June 07, 2018

Day 7: The 5 Love Languages (book review)

I'm bummed that I wasn't able to write a post yesterday as part of my goal to write a post every day in June, but I was SO busy with Luke and then the kids' baseball game. I ended up going to bed super early because I was just exhausted.

Anyway, I finished reading a (very well-known) book called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I found it very interesting and helpful, so I thought I'd write my thoughts on it.


I bought this book a long time ago with the intention of reading it out loud with Jerry. We read a couple of chapters, and we thought the concept of the book was really interesting--but then we just set the book aside and never finished it.

When I was in Kansas City a few weeks ago, Andrea mentioned the book, and we had a discussion about it. Then the four of us (Andrea, Bonnie, Caitlin, and I) took the Love Languages quiz to find out which of the 5 Love Languages were ours. But I'm getting ahead of myself! Let me explain the philosophy of the book first.

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman describes what makes relationships thrive. He states that there are five different "languages" that people may use when showing love for someone, and each person has one of these as their primary language to feel loved.

If your partner uses your Love Language, and you use your partner's Love Language, then each of you will thrive in the relationship because you will each feel fulfilled with love.

Chapman says it is rare for a couple of have the same love language, but if that happens, then it's usually easier to make the relationship work, because the language feels natural. For most people, though, it requires some effort on each partner's behalf.

Here are the basics of each love language (source):
"l. Words of affirmation – using words to build up the other person. “Thanks for taking out the garbage.” Not – “It’s about time you took the garbage out. The flies were going to carry it out for you.”
2. Gifts – a gift says, “He was thinking about me. Look what he got for me.”
3. Acts of Service – Doing something for your spouse that you know they would like. Cooking a meal, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, are all acts of service.
4. Quality time – by which I mean, giving your spouse your undivided attention. Taking a walk together or sitting on the couch with the TV off – talking and listening.
5. Physical touch – holding hands, hugging, kissing, sexual intercourse, are all expressions of love.
Out of these five, each of you has a primary love language which speaks more deeply to you than all the others. Discovering each other’s language and speaking it regularly is the best way to keep love alive in a marriage."
Above is the very basic gist of each... reading the book made them much clearer! If this concept interests you, I would definitely read the book. It's a short and simple read, and very interesting.

If your partner's primary Love Language is, say, Words of Affirmation, then the way you would make them feel loved is to practice that language with them (frequently using words of affirmation in everyday life). You might think that by giving your partner gifts here and there to show you are thinking of him or her will be all they need to feel loved--and maybe your partner will really love that--but without the Words of Affirmation, they won't have the full potential of what makes them feel loved.

And vice versa... if your Love Language is, for example, physical touch, and your partner is just not a touchy-feely person, you will not get that fully loved feeling--it will feel like something is missing. So, your partner should work on being more physical.

According to Chapman, when each person practices his or her partner's Love Language, then both partners should feel fulfilled and loved.

In Kansas City, Andrea told us that she and her husband, Andy, have an amazing marriage because they each make the effort to use each other's Love Language. When she explained this whole concept to us, I thought it made so much sense! So we all took the quiz, and I sent the link to Jerry to take the quiz as well. I was curious how we would match up.

Mine ended up being Quality Time, and Jerry's was Physical Touch. (Chapman states that most men automatically presume that their Love Language is Physical Touch because of sex. However, he said that if you were to take the sex part out, and just look at other types of physical affection, that is more so the indicator of Physical Touch as a Love Language.)

Physical Touch is something that I've always had a very hard time with, even though I knew that it was going to be Jerry's Love Language. I'm not a touchy-feely person at all! When taking the quiz, the results are in the form of a list of the Love Languages in order of relevance to you, and Physical Touch was at the very bottom of my list with just 2 points.

Anyway, based on the results of our Love Language quiz, I need to practice Physical Touch to make Jerry feel fulfilled with love; and he needs to practice Quality Time with me.

The Quality Time result for me made so much sense. I like to feel heard in a conversation, but I've always been shy and pretty quiet, especially in a group. When I do attempt to participate in a group conversation, I am usually talked over by someone louder and more animated than me, which makes me feel like what I have to say isn't important. My family is outspoken, too, so the same thing happened when I was growing up.

It makes sense, then, that I feel loved when people really listen to me and are interested in what I have to say. Having a good conversation without distractions (and cell phones!! I hate it when I am with a friend who is distracted by his or her cell phone when we're together) is definitely the most important love language to me.

Ever since I got home from Kansas City, Jerry and I have each been making big efforts to use each other's Love Language, and I'm amazed at how much of a difference it makes in our relationship. We've always had a pretty good relationship, but this Love Language idea has really made us each feel like a priority to the other.

When I read the book, I was thinking that it would be a great way to make children feel loved, too (to find out what their Love Language is and make sure to use it often). Then I saw that there is actually a children's edition. There are editions for singles, children, teenagers, military, for men specifically, in the workplace, and maybe even more. (Amazon affiliate links)

You can take the quiz for free on the website to see which Love Language is yours.

Overall, I really liked this book! Have any of you read the book and noticed a change after trying out the principles?


5 comments:

  1. This is such a good book!!! I have read it and it is so true!!! I’m glad you are both endeavoring to use each other’s love language.

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  2. I'm a words of affirmation followed up with gifts and my boyfriend is a physical touch, tied with quality time, followed up with acts of service. The love languages test and information really helped our relationship get a solid start when we took it maybe... 4 months in?

    We've now been together for nearly 3 years. I know that he feels love more when I can spend 1 on 1 time with him, give him back rubs, hold his hand, hug him, etc. He know's that it's a way of showing my love for him when I pick up his favorite sweet or something I think he'll love at the store. He tells me he loves me in about 30 ways so regularly it nearly gets annoying and I know he's showing his love for me when he comes over to my place and mows the lawn or does my dishes for me. It's all very sweet really. Being aware of the fact that we have different ideas of what being loved is really opens us up to experiencing our feelings for each other in a large number of ways.

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  3. My husband and I did this quiz before we got married and we were both Quality Time, but we took it again a couple years ago, and mine had changed to Words of Affirmation (with Quality Time close behind). I thought it was interesting that mine changed, but it's definitely accurate for me, haha! The concept is so simple but has been so good for our marriage. I'm glad it's been helpful in yours, too! I love when you talk about your marriage--you guys are so cute.

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  4. My mom read this book when we were kids, and I think it actually helped us all as a family. It definitely helped when I got married, my parents (especially my mom) made a point of learning my wife's love language and showing her theirs to help her integrate into the family more easily.

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  5. Funy we too completed this quiz many years ago.....Mine was Acts of Service (I could have guessed that before but he had no idea that was my language of love) and his was Physical Touch (I guessed that about him and was right ;-)......Pretty sure if we took the quiz again we would get the same results.....

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