The 5 Love Languages
The Secret To Love That Lasts
By Gary Chapman
(Includes The 5 Love Languages Personal Profile)
#1 New York Times Bestseller
As opposed to: homemade candlelit dinners, thoughtful love notes and quality time together by the fire…
…The problem might be nothing more than a case of crossed wires – as in, you and your spouse could very well be speaking different ‘love languages’ – says Marriage Counsellor of 30 years, Dr. Gary Chapman. (Yes, there may be hope for us all yet!).
According to Chapman, all men and women have a primary and secondary ‘love language’ – which essentially is the style of communication we use to express and understand love. (Great news, right?! And you thought it was just your partner being emotionally retarded!). In his many years of practice, Chapman says the main reason he sees relationships break down isn’t because one’s an incorrigible player and the other’s a cold fish – instead, problems simply occur when two people are communicating and expressing their love for one another in the emotional equivalents of Italian and Chinese.
So what are the 5 Love Languages? Well, according to Chapman the way people communicate their love can be broadly broken up into the following areas:
Words of Affirmation,
Acts of Service and
Applying The Wisdom Of ‘The 5 Love Languages’
In application, the 5 ‘Love Languages’ mean that while you might like your partner to say you look smokin’ hot, as well as surprise you with flowers or an inexpensive gift every couple of weeks, they might believe they’re showing how much they care for you, by taking care of the bills or initiating physical contact. However, because they’re expressing their love in their primary ‘love language’ and not yours, the message simply doesn’t get through.
So – how do you overcome these ‘language’ barriers?
Love, like most things involving relationships, is a two way street. Hence, Chapman encourages you to discover your partner’s primary and secondary love languages (you can do this easily with the questionnaires at the end of the book) and with that knowledge, begin making an effort to communicate your love in their ‘mother tongue’ (there are some handy suggestions at the end of each chapter for this too).
By doing so, you’ll be able to make regular deposits in their ‘love tank’ – a concept which explains that when you both have a full ‘love tank’, you operate from your optimum levels of satisfaction, meaning you’ll be more likely to WANT to do nice things for your partner and vice versa (kind of like when you’re in the ‘honeymoon period’ – you think the sun shines out of your partner’s bum and you’ll do anything for them).
What’s Not So Great About The 5 Love Languages?
When I did the questionnaire I discovered my primary and secondary languages were Words of Affirmation and Receiving Gifts. Thing is, I thought that my primary language was going to be Quality Time. To me, having some show an interest in you, ask questions and get to know you by ‘being’ with you was top of my priority list, especially since I was just starting out on a relationship at that point in time. This kind of annoyed me and I wondered whether I’d done the test wrong.
However, as time went on, I realised that what I thought was my primary love language was just reflective of what I was going through at the time and that my questionnaire answers were pretty much bang on. The book doesn’t really make much mention of this (as in, what stage your relationship’s at will probably have a big impact on what your primary or secondary love language will be at that time), but I suppose that’s because it’s aimed specifically at people who’ve lost their love mojo in a long term relationship/marriage.
Overall – Hot or Not?
Definitely hot. While grouping the way people relate romantically into 5 ‘love languages’ might sound like an overly simplistic way of looking at relationships, I found this book to be incredibly helpful in my own life, not just in my burgeoning romantic relationship, but also in understanding relationships in my family and even in the workplace. I’m still using what I learnt to improve the relationship I’m in today – basically once you read it, it makes so much sense, it’ll change you and the way you look at relationships forever.
Although the book is written in the context of marriages and the questionnaires might be profiling for ‘Wives’ and ‘Husbands’ the insights you’ll receive are just as valid and useful for those navigating the dating phase of a relationship, as they are for those who’ve been married for 20 years and are at their wits end – I think that’s the real beauty of this book, almost anyone looking to improve their relationships can benefit.
The cynics might say, ‘the honeymoon period can’t last’, but the examples Chapman provides from his 30 years in practice prove that it CAN and it’s up to you whether you do something about its longevity or not.
You can pick up your own copy of The 5 Love Languages, right here. Learn how to improve your relationship, gain new understand of what’s really going on with your partner and turn back time to your honeymoon phase – just click the image below.
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