Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages

I bought the “Single’s Version” of Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages. My friend and coworker at Los Angeles Southwest College, Dania, was taking marriage counseling sessions with her fiancé, and I was inspired to read the book for myself. It was an odd paradox because my friend and her fiancé are Muslim while Gary Chapman writes from his Christian background. Love and making a marriage last, to Chapman, is deeply connected with faith.

“Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself.”

What are the 5 love languages? They are ways in which we tend to give and receive love. They are patterns of behavior that show how we connect with others and how we form relationships. These love languages are very much learned as we grow up, and Chapman states that people often live without being aware of them. The 5 Love Languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch. He is great at highlighting that we often love, or often apply the love languages we would like to experience from others, rather than what others might actually prefer. Meaning that we unconsciously tell others by our actions how we would like to be loved.

Chapman is really good emphasizing that applying the love languages is akin to a dance in which each partner has a role. Applying the love languages is supposed to be a mutual, reciprocal experience. It requires mutual engagement. Chapman is an interesting author to me; he sounds very much like a psychologist, but he has an educational background in anthropology and religious studies. Of course, he uses a lot of examples from his experience counseling couples that have been married for a while and undergoing a crisis or newly engaged to be married. Though I am not very religious, I don’t find Gary Chapman overbearing.

Many people mess up every new day with what happened yesterday. They insist on bringing into today the failures of yesterday, and in so doing pollute a potentially wonderful day.

It’s a nice read. At the end though, I wish that it was a little longer and the cases he mentioned more interesting. It was a short, quick read. Nonetheless, I recommend it because the ideas he presents for those in relationships of any kind, which is most of us in one way or another, are very valuable. And, with this book, I will recommend that you actually make an effort to use the questionnaire portion that Chapman includes, but do it in pencil because it may change in the future for you and whoever else you invite to explore the 5 love languages.

Works Cited

Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages Singles Edition: The Secret That Will Revolutionize Your Relationships. Northfield Publishing, 2017.

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