly those who are evangelical Christians.

In his book, Harris encourages young Christians to look beyond our Western culture's dominant paradigm for developing serial intimate relationships (namely, the process of "dating") and instead commit to "purposeful singleness." Romantic relationships, he suggests, should exist only as a means to preparing for marriage—what's commonly called "courting." Harris avoids that quaint-sounding term in , but the idea is implicit in his promotion of relationships that emphasize long-term commitment and the supervision of the community of believers over and against traditional dating, which he feels emphasizes self-centered emotional and physical satisfaction.

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You have written my lesson of duty out, Manlike, you have questioned me.

Now stand at the bars of my woman's soul Until I shall question thee.

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In an interview with Family Christian Stores, Joshua 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...

Harris's book struck a chord with an entire generation of young believers.

The book far exceeded the sales expectations of Multnomah, its publisher, and has spawned an entire genre of works on how to do relationships in a "Christian way." Recent titles include Dating and Waiting ...

The book focuses on Harris' disenchantment with the contemporary secular dating scene, and offers ideas for improvement, alternative dating/courting practices, and a view that singleness need not be a burden nor characterized by what Harris describes as "selfishness." Harris popularized the concept of "courting" as an alternative to regular secular dating, and in doing so has caused discussion regarding the appropriateness of his solutions to regular dating as well as the foundations on which he bases his reasoning.