The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman [Book Summary]

Mandarin, Quechua, English, Swahili: the world has a lot of languages, and the majority of the people don’t \even know a single word if a person speaks to us in a language we don’t speak. As a matter of fact, attempting to speak without a common language is a perfect ground for misunderstanding, disagreement, and hatred. But, fortunately, the majority of us speak the same language as our spouse. Or do we?

In fact, in a sense, we actually don’t. There are various languages or means to show love, and knowing your spouse’s main manner of communicating is a vital aspect of any good relationship or marriage. In these book chapters, you will discover the manner in which love is communicated between people, how to know the love language you speak and the human need for love.

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Chapter 1 – Love is a human need that’s shaped by your emotional health.

If there’s an English word that’s both completely crucial and completely confusing it’s the word “love.” However, in spite of its numerous meanings, philosophers and religious thinkers alike accept that love is vital to a full and satisfying life.

Therefore, how should you consider love?

First and foremost, it’s significant not to get confused by the term’s various definitions. Rather, focus on the kind of love that’s crucial to your emotional wellbeing. Therefore, while we make use of term in numerous ways–as regards to things such as cars, jewelry or ice cream; to explain how we feel about activities such as dancing, jogging and hiking; and when describing emotional connections to parents or spouses – we also make use of it to explain a romantic feeling.

Also, the easiest method to describe the meaning of love according to you is to check where you get your emotional satisfaction. The reason is that the need to be loved and appreciated is fixed in human nature. For example, child psychologists have revealed that every child has emotional needs and if those needs are not met, it can lead to emotional instability.

The most significant ones?

Affection and love.

Therefore, love is obviously significant and you require a means to gauge it. One method to measure if your emotional needs are being fulfilled is to take note of your love tank. Just like how you can’t drive a car without fuel, you can’t work love; also, if your need for love and affection isn’t sufficiently fulfilled you’ll result in an empty tank. Having your love tank full is a significant factor in a healthy marriage. Every strong marriage needs fuel.

For instance, the author has a client who believes that financial achievement and material wealth can’t compensate for an empty love tank. According to him, an extravagant house, costly cars, and a beach house don’t have any meaning if your wife doesn’t love you.

Chapter 2 – Relationships transform as the ecstasy of falling in love declines; the only way to solve that is communication.

You might have realized that there’s usually some new expert or book asserting to understand the secret to a long-lasting marriage. Still, a lot of couples find it hard to maintain their love after the honeymoon period, when the joy of falling in love begins to decline. It allows you to think about how being in love influences us, doesn’t it?

Actually, being in love allows us to see the world from rose-tinted glasses. This is how:

The first stage of attraction, which is the thing that makes relationships begin, is marked by what’s known as the in-love phenomenon. It’s the compulsive, instinctual aspect of love that’s closest to our animal nature to reproduce and continue the species. This first stage influences our thinking.

Also, it has been studied closely.  For example, Dorothy Tennov a psychologist did a thorough study of the in-love phenomenon, and after she observed hundreds of couples, she discovered that the average duration of most relationships that were built around romance was only two years!

The reason is that as soon as the ecstasy of falling in love declines, reality begins to kick in. In order to survive this hard change, it’s significant for all couples to create an emotional setting that allows them to work through differences and satisfy one another emotional needs.

However, how do you do that?

The first thing to do in nurturing that kind of a climate of real love in a marriage that’s progressing beyond its first stages is effective communication.  Since humans have emotional needs that the short-term in-love experience cannot provide. Therefore, as this feeling declines, it’s significant for couples to build their emotional communication that can maintain their relationship over the struggle.

Not only that; however, real love is a decision that entails embracing a different outlook and a new perspective. It’s essentially about describing your anticipations for the marriage, and also how you can share them with and get them from your spouse.

Chapter 3 – People feel and show love in a different way, and knowing your partner’s love language is the solution to a long-lasting relationship.

The majority of people understand that language entails more than only words – for example, there are body language and tone of voice. Nevertheless, the language of love is equally difficult. The reason for that is various people view love in different manners and utilize various terms and behaviors to show it. Basically, all of us speak a different love language.

Therefore, just like how knowing different languages can be an edge to you, knowing the different manners in which love is shown will assist you to form a strong, happy relationship. However, this needs couples to commit vital time to find the differences in each other’s love language. Although, It’ll be worth the work since that’s the guaranteed way to filling your partner’s love tank – a device that will assist you and your partner do well while supporting your relationship.

Misunderstandings occur even between spouses that have known one other for years. Commonly, the reason is that one partner has mistakenly interpreted the other partner’s love language –which is very easy to do, with the fact that, although partners have a tendency to share various common habits, they usually feel and show love differently. It’s rare for a person’s love language to match precisely with that of their partner.

For example, Mark and Andrea had the habit of disagreeing about everything aside from the fact that they both loved their children. Mark was aware that Andrea was a good mother; however, he didn’t feel her giving him love. Conversely, Andrea was aware that Mark was a great breadwinner and caretaker for his family; however, she complained that his 50-hour workweek didn’t give him time to spend with his family.

