Today I’d like to share my thoughts on a book I just got done reading, ” The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Dr. Gary Chapman.
This is actually a pretty popular book and I’d seen and heard a lot about it and it’s been on my reading queue for a while now… It’s the first book I’ve read this year so I am really excited to share with you guys, my thoughts and review on the book overall.
So first I wanted to say that I was reading this book on my phone on the kindle (not sponsored) and I was reading it on my way to work and on my way back home on the train. My whole journey from home to work is about 35 minutes, so back and forth it’s about an hour. I started reading this book on a Monday and I was done by Thursday. So it was a pretty quick read, really straight forward, and it’s really enjoyable, so I really appreciated that about the book.
The premise of the book is that each one of us has a primary love language. And a love language is basically how we express or receive love.
There are 5 main love languages and these are Words of Affirmation, Acts Of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. The author says that, when we enter into a relationship, there’s a window where we’re really driven by our emotions and our hormones and we’re really on a LOVE HIGH. During this time which on average is usually 2 years, we really can’t see the flaws of the other person, we just love them “unconditionally”, we can’t see no wrong in anything that they do and that’s why they say LOVE IS BLIND but after the end of this time, we’re brought down to reality.
After this time if you want to sustain your relationship, LOVE becomes a CHOICE. The two people in the relationship have to CHOSE to love each other UNCONDITIONALLY, they have to go out of their way to communicate and show each other that they love each other unconditionally.
What usually happens is, most people get married during the love high. Once the love high period ends, if the couple does not chose to unconditionally love each other, the relationship may end.
Each and everyone of us has a Love Language, for you to show your significant other that you love them, you have to express love, in their Love Language and for your significant other to feel loved, they have to receive love in their Love Language.
Most people don’t usually know each other’s Love Language, resulting in miscommunication and because of this, each person in the relationship ends up feeling unloved. All of us have an emotional love tank, and when people give us love based on our love language, then our emotional love tank becomes full, and then we’re able to express and receive love more easily.
If we do not receive love based on our Love Language, our emotional love tank gets depleted. Once its depleted we start feeling angry, resentful and hateful. During this time, you become very vulnerable and if another person comes along and you end up falling in love with them/ you end up experiencing the love high/ they speak your love language, then your current relationship may be in danger, because at this point you’re vulnerable and most likely to find love elsewhere because, you’re emotional love tank is depleted and you’re “starved” for love in a sense.
The Love Languages:
1. Words of Affirmation
for this person it is really important that you tell them that you love them, tell them the reason why you love them, constantly encourage them, speak life to them, tell them positive words, express your feelings and tell them why you’re grateful for them. For this person doing these things would fill up their emotional love tank. On the opposite of this, being negative, being sarcastic, being judgmental, being dismissive, being critical would deplete their emotional love tank and make them feel really unloved by you.
2. Acts of Service
For this person they want you to do something for them to feel loved. It could be cooking for them, washing dishes, laundry, it could be doing chores around the house or outside the home, it could be running errands. Whatever it may be, the fact that you took time to do something for them communicates to them that you love them. The opposite of that would be being too busy or just doing other things and not really taking the time to help them…maybe you’re always on the computer or watching TV or always busy but never really help them with anything. That would make them feel unloved and eventually, deplete their love tank.
3. Receiving Gifts:
This doesn’t necessarily mean that this person is materialistic, but what it means is that for them to feel loved they need something meaningful and tangible. For this person, special occasions, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, relationship anniversaries, dating anniversaries, or giving them a gift for any reason is really important to them. It shows them that you went out of your way and you thought about them and you put in the effort, the time and money to get them something. It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive but it has to have meaning to them. So constantly listening to what they want, like if they say… “I would really love to have this thing, or to go this place…” surprising them with what they hoped and wished for would really mean a lot to this person and would make them feel loved. The opposite of that would be forgetting their birthday, missing special occasions like valentine’s day, missing Christmas would really communicate to them that you don’t love them. Also going really long periods of time without giving them anything. That would communicate to them that you don’t really care and would deplete their emotional love tank.
4. Quality Time:
For this person giving them your undivided attention is really important to them. When you’re with them don’t be on the phone simultaneously, don’t be surfing the net simultaneously, don’t be on social media or don’t be watching TV but give them your undivided attention. Take some time out of your time to really spend time with them, really listen to what they’re communicating to you and really give them yourself, that’s how they feel loved. For this person not responding to their text messages, not calling them on a regular basis, not spending time with them on a regular basis would really communicate to them that you really don’t care about them and will deplete their emotional love tank.
to this person constantly touching them, holding them, hugging them, kissing them, holding hands, caressing them, touching them in a loving way really communicates to them that you care for them and you love them, if you go long periods of time without being physical with them, they would feel really neglected and abandoned.
These love languages can be applied to all sorts of relationships and are not only reserved to love relationships but can also apply to children, friends, co workers and all sorts of relationships.
Overall I thought it was really helpful and I could really see how this could help make a relationship stronger. The thing with these Love Languages, is both people in the relationship have to commit and be on the same page that, you’ll both go out of your way to show each other that you care by speaking each other’s Love Language.
It’s not a way to manipulate someone into loving you, each person has to make that choice…”because I love this person, I will speak their love language and that’s how I show them that I care and I love them”. This is not a way to blackmail people and tell them, if you loved me, you’d do this and that for me…that wouldn’t work either.
My only concern with this premise and it’s something that wasn’t addressed in the book so I’m not really familiar with how this would play out in a real life situation. The author did not talk about abusive relationships, toxic relationships and people who are in relationships with people with mental illnesses for instance Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Psychopathic Personality Disorder.
These type of people lack a conscious and empathy, they can not put themselves in other people’s shoes, they are manipulative and use people as tools for their own agendas. They are incapable of loving others unconditionally in that sense… so I’m not quite sure how this process would work in such a situation.
If you are in an unhealthy relationship I would not recommend just applying these blindly into your relationship but I would advise you to seek counseling and help to get through your toxic relationship.
In the book the author does talk about a woman, as he describes her relationship, in my opinion, it felt like an abusive relationship and according to the author it did work out for the wife and her husband. I do not know the specific details of their relationship but the Author used the bible verse, Luke 6:27-38 to support his advice to the woman
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[a] either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Basically what I get from these verses is that we are to love unconditionally, if you chose to love unconditionally you just love but you can’t really force the other person to love you back. How the other person responds is ultimately their choice.
Honestly, I really do not condone just staying in toxic and unhealthy relationships…I really think that if you are in that situation you should proceed with a professional, especially one who has experience dealing with such relationships. This would be to get you the help you need, for your own well being.
If you’re interested in finding out your own Love Language, one way mentioned in the book is to pay attention how you express love to others because that is most likely how you want to receive love or you can simply take a quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/