Even if everything is going smoothly in your relationship and you think that knowing how to love someone is kind of obvious, you still need to read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
Books are categorized in ways that make us think we should only read them for one purpose. The most recent edition of The Five Love Languages has a subtitle of “The Secret to Love that Lasts” which suggests that it’s only about intimate relationships (it’s kind of funny because the importance of finding love that lasts was one of the subjects I addressed in my review of Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay!), but this book will give you the ability to understand your relationships with everyone better and also show you another dimension of yourself.
I don’t want to keep you from reading the book, so I am only going to include three of the five languages:
– Quality Time
– Acts of Service
It’s been a while since I read it, so I can’t remember if Chapman says that everyone has just one or if everyone has more than one, but at least one of mine is “Quality Time.” I’ve experienced many situations that have enabled me to see that “Gifts” are important for a couple of people in my life. I have also known a number of people who place a priority on “Acts of Service,” and those relationships have given me ideas about a few aspects of our culture that I want to explore more in my writing.
Understanding love languages has given me the ability to stop hoping some relationships could be different than they are. It enabled me to take things less personally, and look for people who want to spend time together doing things that matter to me. Like me, you might find it hard to be around someone who expresses their love by giving and receiving gifts. I don’t like shopping and I am not interested in possessing a lot of things. It can also be really hard sometimes to figure out how to respond when someone gives us something we don’t like or want.
We’re led to believe everyone enjoys all of these things, and that everyone naturally appreciates everyone’s expressions of love, but The Five Love Languages shows us that even though we are giving things that represent love to us, others may not think we are very loving, and we may not feel like people appreciate what we are doing or that love is being reciprocated, so I imagine a lot of people are dealing with this kind of frustration.
I think if everyone knew about this it would help a lot, so I hope you will share this post, get a copy of the book, and talk about love languages with everyone you love!
Note: Current information on Amazon indicates that the book has been updated and is now a top-seller in the “Christian Marriage” section. I stumbled onto information recently that enabled me to see that Chapman is making presentations to Christian audiences, so I hope the book has not been updated to have a strong Christian focus, because I think that everyone should be able to feel comfortable reading it.
I looked again on Amazon and found that the version I read (2004) has the subtitle: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, which still makes people think it’s only about marriage.
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