The issue?

Mark’s main language was physical touch and Andrea’s language was quality time.

As you can notice, knowing your spouse’s love language is significant. In the next chapters, we will look at the grammars of the entire five love languages, and how to know the one your partner is saying!

Chapter 4 – Positive, inspiring words of affirmation are a strong method to show love.

Ever heard of the Xenophon, the Greek philosopher who was one of Socrates’s students? The majority of people haven’t; however, he mentioned something that still rings correct presently: praise is the sweetest sound of all. Words of admiration, commendation, and inspiration – nothing is sweeter.

As a matter of fact, this is the notion behind the love language that’s known as words of affirmation. This is how to talk it:

Say verbal commendations. This is very effective when it is done in an easy and direct way; numerous encouraging, caring and humble words all belong to the words-of-affirmation language. For example, you might say to your partner that they look nice in new clothe, commend how they care for your kids or tell them how much you cherish their sense of humor.

However, if you wish to extend your language, you can have a notebook where you jot down numerous affirming terms you see, maybe on TV, or in newspapers and magazines, or in discussion with friends.

Another significant thing to remember is that words of affirmation can work beautifully as requests. But, when requests are perceived as demands, the potential for intimacy collapses and you jeopardize scaring off your spouse. Therefore, it’s significant to ensure that your words are understood as a request, signifying that you’re giving guidance and not demand.

For instance, one day a woman got into the author’s office complaining that her husband didn’t paint their bedroom although she had been telling him to do that for over nine months!

The author’s instruction?

He said to her that she stop talking about the painting and begin praising her husband each time he did something that she loved. She was uncertain; however, she took the author’s advice and only three weeks after she told him it was effective. The trick was learning that saying verbal compliments is a way better encouragement than giving harsh criticisms.

Chapter 5 – Use quality time with your spouse.

The current era is a time of nonstop distraction and time is one of our most cherished commodities. Due to that, a lot of couples get distracted from the heart of romance –having time together. This takes us to the second love language which is quality time.

The strategy of this language?

Full attention.

It’s not sufficient to just be together in the same room. Quality time is essentially about concentrating on your spouse and nothing else, even if there are a lot of distractions everywhere. Also, using quality time with your spouse is the main tactic for both of you to feel loved, appreciated and valued.

However, bear in mind: many couples that are married assume that they’re spending time together when they’re basically only spending time close to each other. For example, watching a soccer game or looking at a computer while talking with your partner is not giving them the quality of attention they require.

Therefore, what precisely is quality time?

It could be quality discussions or quality activities. You most likely have an understanding of quality discussions; therefore, this is what quality activities are:

A quality activity is a thing that one or both partners wish to be doing; it’s less about the occasion itself and more about the opportunity to show love for each other. Not just that; however, the more common activities you have, the more memories you’ll have to remember together in the future. It could be anything like walking in a park, gardening, watching a show or even making food together.

For instance, Emily likes going to bookstores to search the heaps for her next great read. But, Jeff, her husband, is not as interested in literature; however he does this activity with Emily. He even assists her to look for books that she might like.

Emily’s end of the deal has been learning to know when Jeff’s patience is at the tipping point and she understands not to use a lot of time browsing. Due to that, Jeff gladly pays for whichever books Emily eventually picks.

Chapter 6 – Gifts are visual signs of love and surprise your partner with consistent gifts, irrespective of their monetary value, which is a good way to express affection.

Check any culture, like the Mayans of olden time to the current Eskimos staying in the northern tundra, and you’ll notice that giving presents is an aspect of all marital process. Seeing how essential the giving of presents is in all marriages, it’s significant to know the love language of getting gifts.

This is how it works:

If your spouse’s key love language is getting gifts, nearly all the gifts you give them will mean a sign of true love. The reason is that gifts are a physical indication of love that materially shows the love a person has for another.

However, what type of presents should you give your partner?

It’s simple to know what your partner likes by keeping track of all the gifts that brought them delight or happiness over the years, maybe they were from you or another person. Also, it can be good to ask friends and family for gift-giving suggestions.

Also, bear in mind that: for people who speak the love language of getting presents, monetary value is not the key focus. As a matter of, the value rests in the whole process – from getting the idea to give a gift, to getting the gift or making it and, lastly, the gesture of giving this symbol of love to your partner.

For example, Doug used to give his wife Kate gifts; but, when they got married, he stopped doing that. This was an issue because Kate’s main love language was getting gifts. She immediately started feeling emotionally rejected. The author then inquired Doug the reason he stopped doing that and Doug said it only cost him a lot of money.

Fortunately, the author mentioned that the monetary value of the presents doesn’t matter and Doug started giving Kate random gifts of affection. This changed Kate’s feelings of rejection and gave Doug a simple method to show his love.

Chapter 7 – Doing beneficial things for your partner is a common method to show love.

