Can I first start by saying I am seriously embarrassed that this is the one and only book I read during the month of April. I don’t even want to mention the fact that it is only 200-ish pages long and is an easy read.
This is really different from most books I choose to pick up, but Hannah recommended it to me and she had it recommended to her by a few other people, so I thought I’d give it a shot. It’s written by Gary Chapman, a relationship counselor and originator of the “Five Love Languages” concept. Basically, Chapman explains that there are five way to express love and the problem in most relationships is that the two people speak different love languages. This is how I understood the equation: Person 1 expresses love in x way, Person 2 expresses love in y way, and neither person can interpret the other’s love, leaving both people feeling emotionally neglected. What’s worse is that both people feel they are showing the other love and are frustrated that the love they are expressing is going unnoticed.
Sounds like a disaster, huh? Chapman then goes into a more in-depth explanation of each of the “Five Love Languages,” which are Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Touch. I’ll be brief in my explanation of each one (as I don’t want it to take you as long to read this post as it took for me to read the book…). Words of Affirmation is basically positive affirmation of your SO and compliments towards them. Gifts is pretty self explanatory, but Chapman does note that gifts don’t always have to be about money spent. Quality Time refers to actual face to face, uninterrupted, connect with each other time with your SO. Acts of Service means doing the laundry, picking up the house and cleaning the bathroom for your SO. And touch refers to anything from a hand hold to sex.
Hilariously, Hannah and Joey (who both read the book before me) pinned my love language easily. Quality Time! I couldn’t have agreed more. I’ll always accept gifts and it’s nice when Joey does the laundry (I hate that chore!) but when he asks if I want to take a walk together or go on a dinner date, I am over the moon ecstatic. After reading the book myself, I could see how all the times I’ve been upset in our relationship usually stemmed from having plans for some quality time broken. And Joey could definitely see it too. Joey has not been so easy to pin. I keep joking that I am all of the love languages and he isn’t any of them! Each time I get frustrated that I cannot easily pick out Joey’s love language I have to remind myself that it’s just a book, even if it does have 4.7/5 stars on Amazon.
Overall, I thought the book was pretty interesting and definitely made a point that I had never thought of on my own. There’s nothing wrong with a thought-provoking book and the 5 Love Languages is definitely that. I know Chapman has since written a bunch of editions of this type of book, but I don’t think I need another book to tell me that his concept can apply to everyone, including family members, friends and children. And I would be lying if I said this book didn’t make me try to decide what other peoples’ “love language” is and if there’s a better way for me to express my love to them.
Also, I think the #1 thing I learned from this book was that I truly hate non-fiction.
What do you think your “love language” is?
Do you and your significant other speak love in the same way?
Fiction or non-fiction?