It’s the last thing you want to be doing in the middle of the night. But here I was, somehow wide awake at 3am.
All I knew was that God had put this aching heaviness on my heart, and I was determined to figure out what this was all about- so I could get back to sleeping!
That night God downloaded an idea into my mind. I wouldn’t have even believed it, except for the evidence of the scribbled piece of paper laying on the nightstand next to my bed.
It’s no coincidence that at the start of that year, God began to open my eyes to the reality that broken relationships existed all around me. It’s not that I didn’t know this fact. Turn on any TV station or listen to pretty much anyone’s life-story and somewhere along the way, there will be the evidence of a broken relationship.
But that year, my heart started filling up with compassion, and I was determined to see how God could use me to bring healing into the lives of people, including myself.
In that middle of the night waking, the concept of True Love Dates was born.
True Love Dates is my hope of bridging the gap that exists between the concept of dating in the Christian culture, and how dating is done by those outside of that culture. My whole life I had been the victim of this huge disconnect between the “church” and the “world”, trying to figure out what it actually meant to do relationships well.
That disconnect cost me a lot of time, heartache, shame, guilt, and confusion.
God used my educational experience in becoming a Professional Counselor, as well as some really significant mentors, and powerful experiences in my life to show me that there’s no such thing as “Christian dating”, only Christians who date.
Dating is not the problem, people are. And sometimes the wounds of our past, the struggles of our present, and the fears of our future cause us to say and do things that bring us farther and farther away from health and healing- particularly when it comes to relationships.
As I look back at the things I have learned and experienced, I came to the conclusion that in order to do dating in a healthy way, there are 3 types of “dates” that need to happen.
Dating Inward: There is no one more influential that you will date, than yourself. Foundational to knowing what you need in a relationship, is knowing who you are. The first section of my book, True Love Dates, digs deep into the heart of who you are and who God has made you to be. It tackles the wounds of our past, the identity of our present, and the vision we have for our future.
Dating Outward: It’s time that we as Christians start talking through the nitty-gritty details about the things that sometimes come with getting to know someone romantically. This second section is all about interpersonal relationships discussing the nature of emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, and the danger of going too deep too fast. It explains the step by step dynamics of the dating process and how to really use stage of dating to get to know if someone is a healthy match.
Dating Upward: As Christians, we all get the rhetoric of putting God at the “center” of our relationship, but what does this actually look like in real life? And why is it, that we sometimes claim Him as the center of our relationships, when he hasn’t even earned “center status” in our individual lives? The 3rd section of True Love Dates is all about unwrapping this piece of the puzzle, and how to practically apply it to our love lives.
Throughout the book, you will hear my personal journey of figuring all this stuff out and the intimate details of how God led me to my true love. You’ll also get an inside look into my interactions with clients as a Professional Counselor- learning from their stories and experiences. You will also have a hands-on resource with answers to the top 25 dating questions at the back of the book and littered throughout.
I am more than excited to get this book into your hands, and to humbly share these lessons and experiences that God has taught me and allowed me to go through. My hope is that this book will guide you and challenge you to become the healthiest version of yourself- and as the overflow of that, to engage in healthy and fulfilling relationships.
Check out True Love Dates! The only book about dating you actually need!
DEBRA FILETA is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates, and Love In Every Season and Are You Really OK?. She’s also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or book an online session with her today!