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on June 14, 2016
I originally ordered this book to help my daughter in her choice of men to date and ordered one for myself so that we could talk about it. I was a widow and really had no interest in dating, but I read it anyway and did all of the exercises they recommended. What I didn't realize is that this book was intended to help sort out what is the most important things that a person wants and to help them sort out their own issues without looking for someone to fulfill all of their needs. It was quite soul-searching which was a paradigm shift from what I thought a "dating" book would offer. The funny thing is that after doing all of the exercises, I was able to know for sure when I met my future husband that I had found the right man for me. Yes, I ended to remarrying after finding a man who was a perfect match for me. I can't say enough about the appropriateness of this book for any young or old person who wants a relationship to last.
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on May 17, 2016
This book is life-changing. I do not say that lightly either. It does an excellent job of helping individuals learn about themselves which is someone we tend to forget about as we pursue finding someone to have a relationship. The concepts and ideas to help shift our perspective and better understand is great. Then to learn about what makes a healthy relationship and the steps to go about making the relationship healthy are vital principles to help put the relationship in a strong position for success. Finally to learn the ways that we can honor God and understand our purpose that God has determined for us is shared as well and the perspective we can learn to take about God's role in our lives and our relationship.

The book will leave you inspired and give you the confidence necessary to enter the dating world. It will press things on your heart that will in time provide a better understanding of who you are, your value, and how to love yourself. It will give you a Godly perspective on what makes a healthy relationship including the growing stages of a relationship and what could be experienced as you reach those stages. Not to mention, learning the tools for productive, loving communication which is vital in growing closer together and handling conflict properly.

If you seek to have a relationship go the distance, this is the book that will help lead you in that direction!!

God Bless Debra for the impact she is making!
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on January 31, 2014
I've read a lot of Christian relationship books and a lot of non-Christian relationship books. I've read a lot of the same-ol, same-ol. And I've often thought If only there was one book to take the best of each and roll it into one. That's what True Love Dates is. It's fresh, it's insightful, it's helpful, it's applicable, it's realistic, and I truly think it's the best.

I read this book back in October 2013 after I read one of Debra's articles on Relevant. So I've had a lot of time to sit on my decision of calling it one of the bests.

Let me introduce you to Debra; Debra is not only a Jesus lover, a loving wife and mother, she's also a professional counselor. She uses her relationship with God to fuel her passion for helping singles and couples find God's best for them. And it finally came out in a book. Debra takes the whole "dating thing" and breaks it apart into three ideas: Dating Inward, Dating Outward, and Dating Upward.

Dating Inward is the truly unique gem of Debra's book. It takes you through your past and really helps you learn about yourself. People like taking personality quizzes to learn about themselves, right? So why not read a few chapters to help you learn about yourself!

Dating Outward is the part of the book that people probably picked it up for. It's the "fun stuff", ya know, the dating part. Unfortunately, the one thing Debra can't help you with is getting a date, but she'll walk you through what healthy dating should look like and help you decide what you want in a healthy mate.

Dating Upward is the most important, of course. And it's about how to be filled by God and God alone. This is one of the most key aspects that is absent in many relationship books, and all of the secular ones. It's learning to come to the reality that weather you are dating or single, you can't be complete by yourself or with a mate, you can only be complete with God.

