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True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of your Life Paperback – October 1, 2013
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--Gary Thomas, Best Selling Author of The Sacred Marriage and Sacred Search
"Hands down, the best book on dating that I've ever read! If you're single, this is a must read. Jam-packed with wise counsel, Debra becomes your personal mentor as she answers dozens of real-life dating and relationship questions. Pastors and church leaders, get this resource into the hands of your singles!"
--- Chris Reed, Pastor to 20s/30s and Singles at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA
"True Love Dates is spot on! There isn't one single I know who doesn't want to be in a successful relationship. Many singles today have lost hope because they don't know what a healthy relationship looks like or have the vision and tools to get there. Debra addresses every question singles are asking (or should be asking themselves). Most importantly, Debra shows that not only does true love date, it is only possible through a relationship with God. If you're single, you need to read this book!"
---Ashley Reccord at ChristianMingle.com
"True Love Dates is a wonderful dating/love/relationship resource for young women. I absolutely love that it instills our self-worth and value as daughters of God and teaches us to look for His best in our potential mate while refining ourselves as true ladies, leaders and lovers in Christ. This is an absolute must-read and pivotal for any woman no matter your age or relationship history."
---Kristen Dalton, Miss USA 2009
About the Author
In addition to speaking about love, dating, and healthy relationships to men and women across the country, she is a frequent contributor at Relevant Magazine and Crosswalk.com where she writes about love, dating, and healthy relationships. She has also contributed to magazines and websites such as Today's Christian Woman, Converge Magazine, and many others.
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Top Customer Reviews
I appreciate greatly Fileta's charge to really examine yourself in light of God's word first and foremost. It is so easy for us to get wrapped up in how another can fill in the holes we think are missing in our lives without even recognizing it. Fileta charges her readers to take a long hard look in the mirror, while also not being held hostage to one's past.
I also appreciate Debra's approach dating with her background in mental health. Although in different fields, I too am in the caring profession and often watch the demise of sanity happen when someone starts dating the wrong person -- or even sometimes the right person. Dating is confusing and for many of us, really sucky :) Fileta really encourages her readers to observe themselves and their behaviors in light of this, which I think is so so poignant and important.
Lastly, I appreciate the use of Debra's questions throughout the book. It's easy to read through a book such as this one and miss out on the opportunity to really reflect and allow the text to change your heart/mind, the questions that are offered help usher you in this process.
I approached the book with fairly high hopes, and I wasn't disappointed. In the introduction, Fileta lays out a map for where her book will take you:
"If you've picked up this book, it's likely that you're searching for true love. Your desire for marriage may be strong, even feel like a preoccupation that you can't seem to shake. You might be sick and tired of being single and alone, watching your friends get knocked off, one by one, into the world of love while you feel more and more isolated. Maybe you found someone you thought was "the one," only to have your heart broken and your hopes shattered, alone once again. In a world that seems to cater to couples and families, sitting at a table for one is the last place you want to be.
But the ironic thing about finding true love is that it must start at a table for one."
And in that statement lies perhaps the greatest strength of Fileta's book. While many Christian dating books focus on honoring God and the other person, Fileta takes time to focus on the importance of introspection and personal growth. Only after you have learned to to be a whole person can you relate properly to other people and to God Himself.
Fileta's book is divided into four sections.
In this section, Fileta challenges her readers to take a journey of self-discovery, discovering who they are, where they have come from, and where they are going in life.
Once you know who you are, you are better able to know what you want. Throughout this section, Fileta lays out some practical tips for dating -- from understanding a relationship's seasons to having appropriate boundaries.
Some may wonder why Fileta left the God-section until the end, but her wisdom is seen in the takeaway -- this last portion of the book leaves your eyes centered on Christ, with tips for how to honor Him fresh in your mind.
Ask the Counselor:
Throughout the book, text boxes highlight frequently asked questions about dating. If you're interested, you can flip to this final section to read the answers.
As a whole, I found Fileta's book incredibly practical. While her focus remains rather broad, she covers a lot of ground quickly. Each chapter comes with questions for reflection, and several include journal prompts. The setup is flexible -- "True Love Dates" could be a quick, weekend read or a devotional gone through over a longer period of time. I highly recommend it.
The second section begins with figuring out what you want in a relationship, looking at character traits and deciding which ones you would never want in a potential mate, which ones you would have to cautiously explore, and which ones you really desire and would even require to be present. The section then moves to the timing of a relationship, protecting your heart, and physical boundaries.
At one point, Fileta shares these thoughts: "Your story has far more to do with finding God's unique calling and purpose for your life than it does with finding the love of your life...Finding true love may be a beautiful portion of your story, but it was never intended to be the grand finale. It's too easy to work so hard on this one section of our story that in the meantime the rest of the book never gets written. God's plans never play out in our lives because we are so fixated on finding love that we don't take the time to look at where we are going." This struck a chord with me as it describes very well my own experiences with relationships before I met my wife.
The third section provides counsel on seeking after God and keeping your focus on His will for your life. By doing so, not only will you be more fulfilled in your life, you will be balanced and prepared for meeting a spouse when the time is right.
The fourth section covers 25 questions Fileta has encountered in her career.
Throughout the book, Fileta provides what I think is sound advice and counsel, both from a biblical and counseling perspective. I also feel her approach is much more balanced than other books I've read on the topic of Christian dating. One thing I didn't notice her getting into was a formal definition of dating, which would have been helpful (another book I read recently, I Gave Dating a Chance, uses the dictionary definition of "social interaction" for dating). Fileta doesn't give a formula for the involvement of friends and family in dating relationships, which I also think is somewhat helpful as it leaves her thoughts adaptable to whatever dating might look like to a specific individual.
I would have appreciated more specific Scripture references instead of more generalized statements. Also, the chapters are fairly short, and the topic could definitely be expanded upon.
Overall, I'd rate this book 4/5.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <[...]> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”