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In fact, they now sounded downright silly and embarrassing.
She tried to break away from those ideas, but they were so ingrained that they popped out instinctively: Whenever a guy asked her out, she felt terror, because in her mind the request was almost tantamount to a proposal.
As a homeschooled teenager in Florida, Ross attended Harris’ book tours, bought the cassette tapes of his speeches, even tacked a poster of his face up on her bedroom wall (“What, he was cute! She bought extra copies of and passed them out to her friends: “I wanted everyone to see this vision of a beautiful community, of heaven. Though she had hoped to find her life partner by graduation, she quickly realized she didn’t know how to express or reciprocate interest in a man, because for so long she had associated that with “emotional fornication.” Anytime she made prolonged eye contact, initiated a conversation, or smiled too much with a man, guilt shut her down. Jodi Breneman was 13 when her father put a purity ring on her finger and watched her make an abstinence vow in front of her church congregation.
She decided that if the book’s principles were the “highest level of purity and righteousness” one could reach, she would adhere to them 100 percent.
Now most of these individuals are in their 30s—a different season in life, when they’re paying their own bills.