Dating good bye

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, Elizabeth Esther tweeted that she never went to prom because of her Fundamentalist upbringing.In response, one of her followers tweeted that she didn’t have a prom because of Joshua Harris, the author of the influential book was published in 1997 and quickly became a hit among the Evangelical crowd.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.The approach Harris offered was a way forward that bypassed the physical possibilities.It seemed safer: who wouldn’t trust their parents to have a say in their husband?But beside my non-existent teen love life, the book had a larger impact that as an adult, I’m only now coming to grips with—damaging expectations of myself, men, and sexuality—beliefs that have cost me love, friendship, and given me a life of shame.

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I remember seeing the cover, and thinking how cool it looked, tipped fedora and all.

The sepia tone seemed romantic, and maybe, when you’re an awkward, depressed teen, that’s all you need to convince you of purity culture: it seems romantic.

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