Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in dating, marriage, and relationship issues. The center of this book is on pursuing dating, but with its focus on developing healthy relationships. In its description, the author “encourages singles not to “kiss dating goodbye” and instead experience a season of dating as a way to find real love.” For the bulk of the book, the core focus is on dating and developing a healthy relationship with boundaries. Each chapter is filled with experiences that the author and those she have met have experienced in their lives, as they pursued relationships.
I loved the emphasis of finding out who we, ourselves, are through dating ourselves. The idea behind dating oneself is to get to know who we really are, find out what we want (future; spouse’s characteristics; goals), and catching a glimpse of the vision God has placed on our hearts for our lives. However, I wish more emphasis was put into our (individual) relationship with God. “Dating Upward” is a section focused on our relationship with God. This section was saved for later in the book, where it seemed to revolve around the spouse at some points more than others. It is then in chapter 10 where Debra boldly talks about finding a spouse has become the main purpose of many young adults. She begins to delve into the problem with this. While this is true that many search for spouse as though they are their source of purpose, I wish the book better reflected this and was used as an instrument to draw others to Christ in the waiting period and being strengthened in Him. It would of changed the book radically to speak to individuals like me who are single and not dating. I understand this book was meant to go a different direction. I believe the better book would of centered around core advice, not others’ experiences.
I wish the book was more Scripture centered, and had more an approach of leaning us closer to Christ–not just in practical approach, but in spirit and mind also. While I did not thoroughly enjoy this book, I still found meaningful points in some of the chapters and advice found in section 4 entitled “Ask The Counselor”.