This book changed my perspective on dating.
I first heard about Debra Fileta from reading her articles in Relevant magazine. I loved the articles and was excited to find out she had also written a book.
I have to admit that I secretly hoped the subtitle–“Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life”–was a clue to a secret love-finding formula hidden inside the book’s pages. In that, I was disappointed, but what I found instead completely changed my perspective on Christian dating. True Love Dates is divided into four parts—Dating Inward, Dating Outward, Dating Upward, and lastly Ask the Counselor.
On the very first page, she could have been describing my life: a girl feeling completely alone while so many friends are dating, engaged, or married. Sick of being the third wheel—those have been my own exact words. But a few pages later, I was challenged by her question: “At the end of the season of dating, you will have invested copious amounts of energy and countless hours getting to know the person you will be standing with at the altar, but what about the other person? What about yourself?” This is an important question that too many of us ignore. Instead of taking the time to understand ourselves and become healthy people, we obsess about being lonely and finding the one person who will make it all better.
Another thing I learned from this book—or perhaps more accurately, something I finally absorbed after hearing for years—is that you will attract people with the same attributes that you have. So, if you’re waiting for a courageous, confident man or a generous, outgoing woman, you had better work on those same character traits in yourself. Before we go chasing after the man or woman of our dreams, we need to discover our own identities. This will transform our dating relationships, and it’s definitely a challenge that this book helped me commit to tackling.
The first section impacted me the most, but the rest of the book is just as good. She brings up real-world issues and doesn’t come across as “preachy” or teaching from the “Christian bubble.” While she does reinforce the foundational importance of faith and trust in God and the necessity of His involvement in dating relationships, it is in a much more refreshing way than many other books of its kind.
Debra’s writing is natural and comfortable. I felt as though I could easily have coffee and a conversation with her after reading the book; I think the “Ask the Counselor” section helped with that, especially since she answered many questions I’ve had for a long time.
And in case you were wondering, this book isn’t only for women. It’s for men too, and I think many of us could learn from Debra’s advice. It’s a quick read too, and I highly recommend it!