He feels that people date to find "their" mate according to their own principles, rules, and desires.
In doing so, he argues, people put up a façade in an attempt to appear to be what the other person wants, and this hampers the "getting to know you" part of dating.
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.
In general, Harris believes that dating has become too inwardly focused.
Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing As a child might ask for a toy?
Demanding what others have died to win, With a reckless dash of boy.
." On November 20, 2005 Harris gave a message to the church at which he is Senior Pastor, titled "Courtship, Schmourtship: What Really Matters in Relationships." In this message Harris acknowledged problems with how the singles related in his church.
Harris indicated that there was a "lack of freeness between men and women in cultivating friendships." He also used the words "standoffish" and "tightness." In the message, Harris also indicated that it was "OK" for single men and women to go out for coffee by themselves, apparently correcting misconceptions some singles had in his church.
In the wake of its publication, churches held purity conferences, purity balls, and had teens take purity pledges.
My own parents vowed that their children would never date, we would court, as laid out in Harris’ book.
If you cannot be this, a laundress and cook You can hire and little to pay; But a woman's heart and a woman's life Are not to be won that way.” ― Joshua Harris, “Don’t concern yourself with being right in others’ eyes. The joy of intimacy is the reward of commitment.” ― Joshua Harris, “When we define our happiness by some point in the future, it will never arrive. If we allow impatience to govern us, we will miss the gift of the moment.