The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages Gary Chapman
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman
Series: Love Languages #1
Published by Northfield Publishing on January 1, 2015
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Marriage
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Falling in love is easy. Staying in love-that's the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands and conflicts and just plain boredom of everyday life?

In the #1 New York Times bestselling book The 5 Love Languages, you'll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman's proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner-starting today.

"If we learn to meet each other's deep emotional need to feel loved, and choose to do it, the love we share will be exciting beyond anything we've ever felt."-Gary Chapman

The 5 Love Languages is as practical as it is insightful. Updated to reflect the complexities of relationships in today's world, this new edition reveals intrinsic truths and applies relevant, actionable wisdom in ways that work. Practice the simple steps outlined in each chapter and you'll be on your way to a healthier, mutually beneficial relationship.

All the way back in 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman penned his first book—the culmination of a couple decades of research and experience—that has absolutely revolutionized the field of marriage counseling. The Five Love Languages posited that human beings innately crave love and seek it in five different primary outlets. Understanding an individual’s dominant love language is the key to understanding how to relate to them.

While initially conceived within the marriage relationship, in the thirty years since, Dr. Chapman has partnered with a number of other experts and expanded and adapted the series to discuss relationships with children, teens, single adults, and workplace relationships. At through the course of that time, millions of people’s lives have been changed. It’s a proven system that works, and, even if you’re familiar with the concept or the love languages, it’s still good to go back to this original source material.

Although some of the vignettes have aged and are now obviously dated, the core of The Five Love Languages remains an engaging read. Chapman draws on clinical experiences in counseling to really personalize his work, keeping it from becoming overly technical and academic by presenting case studies that readers can empathize with and understand. For any who don’t know, the love languages are this:

  1. Words of Affirmation – Individuals with this love language need verbal or written affirmation that they are loved, valued, accepted, or noticed.
  2. Quality Time – Individuals with this love language need pure and undivided attention. This one-on-one time shows them they are valued and are important.
  3. Receiving Gifts – Individuals with this love language enjoy receiving physical gifts. This serves as a tangible item that connotes love.
  4. Acts of Service – Individuals with this love language feel loved when others do things for them—whether that’s run an errand or do a chore—love for them is expressed when they are served.
  5. Physical Touch – Individuals with this love language crave physical affection and touch. They need a practical closeness to feel that they are valued and loved.

In many ways, most people value all five of these love languages to varying extents. They exist on a continuum of importance, but, with introspection, the individual can usually find their predominant love language. If you’re interested, you can take a free test on their website to discover yours. (Mine is words of affirmation.)

Dr. Chapman covers each one, interweaving case studies that help readers understand some specific ways of implementing these general concepts. He also spends a lot of time unraveling the issue of two spouses with different love languages. One spouse might show their love through acts of service—making sure all the chores are done, taking extra hours at work, and so on—but the other spouse feels unloved because all these acts of services takes away from quality time. The heart of this book is teaching spouses to recognize their own love language, then to recognize their spouse’s, and then to make sure that they are all in alignment.

Thirty years later, the central premise of the book remains unchanged. And it’s as popular as ever (at the time of writing, June 2019, it’s the #1 marriage book on Amazon and the #21st ranked overall.) It’s perhaps one of the few things in psychology and counseling that have remained steady over the last generation. This is a must-read—for marriage or any relationship.

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