Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships [NOOK Book]

Overview

Rules for Romance That Can Help You Find the Love of Your Life

Between singleness and marriage lies the journey of dating. Want to make your road as smooth as possible? Set and maintain healthy boundaries--boundaries that will help you grow in freedom, honesty, and self-control.

If many of your dating experiences have been difficult, Boundaries in Dating could revolutionize...
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Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships

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Overview

Rules for Romance That Can Help You Find the Love of Your Life

Between singleness and marriage lies the journey of dating. Want to make your road as smooth as possible? Set and maintain healthy boundaries--boundaries that will help you grow in freedom, honesty, and self-control.

If many of your dating experiences have been difficult, Boundaries in Dating could revolutionize the way you handle relationships. Even if you’re doing well, the insights you’ll gain from this much-needed book can help you fine-tune or even completely readjust important areas of your dating life.

Written by the authors of the bestselling book Boundaries, Boundaries in Dating is your road map to the kind of enjoyable, rewarding dating that can take you from weekends alone to a lifetime with the soul mate you’ve longed for.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310296676
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Sold by: Zondervan Publishing
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 28,716
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Dr. Henry Cloud is a popular speaker, and co-host, with Dr. John Townsend, of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! Radio program, and cofounder of Cloud-Townsend Clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. His bestselling books include the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries books and Making Small Groups Work. Dr. Cloud and his wife and two daughters live in Southern California.

Dr. John Townsend is a psychologist, popular speaker, and cohost of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and a cofounder of Cloud-Townsend clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. He has written or co-written 27 books, selling over six million copies, including the bestseller Boundaries.  He is also the author of Boundaries with Teens and Hiding from Love. He and his wife, Barbi, live in southern California. They have two grown sons.

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Read an Excerpt

A few years back I was doing a seminar for singles in the Midwest when the question came from the floor, "Dr. Cloud, what is the biblical position on dating?" At first, I thought I had misheard the question, so I asked the woman to repeat it. And the question came out the same as the first time.

"What do you mean, 'the biblical position'?" I asked.

"Well, do you think that dating is a biblical thing to do?" the woman explained.

Once I heard her question, I thought she was kidding, but I soon realized she was not. I had heard people ask about the biblical position on capital punishment or euthanasia, but never on dating.

"I do not think the Bible gives a 'position' on dating," I said. "Dating is an activity that people do, and as with a lot of other things, the Bible does not talk about it. What the Bible does talk about is being a loving, honest, growing person in whatever you do. So, I would have to say that the biblical position on dating has much more to do with the person you are and are becoming than whether or not you date. The biblical position on dating would be to date in a holy way.

"In fact, God grows people up through dating relationships in the same way that he grows them up in many other life activities. The question is not whether or not you are dating. The questions are more along the lines of 'Who are you in your dating and who are you becoming in your dating? What is the fruit of your dating for you and for the people that you date? How are you treating them? What are you learning?' And a host of other issues that the Bible is very clear about. It is mainly about your character growth and how you treat people."

"So, you think it is okay to date?" she pressed.

"Of course, I do, but it is only okay to date within biblical guidelines, which by the way are not burdensome. They will save your life and help you to make sure you end up with a good person to marry," I said, chuckling on the inside about how often Christians want a rule.

I thought this was the end of it until the same question kept coming up around the country whenever I would speak to singles. Over and over again, I was asked if dating were an okay thing to do or not. I was curious about why people were asking the same question.

So, one day, I asked where these questions were coming from. I was told that a movement was arising from a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. The premise of the book is that dating is not a good idea, and many people were giving it up. As I continued to investigate, the movement went even further than the book in some circles. Many Christians were saying that dating was sinful in and of itself; others were at least feeling as if people who were still dating were less spiritual than those who didn't. It was becoming the "Christian" thing to forego dating. I thought at first that this was just in some circles, but the more I traveled around I was hearing it all over the country.

So we read I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and in this chapter we will share some of our reactions. We strongly disagree with the idea that all people should give up dating for several reasons. But before we get into the specifics, we want to validate the reasons behind this movement.

No one would take such a stance against dating without good reason, and the reason people are giving up dating seems to be this: pain, disillusionment, and detrimental effects to their spiritual life. In other words, dating has not helped them to grow, find a mate, or become a more spiritual person. So, it makes sense to kiss it good-bye.

And we empathize with this pain. As we have seen over the years working with many singles and being single for a long time ourselves (both of us were well into our thirties before we married), dating can cause a lot of hurt and suffering. Many people become disillusioned in the process, and they feel like they do not know how to make it work. They experience heartbreak, they repeatedly pick the "wrong type," they can't find the "right type," or they find the "right type" and they don't like him or her as much as the wrong type. They have trouble integrating their spiritual life into dating. And they question what to do with physical attraction and moral limits, as well as wonder when to move from casual dating to a more significant relationship.