People want to live happy healthy lives. And if love, dating, or marriage, is on the brain so should be how to date happy and healthy! And this is the book for it.
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on October 14, 2014
To start, I have bought this book as a present for a friend and recommended two other friends buy it (which they did, and are now recommending it to others). If you buy this book, ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. Do the work. I personally hate writing but would not have learned as much as I did if I didn't. I almost dated a sociopath this past year, and I thought I would never be able to trust any male again. I also never knew why I was never attracted to the emotionally available guy. Now I know that I CAN ltrust men, if their actions match their words over a long period of time (and I know how thta plays out), and I have actually learned to be attracted to the emotionally available guy (despite having an emotionally unavailable father). I now know what unhealthy habits/thoughts I have when dealing with the opposite sex, and know how to fight against them! The stories will give you such hope that you can have a healthy relationship eventually. Read this book and do the work if you find yourself always in "toxic" relationships or maybe just draining relationships. Read it even if you don't, it'll teach you a lot about yourself.
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on June 17, 2014
When I first started to pick up this book I was not sure what I would find or if this book would be like every help book out there, but it was not that. After reading this book I could tell God was definitely in the midst of Mrs. Fileta as she broke down several questions that I find people asking me these questions or have ever wondered what the Bible says about dating. From my recent readings that stuck out to me is the fact that if we as Christians started to dating Biblically then yes our parents would be setting up arranged marriages or tell us who we can associate with (The object is to find someone with a higher class level to get the other out of lower class).

Today I find that more people I have talked to would rather be like an audit in a relationship than actually committed to the cause and you could bail out if their trouble without the fact of thinking or needing a divorce. One reason they do this is that the cost of a wedding has gone through the roof or just do not want to deal with the hassel of the titled being married. I do recommend anyone considering dating, in a relationship, in a youth group, or married already to take the time to read and go over this book to use it as a guideline, but ultimately take it back to God's word as you listen to what is being said. As a youth and Children's pastor I see a lot what I had read from True Love Dates firsthand, but just like bankruptcy is easy to file which wipes out the bad credit, so you can start fresh. I see all too often many people getting a divorce after 5 years of marriage without even a fighting for your marriage to give it up too God. Kurt Cameron's marriage seminar goes perfect with with True Love Dates as his is like the next chapter titled "Love Worth Fighting for" as they go hand in hand.

I really appreciate Mrs. Fileta for writing this book, but it is our job to get the teens engage in reading important materials to help prepare them for life. Keep up the good work and I am very proud to call you my friend, alumni of LU, Out of all the other books I have read written by fellow alumi this is by far the best book I have read and very well written.
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on October 16, 2014
I clearly don’t remember how I stumbled on Debra Fileta’s blog. One thing I always like about her blog is how she relays truth in uncompromising ways. She calls a spade a spade and this is why I bought her book True Love Dates. It is the best book every unmarried person needs to read and I would even recommend it for married people to some extent.

Debra’s book is a book that has turned my thinking about relationships 180 degrees. She divided her book into four parts namely: Dating Inward, Dating Outward, Dating Upward and Ask The Counselor.

Dating inward is about dating the person you never thought you would date, yourself. This is not about being narcissistic but it is about learning about yourself. Many of us focus on finding the right person but we never take the time to become the right person ourselves. Pick up the list that you made for a potential partner and use it against yourself.

After you understand your past, your present and have a clear vision about your future. It is now time to date outward. Dating outward is about knowing clearly the kind of person you want. The author suggests coming up with a list. A list of reds (things that tell you to stop with your pursuit), yellows (these are signs that you need to proceed with caution and greens (things that you need in your potential partner).

Dating outward is also about understanding the seasons of a relationship and responding accordingly. Another great thing about the book is that Debra says we need to say Yes to Sex, in the boundaries of marriage of course!

Dating upward is about including God in your relationship and letting godly values lead you. It is also about realizing the things that a relationship cannot satisfy. My other favourite message in this part is about dating with no regrets, where you avoid doing things that you will later regret.

The last part is Ask the counselor where the author answers some of the frequently asked questions about relationships.
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on March 3, 2015
True Love Dates is an amazing, practical, and biblically written book addressing all matters concerning dating, marriage, sex, and self-examination. I've been telling all my friends to read it-- Christian or non-Christian alike. In our culture and society, dating can be made up to seem so "complex" / confusing, and often times, devastatingly heartbreaking and damaging. There are so many mixed messages given from both the church and the media-- that it's no wonder many of us approach dating with the wrong mindset+heartset!

