This book is special. I practically devoured this book in only a few days. Sure, it is not a long book, but it still means a lot when I cannot put a book down so easily. After I finished reading it, I had mixed feelings. A part of me felt regret that I did not read it earlier and another part of me was glad that I read it at all.
The book I am talking about is called The 5 Love Languages – The Secret to Love That Lasts, written be Gary Chapman.
This book is an absolute gem and the reason why one part of me regrets not reading it earlier is that it has been recommended to me before. Multiple times. When I designed the application for my facilitator team for a conference, I asked them the question to recommend one book and why they would recommend it. Several applicants mentioned this very book. As I wasn’t that successful in terms of love even then, I am a bit puzzled by myself why this topic didn’t have a higher priority :D.
In essence, the author presents 5 different love languages:
- Words of Affirmations
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
All of us have a primary love language and maybe a second one that is strong. The interesting thing is that even within a love language there are dialects. So, even when I speak your love language to show you love, I might be not speaking the right dialect and you would not feel loved.
It sounds as if this is a difficult book and even more difficult to learn, but this is not true. Sure, it always takes effort to learn something new, but when we reflect and talk to our partner, we will know which love language to speak in order to show him/her that we love them.
And Gary Chapman is a true master. You know someone is very good at something when he/she is able to explain it in simple terms. His book is very easy to read and to follow and there were numerous moments when I was saying “ahhh” and “ohhh” in my mind =). What makes this book such a good read is also all the stories from couples he counceled over the years. It is astonishing to see how relationships that seem to be dead and lost can be rekindled when both partners talk in the other person’s love language.
He also states that this is no silver bullet. When a couple has problems, they often need to work on more than finding the right love language. However, I think it is a great first step and must be the foundation on which the other work can stand.
If you wonder, my primary love language is words of affirmation. After I read the book it was chrystal clear to me that I need other people to affirm me in order to feel loved by them. Now that I know, I can tell them. When you love someone, you want to show it to him/her, and I would be glad to get help with identifying exactly how I can show love so ther other person also feels loved. All the things I do because I think it will show my love could be misdirected attempts. In the end, I would feel bad because in my opinion, I constantly show love, but my partner thinks and tells me otherwise, only because I didn’t speak her love language.
And of course did I reflect on my last relationship and yes now that I know to look for the signs, I’d do things differently. What is in my power though is to use this new knowledge in my next relationship.
In my opinion, it is a book that everyone should read. Whether you are single or not. I also think that this book should be a mandatory read in schools. This is the type of knowledge that can make the world a much warmer (I mean the good kind of warm, not the global warming kind) and much nicer place to live.
What are your thoughts on the topic or the book? Let me know in the comments.
Have a wonderful day and take care, Stephan