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Finding Love In Every Season

with

Debra Fileta

Heart of Dating welcome Debra Fileta on to the show this week! She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates, and Love In Every Season. 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.

On this episode, Debra and Kait talk about the different seasons of a relationship, specifically, the beginning stages (or otherwise referred to as the spring season). 

What are the four seasons of relationship and why do you think each is important?

  • Each season brings a different element to the relationship that will make or break a relationship.
  • Every season reveals something new about the relationship.
  • The first season is SPRING. This is the beginning of the relationship where chemistry starts to bloom, a friendship is growing and an attraction is blossoming.
  • The second season is SUMMER. Summer is the season of intimacy and deepening the emotional aspects of the relationship.
  • The third season is FALL. Fall is the season of communication but can also be a season of conflict. This is where two people realize they are two different people and can have differing opinions and conflicts.
  • The fourth season is WINTER. This is the season when the relationship cools down. This is where a couple typically decides if they see a future and they start planning for it.

Did God give you confirmation when you met your husband?

  • It wasn’t an overly spiritual experience. Debra said it was a process of getting to know her husband before she knew.
  • Not all moments in the Christian walk are going to be grand experiences. Most of these experiences will happen through faithfulness and step by step.
  • Through walking through the seasons of the relationship, Debra realized that each season had the ingredients to have a healthy marriage and THAT was the confirmation.
  • God doesn’t write the same love story twice so we have to change our expectations.
  • “Regardless of how you experience the initial feeling of meeting someone, you still have to navigate the seasons of the relationship.”

What are the seeds of the spring season that we should look for in the beginning stages of a relationship?

  • Spring is about planting the seeds of a healthy relationship.
  • Friendship is a seed to plant in fertile soil. Friendship is a foundation in a healthy marriage.  
  • Faith is a second seed you want to pant in fertile soil. You want to cultivate this seed of faith as you want someone who can walk alongside you on your faith journey.
  • “When you become spiritually healthy, you attract people who are spiritually healthy” 

Why do you think you should consider people you are already friends with to date and how do you go from friends to something more?

  • “The friendzone is a myth” it just means that there's not a reciprocal attraction. 
  • Friendship adds so much value to a relationship, so look within your community and if you don’t have a community, then get plugged in!
  • Set boundaries in the friendship. You can only get led on if you lead on. 
  • If you're in a friendship stage, be careful of crossing flirtatious boundaries. 
  • If you find yourself confused, say something.
  • A lot of heartbreak can be prevented if we pursue clarity. It comes down to boundaries and healthy communication.
  • Sometimes we connect with things that are familiar instead of things that are healthy. Be weary of this. Chemistry can’t always be trusted because it’s rooted in unhealthy pasts.
  • Chemistry is important, but character is what is more important because it’s what grows with us.

Is attraction important?

  • Attraction is multifaceted.
  • Attraction is more than physical attraction. It’s about personalities, compatibility, and mental emotional attraction.
  • Spiritual attraction is another type of attraction to be mindful of, and deciding whether you are spiritually yoked. 
  • Attraction can grow as you get to know someone.
  • Ask yourself, “what is fueling my attraction?” to make sure you are being attracted to the right things and the things that define beauty in a healthy way and not in an unhealthy way.

How can someone reflect on making a decision if they’re attracted to someone in a healthy way or if there’s room for attraction to grow?

  • Attraction is an ingredient of spring. So if it’s not there, then something is wrong.
  • Ask yourself if you have appropriate expectations and make sure that they’re based on reality and not what hollywood tells you.
  • A lack of feeling may show you that there’s either an underlying problem with the relationship or with yourself. 

How can you recognize and better navigate if you’re either giving too much or giving too little in the beginning of a relationship.

  • Growth can only happen if you give and take. “If water a plant too much, it’s going to die. If you don’t water a plant enough, it’s going to die.”
  • If you don’t give and take, you set yourself up for heartbreak.
  • Initiative is key. You want to make sure you see just as much initiative on their part as you see on your own. 

What is your final nugget of dating advice?

  • Get HEALTHY because you will attract people on your level of spiritual and emotional health!

Other Resources:

Get Debra's book HERE

Follow Debra on instagram HERE

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