Saturday, August 9, 2014


Title: The Five Love Languages
Author: Gary Chapman
Publisher: Northfield Publishing
Publication Date: January 1, 2010
Genre: Non-fiction
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 4/5


Are you and your spouse speaking the same language? While love is a many splendored thing, it is sometimes a very confusing thing, too. And as people come in all varieties, shapes, and sizes, so do their choices of personal expressions of love. But more often than not, the giver and the receiver express love in two different ways. This can lead to misunderstanding, quarrels, and even divorce.

Quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch are the five basic love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman identifies these and guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate's love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return. Skillful communication is within your grasp!


Do you recall recently I wrote a review for the book, Personality Plus by Florence Littauer, which a colleague lent me to read? If you don’t know, or can’t remember, you can read my review for it here. Anyway, he borrowed me that book to read in conjunction with this book about the five different love languages. I’ve mentioned before that non-fiction isn’t my thing, and I can’t even remember what sort of conversation said colleague and I had to get to where we started talking about different personalities and relationships, but he brought me these two books to read, and it’s as if a light went on for me. It has definitely influenced my approach in attempting a successful marriage (seeing as it’s my second).

Did you even know that there are five love languages? I didn’t, but it’s so simple really, and if you understand these five basics, and the love language your partner speaks, you might see your partner in a whole new light and avoid a lot of conflict in your relationship. So many books and articles have been written for couples and how to make their relationship work, and with so much sound advice hurled at us from every direction, why don’t we follow this advice and just do it? Could it be that we haven’t yet recognized what our partner’s unique emotional communicators are? Do you know what your love language is? As I said before, it’s really simple, and Gary Chapman lists it as follows:

- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch

Every person has one love language. In rare instances, two. Even if you feel – like me – that all five these elements are the love languages you speak, this book shows you how to identify the one unique to you. For instance, I sometimes need words of affirmation, I like spending quality time with my hubby and children, and of course I like a gift from the hubs every now and then. I’m also the annoying type who regularly gives, and wants to receive, hugs. But “Acts of Service” is my primary love language. When my husband does things for me like taking care of things in the house, doing chores without being asked, buying the groceries and packing it away, and bringing me a cup of coffee in bed; those are the things that I appreciate above all. The things that show me I’m loved. Gifts are forgotten, hugs aren’t counted, and a quick word of appreciation sends me into a short-lived state of euphoria; but do something nice for me – especially if I didn’t ask for it – and I will remember it for months, even years! “Acts of Service” is without a doubt my language of love.

Every chapter uses detailed examples to explain the fundamentals and different dialects of each of these love languages, and also offers sound suggestions how to accomplish mastering each language. By the end of the book I understood exactly what my love language is, and what my husband’s is, as well as my two children’s. There’s also a chapter on how to recognize your child’s love language. Most importantly I am now aware of the fact that communicating with my partner in his love language might not come naturally for me (and vice versa), because it would require sacrifice and effort on my part, as well as his (to speak my love language). But love is a choice, and it’s also about compromise and that little something extra, right? The bottom line is that if you read this guide to identifying and understanding the importance of your love language and that of your partner’s, you could have a rewarding and long-lasting relationship. I would suggest reading it together with Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. You never know, you might discover something about your life partner, yourself, or your children, you haven’t yet realized.   


Gary Chapman is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively. He received M.R.E. and Ph.D. degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Duke University.

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