5 Dating Mistakes To Stop Making in 2017

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, Relationships by Debra Fileta9 Comments

In just a few days, 2016 will come to a close and 2017 will begin. It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. 

And with the ending of a period of time, there often comes a time of reflection. As we reflect on the relationships of our past or the ones we’re engaging in the present, we can be faced with a bag of mixed emotions.

While some of us experienced the joy of love and healthy relationships this past year, many others have experienced a lot of pain, disappointment, heart-break and the emotional ups and downs that often come with the world of dating and relationships. 

But no matter where you are in your pursuit of relationships, there is one thing I know to be true for all of us:

When it comes to relationships in particular—you can’t do the same things in the same way and expect different results.

No matter how much you hope, pray and dream for good things in your relationships, for many of you, good things will only come when – by God’s grace – you learn to make better, wiser and healthier choices.

As you reflect on your relationships this upcoming year, here are some mistakes that you may need to acknowledge, and then take ownership of as you seek to engage in healthier relationships:

#1: Stop Letting the Wrong People Into Your Life

One of the biggest relationship mistakes people make has less to do with what they do in a relationship, and more to do with who they choose to enter a relationship with.

We can spend so much time thinking about what we want in someone of the opposite sex without ever taking the time to think through what we don’t want—and what we won’t settle for. When it comes to finding love, there are some red flags that simply cannot be ignored for the prospect of a healthy relationship.

Think through the people you allowed into your life and ask yourself if they were the kind of people who built you up, or tore you down. Healthy relationships will always add more to your life than they take.

#2: Don’t Allow Your Physical Relationship to Lead the Way

As Christians, it’s easy to get sick and tired of hearing the “waiting until marriage” rhetoric. But we’re not just talking about sex here.

When it comes to dating, it’s easy to allow the physical interactions of your relationship to take the lead before you know what happened. But time and time again, I hear from both married and unmarried couples alike about the harm that encompasses those who allow their physical relationship to lead the way.

There is certainly a time and place for physical affection in a dating relationship. But letting the physical lead the way will always skew your judgment, heighten your emotions and fool your concept of commitment. When the physical attributes of your relationship take control, they have the power to ruin a relationship. That’s something worth avoiding as you strive for healthy relationships.

#3: Stop Believing that You Are Worth Less

There is so much truth to the concept that you will always attract the kind of relationship you believe you deserve. Human beings are magnetic, and we tend to both attract and choose people who are similar to us in our level of emotional and spiritual health. In the end, we always attract the kind of relationship we think we’re worth. 

Maybe part of the problems you’ve had in your past is that you didn’t believe you are worth more. Maybe you’ve allowed yourself to settle for relationships that you knew, deep down, were not for your good. As you move into this new year, take the time to consider what you are worth and how that plays into your relationship choices.

#4: Don’t Avoid Talking to God About Your Relationships

It’s embarrassing how simple yet profound this statement is. Why we don’t take the time to talk to the Almighty God of the Universe who knows all things and can make all things happen is simply mind-boggling to me.

He knows what’s best for our lives, and he knows what we need to get us there. Why not go to him for wisdom, for hope and for healing? Why not seek him with our questions, our pain and our problems? There are SO many different ways you can pray for your relationship – even one that doesn’t yet exist! If you’re interested in taking this a step further, check out my 21 Days to Pray for Your Love Life on just this topic!! Because whether or not you’re even in a relationship- this one small act a day has the potential of changing your entire life. 

#5: Don’t Downplay the Importance of Boundaries

We talk a lot about the dangers of the physical in a dating relationship, but we don’t talk much about the emotional. Yet in my opinion, emotional intimacy can be just as damaging as physical intimacy if we’re not careful to proceed with caution.

As you approach 2017, maybe it’s time to take inventory of your emotional health and the boundaries you’ve put up to protect your heart. Getting too emotionally intimate too quickly has ruined many relationships, because your heart is precious, and something that needs to be handled with care.

Seek to set emotional boundaries in your life and protect your heart this coming year.

We’ve all made mistakes. But it’s most important that we learn from those mistakes, and then strive to never let them happen again.

May this year be full of love, laughter, joy and the hope of healthy relationships.

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!

“Your love life needs this book!”

– Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, NYTimes Bestselling Authors and Psychologists

tld-3d-book cover

21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life a great way to start 2017!! Learn more by clicking the photo below. 

21 Day Pray 3-D



  1. Mama you’re extraordinary! You are always there! And l say Amen to that pray. Thank you Mama.

  2. Does this mean that I should stop praying to God about my love life? I know this is counter to #4, but in my case, I HAVE been talking to God about my love life for years and nothing has changed about it. And a few weeks ago I came to the possibility that maybe prayer actually isn’t working for me here, but I don’t know what else to do. Anyone have suggestions? Or words of encouragement? Any help is appreciated.

    1. Hi Ana,

      I really pray that you’ll receive God’s peace, wisdom and discernement. Sometimes we have the feeling that God’s not answering our prayers or even listening to them but I want to encourage you that He’ll never do such thing! He’s our father, He knows us more than we do. We have to have a relationship of trust with Him. I know it’s not always easy, especially when we HAVE been waiting for answers, signs… Have you actually tried to pray in a different way, like “Father, what do you really want for me ?” or “what could I improve in my behaviour before meeting my future husband?”
      A friend actually once gave me this advice: “Of course the Lord knows what you need and who your future husband will be, but in the meantime, pray for him, pray that the Lord touches his heart, help him in his actual situation, help him to be the best husband for you and you, do the same for you. You never know, he might be praying for you right now!”

      Take just maybe 5-10 min and the Holy Spirit, what He wants to teach you, what He has in reserve for you? Trust me, if you do it honestly and patiently, He will respond to you. But then you need to be ready to hear what He will tell you.

      Blessings sister !

      1. Thank you so much, Melodie! It gets really tough sometimes but I will try your advice. Blessings to you, too, dear! And happy new year 🙂

  3. This was great advice. Thank you Debra. Hope you and your family have a very happy and blessed New Year. Looking forward to hearing more from you, and God taking you to higher levels in him in the coming New Year. God Bless.

  4. Hi Ana,

    Pray for the will of God over your life, relationships, career and every area concerning your life. If marriage is His will for you then it will come, and if it’s not His will for you, then ask Him to reveal that to you and remove those desires so that you can be at peace with remaining single.


  5. Hey Debra, I Want To Take Your Relationship Classes! That Way You Can Help Me Choose Wisely.

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