Why everyone should read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

April 26th,2020 by Riya Mehta

Amongst all the books I have read thus far, there are only a counted few I wish to suggest to everyone I know. It’s easily understandable as well, different people have different tastes. What I like to read won’t necessarily be liked by my brother or my friend with a contrasting personality. But what if I told you I just finished a book that I believe every person on this planet will find intriguing and useful? Yeah! I just discovered that book and I would love to share it with you.

I know that his one-dimensional example is incomplete but if it makes any sense to you or you find it a tad bit relevant to your life, then read on because you are just a few words away from an eye-opening discovery.

Originally published in 1992, ‘The 5 love languages’ is an evergreen masterpiece. Marriage Counsellor Gary Chapman discovered early on in his career that different people responded differently to the same expression of love.

For example, Sid cannot contain his joy when his girlfriend compliments his work ethics but for Tim compliments don’t mean much, he feels truly loved only if his girlfriend actually does something for him. Now just imagine how terrible all the 4 of them would feel if Sid’s girlfriend only expressed her love by doing things for him (helping in cooking, cleaning, laundry etc.) but not speaking any kind words to him. Sid would emotionally feel unloved and his poor girlfriend wouldn’t even know why, because she is expressing her love as best as she knows. Similarly, Tim wouldn’t feel much better with the daily compliments and loving words he gets from his girlfriend because he craves a helping hand from his partner.

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The Concept

This book explains that there are 5 broad categories of love languages in this world and that different people have different primary love languages. A person with a particular primary love language expresses their love in that language and needs to be loved in the same love language in order to feel emotionally fulfilled. Other languages too make the person feel good, but they are not as satisfying to the receiver as their primary love language. And this is the biggest takeaway for anyone who wishes to make their partner feel loved and fulfilled.

Now that you know the basic concept, you may wonder what these magical love languages are. They are very simple and straight forward, all of us use them but it’s the categorization and conscious awareness of aligning your actions to tune with your partner’s primary love language that makes it so surprisingly effective.

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The 5 Love Languages

The 5 love languages, i.e. 5 ways in which people communicate emotional love (as explained in the book) are:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical touch

Every person’s primary love language is one of the above five (In exceptional cases it can even be two).

What each Love Language means

  1. Words of affirmation

For people whose primary love language is words of affirmation, kind and loving words mean the world to them. They instantly light up when their spouse compliments them or encourages them.

  1. Quality Time

For people with Quality time as their love language (people like me) need moments of undivided attention throughout the day. No matter what the activity being done together-sitting and talking, cooking, a walk- it can be anything as long as both of you have each other’s undisturbed attention. It’s about enjoying each other’s company and doing things together.

  1. Receiving Gifts

For people with this primary love language, a gift is a visual symbol for love. They feel extremely happy with a gift as it means the giver was lovingly thinking of them while choosing the gifts. The gift of your presence on good and bad days also has a special place in their heart.

  1. Acts of Service

In this language, love is expressed by serving the person. Helping them and doing things for them is the surest way to make them happy. For people whose primary love language is not Acts of service, loving your partner through service can be difficult but remember that if you wish to see your partner beaming, it’s a choice you’ll have to make.

  1. Physical Touch

If you were brought up in a ‘touchy’ family you would very well know how a bear hug or forehead kiss can make a bad day bright. For such people, physical touch is the most important vehicle for the communication of love. For them, words might be forgotten but a hug when they needed it the most will be remembered for a really long time.

Discover your and your partner’s primary love language

Now that you know the 5 Love languages the next step would be to sit together with your partner and talk about which of these five speaks the loudest for each of you and what do each of you value the most.

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If you find it difficult to figure out your primary love language just by introspection take the 5 love language profile.

Click here

It tells you your primary love language and the other four in order of your preference. If you feel there are two languages that speak equally to you, you may have two primary love languages and that gives your partner more than just one primary way to express their love for you.

How to use what you just discovered

Once you know the primary love language of your spouse you need to learn to communicate your love effectively to them in their language.

You can also explain your primary love language to your partner and request them to incorporate that language as much as possible.

That’s how you create a win-win situation!

This does not mean that you cannot use the other four languages for your partner. That would be silly (everyone loves gifts!). Love your partner in combination of all five. But being aware of their primary love language empowers you with the knowledge of what they value the most. If you don’t use their primary love language no matter how sincere your intentions your loving gestures will not have as profound an impact as you would expect them to have.

I had come across the 5 love languages quiz on the internet a long time ago. I had taken the test, agreed with the results it generated, and then forgot about it just like every other personality quiz we take online. But discovering this book in quarantine made me retake the test, and I am sure this time the realizations I had about my primary love language will stick with me for a lifetime.

The insights you will have from this book will not just help you to understand yourself better but it also has tremendous power to affect all your relationships positively especially your romantic relationships. If you are single, worry not, take the lessons from the book now and reap the benefits later.

Go and grab a copy of this book and lets us know if it had an impact.

Happy Reading!

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