The Five Love Languages

by djbaxter on October 9, 2008


The Five Love Languages:How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

by Gary Chapman

I discovered this book quite by accident while searching for a different title in a local Chapters-Indigo store and I grabbed the last copy in stock after flipping through the pages. I’m now recommending it to clients in couples counselling, especially those with communication issues.

From the book jacket:

Are you and your spouse speaking the same language? He sends you flowers when what you really want is time to talk. She gives you a hug when what you really need is a home-cooked meal. The problem isn’t your love – it’s your love language!

Dr. Gary Chapman reveals how different people express love in different ways. In fact, there are five specific languages of love:

  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

What speaks volumes to you may be meaningless to your spouse. The key to understanding each other’s unique needs [is to] apply the right principles [and], learn the right language, and soon you’ll know the profound satisfaction and joy of being able to express your love and feeling truly loved in return.

This book is an easy read and most readers will probably find it an eye opener in many ways, not only in terms of learning about your spouse but also in terms of learning about yourself. The book includes a quick test for each partner to identify individual love languages and to allow you to compare the love languages each uses.

My major (minor?) complaint is the labels given to the five languages, notably Acts of Service, which sounds like a demand for what my wife sometimes calls “a work donkey”. In reality, it’s not about minions but about little things one does for one’s spouse that convey the message that you are thinking about him or her and eager to express that by doing little things on a day to day basis, much like Gifts is really less about the gift and more about the overt demonstration that you are thinking about your spouse when you are apart and when you are together.

I highly recommend this book, whether you are currently in a relationship or looking for one. The author, Dr. Gary Chapman, also has a website you might find of interest: The Five Love Languages.

couples, relationships, couples counselling, self-help, communication

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