The 5 Love Languages

Gary Chapman
The 5 Love Languages - Book Cover
By Gary Chapman

Why Read This Book?

We all have a way of giving and receiving love based on who we are and our personality types. But it’s not always easy to explain them logically because it is about emotions, which can get confusing sometimes. So how can you decode and understand to communicate it better to the other or vice versa?

“People tend to criticize their spouse more loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need.”
 
– Gary Chapman
 

This book can help you if:

  • You feel stuck in your relationship.

  • You are facing communication difficulties.

  • You struggle to share and understand one another’s emotions.

  • You want to transform your relationship positively.

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Short Summary

In a nutshell: Gary Chapman explains how to describe the way you feel loved and cherished but also how you give it.

1. Words of Affirmation

This love language is expressed through words and verbal communication. Verbal compliments are probably the most common way to apply it. However, this is not about ‘just saying things because it’s nice’ but more about the real intentions and emotions that are behind those words.

So if you want to give compliments to your partner, mean it. Another way that might be important for your partner to feel understood is that you echo what s/he expressed.

​Examples:

“So you are saying that…”

“Thank you for being honest and sharing this with me.”

“I love the way you make me laugh.”

​💣 To keep in mind:

Because words have a high impact on them, negative or mean compliments can deeply hurt them even if you didn’t mean it that way, so if you are angry or hurt, take some time to gather your thoughts and think of how you will express your emotions. Take responsibility for your feelings and stay true to yourself.

2. Acts of Service

“Actions speak louder than words” is probably one of the things they believe the most. You can express this love by doing small acts that you know your partner will like, and if you’re unsure, it’s probably the time to ask.

Doing some groceries, cleaning the kitchen, or helping to fix something are some of the acts that your spouse might appreciate. Just like Words of Affirmation, positive intentions, and the desire to help need to be behind those acts as they require some energy, thought, and time.

💣 To keep in mind:

​Acts out of obligation “because you HAVE to do it” is really not the best option. If you don’t have the time or the energy to help or do something at a specific moment, it’s probably best to simply express what you are feeling (tired, sad, etc.) in order to come to an agreement on both sides.

3. Receiving Gifts

Don’t worry you won’t need to buy the most expensive and luxurious thing to show your love!

People with this love language love to make small (or big!) gifts that carry an amount of sentimental value. For them, it doesn’t matter what the physical gift is, it’s more about the thought and the emotions that are behind it.

A hand-made necklace, making their favorite cake or offering them that tee-shirt they saw online are some of the things that will probably make them feel loved and appreciated.

💣 To keep in mind:

​Even though the physical item you will get them is beautiful or rare, it is more about showing them how you pay attention to what they like and care about.

4. Quality Time

This love language is about a period of time during which you spend time with your spouse without distractions (smartphones for instance). You are with them and you enjoy the time that you’re spending together. Watching a movie, walking on the beach, or cooking together are some of the things that will probably make them feel loved and appreciated.

💣 To keep in mind:

​If they feel that you are not 100% with them during a romantic dinner or another meaningful activity or conversation for instance, that might deeply hurt them (speaking of experience).

5. Physical Touch

This love language doesn’t necessarily have to lead to intimate relations. A kiss on the head, holding hands or giving a hug because the person feels sad, hurt, or tired are some of the things that will make them feel deeply loved and understood.

💣 To keep in mind:

​If you are not a hugging person, this might get quite overwhelming in some situations, which is why it is crucial to express your feelings about it and set up some ‘limits’ to make sure that you both acknowledge the other’s emotions and needs.

Review

​By reading this book, I:

  • Became more aware of how I give love and cherish.

  • Realized which things are important for me to feel loved and understood.

  • Greatly improved the communication between me and my fiancé.

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The 5 Love Languages - Book Cover
By Gary Chapman
Gary Chapman

Gary Demonte Chapman (1938) is an American radio talk show host and author. He is most known for his The Five Love Languages series regarding human relationships. He is also the senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.