For many people the pain and suffering of dating becomes too much, and they are ready for an alternative. And out of this motivation, we concur with the followers of the no-dating movement and its proponents. The pain of dating is not worth it if it does not lead to anything good. We understand Mr. Harris's motive for writing this book.

But we disagree with his conclusion. While we agree that the hurt must stop, we don't think that dating is the problem. We think people are. In the same way that cars don't kill people, drunk drivers do, dating does not hurt people, but dating in out-of-control ways does. Paul's advice to the Colossians is sound: "Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 'Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!'? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence" (Colossians 2: 20 - 23). Paul cautioned the Colossians that making rules and abstaining from certain practices would never develop the maturity they needed to live life.

Human problems are matters of the heart, the soul, one's orientation toward God, and a whole host of other maturity issues. As Paul says, avoiding certain things you could engage in destructively does not cure your basic problem of immaturity, which is internal not external. You may be immature and not able to handle dating, so you abstain from dating. But, unless you do something to grow up, you will still be immature, and you will take that immaturity right into marriage.

Avoiding dating isn't the way to cure the problems encountered in dating. The cure is the same as the Bible's cure for all of life's problems, and that is spiritual growth leading to maturity. Learning how to love, follow God, be honest and responsible, treat others as you would want to be treated, develop self-control, and build a fulfilling life will ensure better dating.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS
Acknowledgments.....9
Why Dating?.....11
Part 1: You and Your Boundaries
1. Why Boundaries in Dating?.....25
2. Require and Embody Truth.....35
3. Take God on a Date.....49
4. Dating Won’t Cure a Lonely Heart.....71
5. Don’t Repeat the Past.....77
Part 2: Whom Should I Date?
6. What You Can Live With and
What You Can’t Live With.....91
7. Don’t Fall in Love with Someone
You Wouldn’t Be Friends With.....107
8. Don’t Ruin a Friendship Out of Loneliness.....121
9. Beware When Opposites Attract.....133
Part 3: Solving Dating Problems: When You’re Part of the Problem
10. Adapt Now, Pay Later.....151
11. Too Much, Too Fast.....159
12. Don’t Get Kidnapped.....173
13. Kiss False Hope Good-bye.....187
14. Boundaries on Blame.....203
Part 4: Solving Dating Problems: When Your Date Is the Problem
15. Say No to Disrespect.....219
16. Nip It in the Bud.....233
17. Set Appropriate Physical Limits.....239
18. Set Up a Detention Hall.....257
Conclusion.....277
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2005

    In depth and articulate

    Cloud and Townsend examine dating issues in such a thorough and intelligent way in this book, I came away from it feeling extremely confident in my choices about relationships, dating and the single life. To their credit, they don't waiver from a solid Christian perspective and their points were explored in detail. Very accessible and good examples were given to encapsulate their arguments. Number one on a list of five books I've read on this subject.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2004

    Not What I Expected

    A friend recommended this book as a great tool - however, I was caught off guard by the number of biblical references and plugs for the author's other books. It was as if there were infomercials throughout.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    very good book

    we got this for our daughter and I must say it was a steal at the cost.
    full of information I knew, but hadn't even thought of to mention. a real personal eye opener.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Pretty Cut and Dry

    I finished reading this. Now, I feel confidant that I'll finally meet a man that's a down to earth human being but a strong keeper sort. I may have to move to find one with lots in common on that, but still I think the authors notions to quickly recognize the one's that seems attractive but their more facade than substance when it comes to really caring about the relationship. When I finally found one that wanted to wait until marraige, I thought I'd found him, but after he forced a break up I saw that even degrees of too much affection without sex, can skip over fully developing a friendship. Then, though I publically say anything as it had to be non contest with my x threatening my life and to bully away custody to get money and a beautiful modern house against some unwritten promises, now I see that his mystery box ways of not not talking about serious things like chores, shared family responsibilities, bills were beyond my education to ask about religion, politics and family planning, and ended up with a little dictator who wasn't into well being, cooperating cordially about family roles, and even being very selfish about sex. I thought he had a rye sense of humor beforehand and was blinded by his straight A's in a modern high tech career and being a world expert in his stuff. Later, I saw that he was academically brilliant and careerwise something of a genius, but familywise cruel, selfish, and not a very strong keeper. Good grief, if I hadn't insisted on him sticking to the agreement to have at least one child, I wouldn't have been a mom at all. Nothing was perfect enough, all little faults where never forgotten, and never forgiven. He refused to listen to social and professional friends to stop picking on me, and refused to get involved in a church small group to get feedback on how to FireProof his marriage and instead became married to watching television, and being an extraordinary critique. I'd through in find out about the families culture. I didn't ask much about family background as I thought that true love is somewhat blind, but I thought wow, that explains a lot when I discovered I was married to the either the grandson or great grandson of the largest hacienda in his country, not to be specific, and I was called the pawn and he the King chess piece. He literally had me running errands sometimes 22 miles at a time, even when the baby came along, and trying to run a residence under such constraints with a staff of one dependable person, me not to brag, but it was humiliating. I do not know if I'll ever be able to use my summa cum laude high tech studies to do something really outstanding in the world, but I insist on the standards set by Christian dating to find a really solid keeper. To honor my ex, I guard my reputation and turn down any potential replacement that gets the dating gong as I say when he blows it and tries to disregard some sort of boundary whether it be married men making a pass, unmarried men making a pass or otherwise being irresponsible, I know I am very fortunate to have a child, many do not have that great blessing, and I won't blow my chance to be as best a mom that I can be on some heartless soul that would bring trouble to my family. Since I have smelled the decent roses and been blessed by such a union, I have a situation where I can rest easy on that forever developing laurel. It's lonely to go it alone, but better than loosing what I have.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

