Gale Cengage Learning, 1992
My physical therapist, a big fan of relationship books, told me all about this one while massaging my tendonitis elbow recently.
Author Gary Chapman, with over 30 years experience counseling couples, identified five primary love languages couples use in relationships:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
With the flair of a seminar speaker, my PT supported her explanation with a personal example:
My partner thinks if he cleans up the dishes he is showing he loves me, but since helping people is my job, it doesn't feel like love to me, it's just a normal thing to do. My primary love language is Quality Time. If he would spend time with me, or put down his phone while we're talking, that would make me feel loved.
Speaking of feeling loved, when I repeated the above to husband Hubert, he ordered me a copy of the book. It came in the mail and was a very nice surprise. My primary language is Quality Time and although the book was a gift, for me what was important was that he had been listening when I was telling him about it. He later surpassed himself in the Quality Time area by agreeing to take the 15-minute Love Language Quiz at the back of the book, not something he would do for his own pleasure, I can assure you.
Often within a couple, each person has a different primary love language, and this can lead to major communication problems, resulting in one or both of the partners feeling misunderstood or unloved. If partners learn each other's primary love language, they can try to show love in a way the other understands, and also better recognize love shown in a language different from their own.
My friend Rhea said her husband sometimes shows love with gifts, but her primary language is Acts of Service. My husband brought me home a gift the other day, which is nice, but I can buy my own things. On the other hand, especially now that we have a child, when he cleans up the apartment at the end of the day, then he's talking my language; I find it sexy!
After reading The 5 Love Languages I found myself concentrating more on the positive aspects of my own relationship and seeing love in a new light. The book is full of common sense, but not so common that it's obvious. You'll find details on each love language, examples of how their use can heal relationships on the verge of break-up, tips on how to speak different love languages, and the quiz, also available for free at thefivelovelanguages.com .
You can watch a video about The 5 Love Languages here.