Does your spouse usually want you to clean up after having dinner, removing the big or wash the car? If that’s the case, their main love language could be acts of service. However, how can you handle this language?

The best method is to deliberately do useful things for your spouse. These acts of service are vital things you understand that your partner would like your handling – for instance things such as vacuuming, paying the bills, grocery shopping, assisting the children with their homework or taking the dog to see the vet.

However, just like how you can’t demand love, you can’t also demand acts of service from your spouse. Nor can they demand it from you too. To be really genuine, those kinds of acts have to be voluntary. Therefore, rather than asking your partner what they can do for you, ask what you can do for your partner.

But, bear in mind that asking such a question might need you to consider, and maybe even alter your opinions on, traditional gender roles. For example, managing a home and catering for the kids is not essentially a woman’s job; learning about acts of service needs you to choose for yourself what your duties are, irrespective of stereotypes.

Just think of Mark, who was brought up a family where his father never did any household tasks. His father viewed those kinds of chores as women’s work and couldn’t see himself cleaning the house or changing diapers. Conversely, Mark, realized how significant it was to his wife Mary that he assisted around the house; therefore, he let go of his gendered stereotypes.

This enabled him to defeat his stereotypical knowledge of his own actions and communicated to his wife lots of love and respect.

Chapter 8 – Physical touch is a strong manner to express your love.

Are you aware that babies who are kissed, cuddled, and held grow to live healthier emotional lives than those who aren’t? It’s correct, and it shouldn’t be surprising that physical touch is some people’s main love language.

If it’s your spouse’s primary language you can communicate your love with physical touches –such as kissing, hugging, holding hands, and sex. It’s easy to add those kinds of gestures into daily life by holding your partner’s hand when you are in church or when going to the movies. Also, you attempt kissing and hugging your partner when another person is there; it’s certain to make them feel more appreciated.

For example, Jocelyn Green married a military man. Though she and her partner usually can’t be together physically, she’s looked for means to feel connected to him while he’s out of the country. Maybe you and your partner also use lots of time away from each other, attempt to look for a means to feel close. Putting on one of your partner’s old shirts while skyping, or sending a picture, can do wonders.

However, when you are together with your partner, you can attempt touching your partner in unexplored places and ask for their response about what’s pleasurable. But, keep in mind, your partner is the only person who can mention what feels good to them. As a matter of fact, it’s important for both people in a relationship to use the time to learn how to touch and satisfy each other. If you’re finding creative means to do that, it might be beneficial to read about massage or read about sexual styles.

Also, it is significant to work hard at knowing which subtler kinds of physical contact can fill your partner’s love tank. Vary the pressure of touch. Experiment! And definitely, when we talk of touching; what’s appropriate and not can be decided by just you and your partner. Having that said, physical abuse is usually not appropriate and should be reported straight away.

Chapter 9 – Find out your main love language.

Now that you understand the five love languages, how can you know which one is your main one? It’s really very easy to know:

Firstly, question yourself what you mostly request of your partner. It’s probably that the stuff you ask for frequently are the things that you consider most emotionally satisfying. Then go with your instincts and think of what comes to mind when you want to feel really appreciated. Maybe it’s spending time with a person or getting commendation.

As soon as you identify what feels good, think of what your partner does that hurt you. As a matter of fact, painful relationship experiences can be a correct guide to knowing your love language. Just reflect back on what your partners have didn’t do for you in the past.

For example, if a person you were close to did something really painful or didn’t show you love in the manner you wished, maybe that person basically failed to know the way you wished to be loved. If all such cases fall in the same group, there’s a good probability that that group is your main love language.

However, the way you were raised also has a huge effect on the growth of your love language. Therefore, it’s significant to think of how your parents made you feel loved (or unloved) while you were growing. Those kinds of memories are another way of knowing which language you speak.

For instance, Ella’s primary love language is getting gifts; however, to know that she had to remember bad experiences from her childhood. Particularly, she remembered a Christmas morning when she was a small girl:

Her elder brother put small effort into picking her gift and, to save time, presented her with something he’d see lying around the house. By remembering this instant and recalling the emotional pain it had caused her, Ella saw how significant getting gifts was (and is!) to her.

Also, bear in mind that: as soon as you know your and your partner’s love languages, ensure to use that understanding. Nevertheless, communication is what true love is basically.

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman Book Review

A lot of the issues married couples experience now is basically a result of feeling and showing love in different manners. Knowing the different love languages will enhance communication in your relationship, hence improving the emotional health of both you and your partner.

Assist your partner through difficult times with the best gift of all.

What’s the best gift you could give to your spouse? To offer you a clue, it’s not a new car, flowers or diamonds. It’s the gift of self – which basically entails supporting your partner, particularly during hard times. Therefore, basically being there during those hard times –such as pregnancy or a career upheaval – is completely key. You’ll be astonished at what an effect you can make by devoting to being there when the going becomes hard.

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