What I love about Debra's book is that she approaches it from both a psychological perspective as well as a spiritual. As a young adult who has grown up in church culture, I either heard to "kiss dating goodbye", to "simply not have sex before marriage", and basically avoided/got into relationships with all sorts of brokenness, fears, shame, guilt, and distorted mentalities-- and I know I'm not the only young adult Christian who has gone through that.

Debra, however dissects all the confusion and lays it all out clearly and simply by explaining WHY dating/sex/marriage under God's wisdom can lead to a beautiful and healthy dating life towards marriage. She writes compassionately without overly spiritualizing it or getting legalistic about it, while including many relateable, real-life examples from her patients that show how both wrong--and sometimes even right looking relationships, can sometimes still not be the right, God-intended relationship for us.

There are many factors that come into play when we consider dating, and Debra does a great job of challenging readers to first examine themselves and their purpose behind dating towards marriage for God, while single OR in relationship. She goes in depth of how who we choose should lead towards a healthy and passionate marriage, in both physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual connection, as well as interdependence.

A lot of it actually isn't rocket science, but when in the midst of deep seated emotions, highs, and certain misconstrued mentalities, I believe it's easy to keep approaching relationships in all the wrong ways that end up hurting ourselves and others in the long run, further obscuring us from God's original great plans for us.

One last aspect I love about True Love Dates, is that it does a great job in explaining that there is NOTHING wrong in desiring a relationship with someone! Instead, Debra challenges readers to ask ourselves if we desiring it with the right posture for Jesus? and how can we be involved with our communities+personal growth to avoid simply dating out of "loneliness"?

True Love Dates tackles many of these hard questions that I personally feel the church does not often go in depth enough. The book holds much wisdom and value that can save many lives. I'd def. recommend this book and her blog to everyone, Christian or not!
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on August 27, 2015
Excellent perspectives on the realities of all that comes before marriage: most importantly, investing time/effort into knowing who YOU are before investing the necessary time/effort into truly knowing someone else. The three themes of inward, outward and upward are supported by practical examples, thought-provoking questions, personal stories from the author's life experiences and 25 'real life' FAQs that dig deeper into common questions and concerns.

The concepts of the book can apply to ANY human relationship: family, friends and definitely 'dating'/marriage. The author doesn't provide a formula to implement for the 'perfect dating relationship leading to the perfect marriage'. Rather, Fileta reinforces healthy emotional, spiritual and social principles that will encourage and challenge readers of all ages and life stages!

Definitely a must-read for older teens, college/young adults and 'singles' - but also an excellent read for pastors, youth leaders, mentors, parents and grandparents.
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on October 15, 2014
I'll be honest, I've read a lot of books on dating and relationships, and most of them consisted of "stop dating and let God write your love story." Which, if you think about it, is pretty terrible advice. Debra's book, on the other hand, focuses on three parts of having a healthy relationship: dating yourself (getting to know yourself, allowing God to heal you, etc.) dating others (getting to know another person in a healthy way), and "dating upward" (getting to know God and what he wants for your life). She doesn't just focus on dating others, but also points out that to have a healthy relationship with a person of the opposite sex, you have to have a healthy relationship with yourself and God. I'd always rolled my eyes at the "date yourself" thing, but she actually changed my mind about it. When I started to really listen to what she had to say about getting to know yourself and getting to know God, I realized how right she is and how much other people I know need to hear what Debra is saying. This book is a big-picture perspective on relationships. It's balanced, and focuses on wholeness, not just dating. I love this book and I know I'll re-read it over and over again. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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on April 9, 2017
I've been seeing this book and follow her on fb, I finally bought a digital copy and I absolutely loved it. She tells of warning signs and to be careful. She talks about different types of dating you have to go through before you should actually date the person that you will marry. It is amazing and really makes you think. I highly recommend this book for anyone in the waiting game or those who are dating give it a read and see where you stand. You have to love God and yourself before you can love anyone else.
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