    Five Stars if I Find a True Love

    Lots have given me excellant dating and courtship advice, and this book does have some basica good notions. Nevertheless, I admit, so far it hasn't led me to a top notch husband who just as much as I totally appreciate him, he totally appreciates me. So I'll come back and write a better review if this information actually pans out. The author's must not have read I Kissed Dating Goodbye thoroughly as they think their in disagreement, when actually, I see they're very much in agreement that the core of the issue is finding a very good friend and basing the relationship on that. I wish they didn't have a lip stick mark on the front. I have learned that the best "keeper" males, as in the ones that make the most practical, faithful, responsible husbands literally most often go for the natural look or close too it. The only reason some like tattoos or the artificially attractive look is to keep sexual predators away from their innocent wives as it can be effective as an Amish farm outfit. Guess I'll keep this one anonymous, but it would be nice if there was a book that could make a woman know exactly what to do to avoid all promisuous passes and promptly attract one of the rare men that's not too toxed up to make a truly impressive keeper sort and recognize she's a great keeper, too.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2010

    Healthy & Balanced Approach for Christian singles

    This is a great book of realistic boundaries for single Christians. It is a healthy and balanced Biblical approach to relationships. It is also sheds great light on the ultra-extremist viewpoints of Josh Harris' I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Boundaries in Dating should be required reading by all single Christians, especially those who have been exposed to the pharisitical approach of Josh Harris. Unlike Harris who wrote his book when he was barely out of his teen years, Cloud and Townsend are amongst the most highly respected psychologists and counselors of the modern Christian era. I am so greatful that this book was written. I wish someone would turn it into a video series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good reading.

    This is good reading for those of us who want to find someone special and not just someone new. I really liked it and enjoyed what the author(s) were saying.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2007

    Great insights for us starting over and anyone dating

    This book really gives great insights into how we relate to each other and what to look for when we are dating or thinking about dating again. We all deserve God's best and this book can help us not settle for less than His best when dating. It helps to understand your weaknesses and strengths and see others as well. It will help you see the red flags and the green ones too when getting into relationships or trying to change the ones you're in right now.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2003

    This is a must read.....

    Having some questions in my 3 year dating relationship and was hooked on the book by the 3rd page....it was like this book was written just for me.....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2001

    Great for twenty-somethings

    I thought this book had a lot of good advise, but it failed to take into account the position of a new Christian (less thana year). Most of the advise delt with looking at a persons past experiences, judging on past relationships, but a new Christian has not established those relationships, making it difficult to relate to what the authors were saying.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    JZ

    Waits with his clothes off

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    Harris vs. Cloud & Townsend

    The authors a great deal of time criticizing Harris' book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" which I think is an excellent book. An important point to note is that Harris wrote the book when he was 22 and the book is written for teenagers. When Harris uses the term dating, he is really referring to serious relationships. Something that really isn't wise for most teens, even for those that are relatively mature. This book however is written for mature, single adults and the authors refer to dating in a less serious context as a way to get to know others. I felt it was unnecessary and unfair for them to criticize Harris without making these distinctions.

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  • Posted February 21, 2013

    Wish I would have read it years ago

    Great advice in areas I've always wondered about. Should I say something if it bothers me or shouldn't I? After I say something, then what? Many common dating issues are covered. Using the advice, I can say, it helped. It isn't easy to take the first step in setting a boundary, but once taken, it does get easier, and can be rewarding. I highly recommend this book to anyone dating or planning to date.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    Wonderful Book

    Must read this book. It is wonderful and shows the real way to respect your partener and have a healthy relationship.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2003

    You have got to read this book!

    This book was a good guideline for dating as an adult or for teens!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2000

    This Is A Terrific Book!

    Boundaries! We all need them. Thank goodness that someone has finally written a book about boundaries in marriage as well as in dating. This is a great resource for the Church or anyone contemplating marriage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2000

    Move over Joshua Harris

    I highly recommend this book for any single christian looking for a mate. It gives practical suggestions for dating in a healty, christian way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2000

    A MUST FOR SINGLE AGAIN CHRISTIANS

    This book addresses all the issues of conflict we feel when we are newly single again and is also excellent for young Christians just beginning dating. If you feel confused by the world; any potential date; something is not right. This book will help you in truth and spirit !!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews

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