Daily Archives: January 2, 2014

Shared Post: Relationship Mistakes Not to Make in 2014 by Debra K. Fileta, c/o Relevant Magazine

Relationship Mistakes Not To Make in 2014

By Debra K Fileta
January 2, 2014

Debra K. Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in Relationship and Marital issues. She, her husband and two children live in Hershey, PA. She is the author of the new book True Love Dates (Zondervan, 2013), challenging young men and women to do dating in a way that is psychologically sound, emotionally healthy and spiritually grounded. Visit www.truelovedates.com and follow her on Twitter to get your dating questions answered and to learn more!

A few ways to avoid unhealthy relationships this year.

Like any year, 2013 was filled with both ups and downs.

For many, those highs and lows included some catastrophic things in the area of relationships. While some of you experienced the joy of love and healthy relationships, many others experienced a lot of pain, heart-break and the emotional ups and downs that beg for the start of a brand new year.  

Like the rest of you, I’m all for the new-ness of 2014. I’m excited to say “good riddance” to a painful year and usher in the hope of a new one. But one thing I know to be true—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 this coming year, for many of you, good things will only come when you learn to make better, wiser and healthier choices.

If you’re still holding on to the hope of better relationships in the year to come, there are some mistakes that you may need to acknowledge, and then take ownership of as we approach the new year.

Here are four relationship mistakes to stop making in 2014:

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 this year 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.

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 in 2014.

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. Maybe part of the problems you had in 2013 is that you didn’t believe you are worth more. As you move into the new year, take the time to consider what you are worth and how that plays into your relationship choices.

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 many different ways you can pray for your relationships in 2014.

Don’t downplay the importance of emotional boundaries

We talk a lot about the dangers of the physical in a dating relationship, but we don’t talk much about the emotional. But 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 2014, maybe it’s time to take inventory of your emotional health and the boundaries you’ve put up to protect your heart. “Emotional Sex” 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.  

Here’s to 2014. May it be a year full of love, laughter, joy and the hope of healthy relationships.

*This article is adapted from concepts in my new book, True Love Dates.


If you liked what I shared here, please check Relevant Magazine out.

a new leaf has turned

LaCrae, a Christian artist I’ve had the opportunity to “stumble on”, posted on Facebook yesterday the following statement:

“I used to see New Year as a chance to reset, but truthfully, God gives us the chance to reset all the time!”

I agree.

The Bible also confirms this truth — God’s mercies are new with the morning. We get chance after chance after chance to start over. Thank God! (*Note…this is not a free ride to do as you please. Grace doesn’t work that way.)

And yet, I couldn’t help turning over a new leaf yesterday – January 1, 2014.

I’ve been stumbling around a dimly lit world for the better part of seven months…the after effects of ending what could have ended up a toxic relationship and making other necessary changes in my life. The only thing that lit my world was the light of God…an anchor I’ve steadfastly held on to (Hebrews 6.19) during this maddening time.

You read that right…maddening.

I’m an optimist by nature and let’s just say this bout with depression has had me at my wit’s end. I’ve been frustrated with not just the circumstances, but with myself. Voices from my childhood reared their ugly heads, telling me to “buck up” and that “grown-up girls don’t cry” or “let circumstances bring them down.”

Not to mention, Satan has attempted to have his way too…with words and phrases like




The list goes on.

I’m proud to say that I haven’t given in. Even through my world seemed dark and I have felt weak at times, my Jesus was, and is, that much stronger. I’ve spent the majority of my time curled up in his lap (within the warm embrace of his Word), filling my mind with scripture from Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, 1 Corinthians and more. He’s reminded me time and time again how much he loves me even though I sometimes struggle with the why part.

December brought strength and restoration. I’ve felt a stirring in my heart that has grown stronger…it’s still there and I have no idea what’s coming. I just know something is…

And while I’m waiting, I’m choosing now to reset.

It’s a new year.

A new day

I was reading through the first two passages of Job this morning and found myself thankful for all that I have been given – life, family, friends, meaningful relationships, a roof over my head, income so I can pay my bills and live, and more.

[I] have this hope as an anchor for [my] soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6.19


While I wait for whatever life will be bringing me, I will cling fast to God and he will uphold me in his mighty right hand (Psalm 63.8), just as he always does.

Being a musician, I love music. David Crowder has branched out on his own and has had a few new songs on the radio — I heard one just this morning. I’ve heard it before, but the words struck me as I was writing this up:

There’s no space that His love can’t reach
There’s no place where we can’t’ find peace
There’s no end to amazing grace

Take me in with Your arms spread wide
Take me in like an orphan child
Never let go
Never leave my side

I am
Holding on to You
I am
Holding on to You
In the middle of the storm
I am holding on
I am

Love like this
Oh my God to find
I am overwhelmed
With a joy divine
Love like this sets our hearts on fire

This is my resurrection song
This is my halleluiah come
This is why it’s to You I run

There’s no space that His love can’t reach
There’s no place where we can’t find peace
There’s no end to amazing grace
– Crowder, “I Am”

Isn’t that beautiful?

There’s no space that His love can’t reach
There’s no place where we can’t find peace
There’s no end to amazing grace

I am holding on.

Sometimes, I have to take action and shake things up my own life a little bit. I could sit around and wait for God to move, but he requires action on our part, too. Besides, I would get bored waiting around, doing nothing all the time. And since I love to live (prefer it actually), I’m holding on to him and letting go of other things. Doing so required me to change my schedule, just a bit.

If 2013 taught me anything, I’ve discovered that I want Jesus’ voice to be the first that I hear in the morning and the last that I hear before I fall asleep at night. I want him to start and end my day. I long forward to it actually.

What better way to do that than to spend time with him both morning and evening?

I may not know what 2014 has in store for me, but I know who holds my future and I want him to be as involved in every detail of my day as possible.

How about you? Since God hits the reset button all the time, what changes do you need to make? What changes do you want to make? Take a stand and make them and be sure to ask for God’s help as you go about making those changes. He will guide you and he alwasy follows through.

© Anita J. Brands. 2014. Website: https://authentictruthseeker.wordpress.com/