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  • Writer's pictureJimmy Ekdahl

Book Review: "Outdated"

Good morning, friends! Last night I reread one of my favorite books and decided I should share it with everyone. That does strike me as a bit ironic since it is one of the most popular books on healthy dating in the past couple of years. I am referring to Outdated by Jonathan “JP” Pokluda, one of the greatest names in reaching young adults about sensitive issues of this generation. The book is written from a Christian perspective and angles toward a Christian audience, but JP states in the introduction that while it takes a Christian approach, the sources cited are predominantly secular and draw from factual research. He is clear to note that these principles are applicable whether Christian or not.

Overall, the primary theme of the book is to illustrate that we as a culture have been led astray from what dating is supposed to look like. This is demonstrated by showing many common myths that modern dating culture believes and answering these myths with an alternative truth. When first setting the scene for how dating came to this point, we learn that “dating” is a very new (under 150 years old) concept which was originally a colloquialism for prostitution. For the majority of human history, couples would seek, find, and fall in love without the complicated and ambiguous dating process we currently know.

Once this has been established there is really only two paths the author could take. He could surmount that we should do away with dating and go back to the way things used to be. But this negates and neglects all the other factors involved in the modern way of life. Wisely so, JP instead, opts to suggest that dating is the way the modern world finds love, so instead of reversing course entirely, we should adapt by opting to use wisdom in our relationships. This suggests that we make some changes to the way we date, some that may seem radical to the complacent world we have grown up in. Yet, if divorce rates are as high as 50% in certain polls, we can see that whatever we’ve been doing has not been working. If we want to find love, fall in love, and maintain love, we have to dare to do things differently than the rest of the world is doing.

Perhaps I will cover more of the principles from this book at a later time but for now I’d like to speak on a section that particularly spoke to me. Chapter 7 Playing Games was powerful in so far as the lessons it shares. JP pleads with us to allow clarity, love for one-another, and respect be the guiding force for how we conduct ourselves. What does this mean? It means that “ghosting” is a cowardly way to handle a situation. It means we shouldn’t lie and say we aren’t looking to date right now, or we are enjoying a “season of singleness.” We can very well say those things assuming they are in fact true, but if that isn’t the case it is not loving to say these things. As a matter of fact, it is actually a disrespectful, and belittling response. In so doing we suggest that we need to “protect” the other person as though we know better than them. Besides being deceitful, it also keeps them from understanding why you don’t want to date them therefore forbidding them from being able to improve themselves. Now I think I should add here, I have “ghosted” women and been “ghosted.” I can speak from experience in saying it isn’t fun and I regret doing so to others. But I never understood the deeper issues behind it.

That being said, JP asks us to look within and see where we are looking for dating relationships and what expectations have we attached to this desire? When we look for a spouse, which is the only acceptable reason to be dating, we should be looking for character, kindness, compassion, dignity, modesty, etc. but we often have our own expectations. Frequently, individuals have an idea of how attractive their potential beau should be, how wealthy they are, or what sports they play. The problem is that these things are all temporary, looks will fade, money comes and goes, and nobody will be playing sports when they are old and grey. What will remain though, is friendship, compassion, character, and tenderness. Most people probably don’t look at their list of traits and think they want someone peaceful but at the end of a crazy day, week, or year, do you want someone to battle through life with you or do you want to come home to a home in disarray?

I would highly recommend this book to anyone going through the dating process or anyone who plans to in this life. JP does a fantastic job blending the delivery of facts with fun, entertaining stories. I am an avid follower of his writing and speaking and cannot recommend him enough. I should also encourage anyone with specific Q&As to follow JP on Instagram. Every Friday he does Q&As on his Instagram story where anyone can submit questions (on anything but most are dating related) and he will answer. There is so much to unpack from this book, and I look forward to covering more in the future. As most authors would agree, I believe giving principles is far more resourceful than instructions. Life is dynamic and no two situations are ever exactly the same, therefore principles of how to best handle things are more helpful than specific step-by-step instructions that will fail when situations evolve.

Pick up Outdated by Jonathan “JP” Pokluda and join me on the journey to finding love in a more considerate, successful way!

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