Relationship Book Review – The Five Love Languages by Dr Gary Chapman

Have you ever felt like your lover speaks another language than you? Well, most likely they do! Any couple that has ever been tested by communication within their relationship must spend a weekend devouring this book.

Dr. Gary Chapman has taken a simple communications model and made it even simpler, to clearly describe the power of understanding the way in which you and your loved one think and communicate.

Often the cause of our problems as couples is not that we don’t love and care about our partners, but rather that we do not know how to communicate well about the things we desire and need. A breakdown in communication, built up over a period of time, is one of the key reasons why relationships fail.

In Dr. Gary Chapman’s book he describes the concept of a love tank, which he says exists within all of us. When our loved one speaks to us in our primary love language we feel loved and our tank is replenished. Alternatively, if we are not communicated with in in our most preferred way then our tank will slowly become empty, until we no longer feel loved by our significant other.

So what are the five love languages? Here’s a quick reflection…

1. Words of affirmation –This love language is all about positive words and language. Hearing the words ‘I love you’ are essential and ongoing verbal compliments mean the world in this love language. Insults can leave this category devastated, where harsh words will be remembered for a long time.

2. Quality time –This category is about spending time together, where undivided attention is a must! This means turning off the television, ignoring all phone calls and spending quality time with your loved one. The big deal breakers for this category are distractions, postponed dates and the failure to listen.

3. Receiving gifts –¬†Gifts are more than just material items for this category. Instead, the act of giving gifts reflects the love, thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift. For those who speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, cared for and prized over whatever sacrifice was made to bring you the gift. Missed Language of desire birthdays, anniversaries, thoughtless gifts or the lack of everyday kind gestures are detrimental to ensuring this category feels loved.

4. Acts of service – This love language is all about showing love through acts of service. Cleaning the house, cooking dinner, making lunch and carrying the groceries in will speak in volumes for those with this primary love language. The key words ‘let me do that for you’ are gold! Broken commitments, laziness and making more work for this category are the major deal breakers.

5. Physical touch – This category is for the lovers of hugs, holding hands and pats on the back. Touch is essential to this category in order to feel loved and fill their love tank. It is vital to note that this category isn’t about action in the bedroom, but rather the every day gestures of touch and attention. Physical presence and availability are critical, while neglect or abuse is unforgivable in this category.

Although we might identify in some form with all five of the languages, there will be one primary one that activates your deep love strategy, the one you prefer the most.

Which of the five descriptions could you not live without?

Which of the deal-breakers would hurt you the most?

Often we give love in the same way we prefer to receive it – in the same language. However, it is most likely that this is not the love language of your partner, and therefore your behavior may not produce the results you thought it would. Once you understand your primary love language and find out your partner’s, then start doing the things, and speaking the language, you know will make them feel the most love.

You must be able to appreciate the communication types and love languages that exist within your relationship. If you choose to better understand this model of thinking then you will begin to notice increased communication and affection, filling your love tanks to the brim!

Dr. Gary Chapman has taken a simple concept and created a profound experience for couples through the exploration of communication.

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