The 5 Love Languages — Summary and Review

The 5 Love Languages Book Cover

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

by Gary Chapman

Published: 2015 | 208 pages
Rating Amazon:  stars rating 4.8 
Rating by reviewer:  stars rating 4.7 
Author of the article: Mary Aromolaran
Date of the summary: Aug 8, 2020

The Five Love Languages is based on the proposition that everyone has a love language; the things that they do or want to be done to them to express love.

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The 5 Love Languages Book Cover

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Introduction

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman has gone on to be one of the most famous self-help books in the world. An engaging read, it takes relationships from a fresh perspective and takes the readers through a journey of self-discovery, teaching them to love better and receive love better. The principles, while seemingly centered around marital relationships, can also be applied to all sorts of relationships, such as Platonic friendships, parent-child relationships, etc.

Interesting quotes from the book

For love, we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, and endure untold hardships. Without love, mountains become unclimbable, seas uncrossable, deserts unbearable, and hardships our lot in life.

— Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages


Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse's perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse. Only then can we give encouragement. With verbal encouragement, we are trying to communicate, "I know. I care. I am with you. How can I help?" We are trying to show that we believe in him and in his abilities. We are giving credit and praise.

— Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages


Real love - This kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is a love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth.

— Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages


Summary of the book The 5 Love Languages

The author begins with a question that not enough people seem to ask at the right time. He goes on to state that this question which was asked is the reason he sat down and wrote this book.

"What happens to love after marriage."

Love is one of the most commonly misunderstood words in the world, even though it plays arguably the biggest role in life. Love is literally everywhere we turn, our songs, art, books, movies, etc.

Psychologists, after research even concluded on the fact that it is in human nature to crave love. Yet, whilst this phenomenon has fully permeated human society and our lives at large, the entire world hasn't still come into agreement on what it means.

However, how confusing the phenomenon, psychologists still rule it as one of the most important needs to be fulfilled, as it determines human development and behavior.

The amount of love a person receives affects almost every major part of a person's life and behavior.

The author goes in deep to the delusions that may be caused by "in love" experience and the notion of its everlasting illusion. The euphoria that stems from the feelings an individual has for another.

The in love way of thinking is fanciful, temporary, and unrealistic, then reality sets in, and the illusions are exposed more each day they are together. Flaws are discovered and behavior begins to change with every passing day resulting in a gradual shift of perception.

Real love however takes discipline and effort, not dreams and obsession. It takes deliberate steps to cultivate and maintain it. Real love is a choice.

It is catering to each other's " love tanks" and making sure each partner is satisfied. The way to do this is to cater to your partners love language.

According to Gary Chapman, there are Five Love Languages, each unique in its way. They are as follows;

1. The Words of Affirmation

One of the ways that love can be expressed is to use words that build people up, words that encourage people and make them feel good about themselves. Compliments, words of encouragement, very kind words and humble words make people feel on top of the world. These types of statements can greatly change our relationships. Complimenting an individual has almost always proved to make such a person light upon their insides. Using humble words and our "magic words" to ask for things also brings more affection as a result of the honor and respect it connotes. All these types of positive statements are sure to make every relationship soar to new levels and it builds long-lasting relationships.

2. Quality Time

Quality time is usually mistaken for quantity time by people and may seem daunting to people who do not have this as a primary love language. Quality could mean different things, but a common factor is giving someone all of your attention. For individuals without this particular love language, it is important to schedule satisfactory outings and hangout time to satisfy one's partner. Quality time also involves quality conversations between two individuals. This includes conversations involving the partners discussing important things to them like their feelings, experiences, and, understanding what the partner needs in the conversation. Both partners must understand the art of conversation, when to speak and when to listen. Otherwise, clashes would ensue in the relationship, leaving both unsatisfied.

3. Receiving gifts

Another misunderstood love language, as it has been the trend, this love language doesn't always apply to the most expensive gifts, instead most of the time, the receiver cares most about the thought and effort put into it. Gifts can be reminders of love, little reminders that your partner has you in his heart. They can either be bought, stumbled upon, or created by the giver herself/himself. The gift can even be the active presence of a partner when one needs him/her the most. This is the most powerful gift one can give to a partner. The five love languages challenge us to give and receive love but getting gifts seem to be the loudest of all.

4. Acts of Service

This one involves attending to your partner, helping them with tasks they may or may not have set out to do. When done with a positive disposition, they are well-received as demonstrations of love. The actions don't even have to take a lot of time for them to be special, as, with gifts, the thought and effort put into the service makes all the difference. However, allowing oneself to be dominated and pushed over isn't the same as expressing this language, that is an excess that should be curbed as it is unhealthy behavior.

5. Physical touch

The fifth love language is the language of physical touch. Physical touch has a way of conveying several emotions and thoughts in the simplest ways. Even babies require touch as part of the tools to grow up well-adjusted human beings. Our bodies have the capacity to interpret different types of touch as positive or negative. Physical touch is important in a lot of relationships and may even be a deal-breaker in certain relationships. Different types of touches express love, they may be bold and explicit or subtle and implicit. Every kind of touch has its interpretation. Understanding what it is the love language of your spouse helps you understand how best to cater to this need of theirs.

These five languages all have different expressions, however, a common theme is partners understanding each other and giving to each other what they require feeling loved.

The author, Gary Chapman goes on to discuss how to discover one's primary love language and the importance of doing so in a relationship. He also discusses how to deliberately love each other, the effect that love has on the relationship, and loving even the traits that are the most undesirable. This is all because love is a deliberate choice and must be intentional.

What can we learn from the book The 5 Love Languages?

The major thing we can learn and the major theme of the book is that love is a choice. It is deliberate, and cannot be left to chance. Everyone has one or two prior ways of expressing and accepting love. There are primary and secondary ways of accepting and expressing love between partners. A partner could primarily prefer Words of Affirmation but also want physical touch almost as much.

Each partner should make it a major aim to discover his/her partner's love language to attend to them appropriately.. This would be done by communicating with each other, their needs clearly and respectfully. Couples must make it a major goal to communicate needs effectively and with clarity.

Every individual has to take deliberate steps to fulfill their partners and in turn, be fulfilled. It is always a two-way street. However, it is an abuse of love when actions of love are only taken on one end. Be deliberate today about loving those in your life.

Review of the book The 5 Love Languages

The book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman was a highly engaging, in-depth guide for personal relationships and the conscious and subconscious that go into it. After reading this book I have learned how to love and be loved better than ever. The exposition of every love language is careful enough to be practical and yet emotional. This is not just a book that rattles on about lofty ideas and impossible looking tasks, it is one that keeps you glued to it and then, resolute.

Conclusion

The author Gary Chapman guides us through the major notions of love in the book with simple explanations, his experiences, and, the real scenarios that are spread across the book. Gary Chapman use of very practical and accessible language to bring the reader to a place where he/she can relate and thus, apply his principles to improve their lives and relationships.


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