His idea was that marriages were bound to be more successful and happy if couples had a deep comprehension of each other’s love language. Partners would then have an invaluable insight into how to communicate effectively with each other through their love language and this would lead to a long-lasting passion.
Dr. Gary Chapman has a reputation for being able to use his many years of experience in being married, as well as pastoring a church and offering marriage counseling to countless couples seeking help to save their marriages. That’s why we covered his name in our selection of the best marriage books.
What are the Five Love Languages?
The Five Love Languages, according to Chapman are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. These are also the titles of the chapters of this helpful marriage guidance book, and they provided much-needed insight for a successful partnership.
Although it is written by a pastor and is based on Biblical principles, it is not a religious book. It is a general, common-sense guide to the issues that plague all relationships – communication breakdown.
It is not a comparison between the sexes or a suggestion that men or women have the moratorium on communicating in a love language. It merely suggests that if we understand our own as well as each other’s love language, then we have a priceless tool to deepen and lengthen our relationships. If you are interested in this kind of topic, take a look at our list of the best marriage counseling books.
How Do I Apply the Five Love Language Theory to My Relationship?
The first step is to identify what your own five love languages are, and this book contains a handy quiz that will help you to identify what yours are. Once you know how you experience and communicate love, it will then be possible to begin to understand how your other relationships will match or need to be adapted to facilitate clear communication in your respective love languages.
While reading this book, it becomes clear that romantic love is not enough for a relationship to survive. Once the passion has lowered to a normal level, we are left with getting on together in the mundane obligations and responsibilities that inevitably interrupt the flow of love. That is when the need for information from The Five Love Languages book could prove indispensable. However, if the information is not enough for you, check out our review of the best marriage books for couples.
The Love Tank
Chapman talks of a “love tank” that we need to keep full if we are to ensure emotional contentment in marriage. However, he states that there is so much confusion surrounding our usage and understanding of the meaning of love, that we will inevitably get confused by which type of love we want and need ourselves, never mind anyone else.
So, now we know what The Five Love Languages are and where we need to store them, it is important to remember that it is not a job that you perform once and then get on with your life. That’s the reason why we also recommend our review of The 5 Love Languages book.
Relationships are complex and constantly changing, therefore our assessment of our love needs to be updated regularly. Relationships are hard work and need constant upkeep and maintenance.
How to Use The Questionnaires to Improve Your Communication
To this end, Chapman has included homework at the end of each chapter where the reader is allowed to reflect on an aspect of their love language and assess whether this particular love language has gone on the back-burner or currently firing on all cylinders.
Using this handy textbook approach with questionnaires that can be completed and revisited over time, couples have an on-going reference point for discussions and relevant points that can be used in the future.
Reviews of The Five Love Languages
The Five Love Languagesreceives many positive reviews because of its practical and positive attributes. Most people agree with the basic premise and do not have a problem with thinking about love and their relationship in terms of the love language concept.
However, there are always some readers who are going to have a different reaction to these types of books and it is only fair to consider the negative review points.
Some book reviews of The Five Love Languages say that the ideas are over-simplified and condescending. They feel that Chapman has taken the opportunity to blow his own trumpet and tell everyone how amazing he is at everything, not just relationship advice.
As this book was published several years ago, some of the problems that are given in the examples are not relevant to 2020. Couples have, largely, moved on from arguing over who is going to take out the trash, because we have all had to adapt to a new way of conducting relationships, earning a living and running a home.
Plus, we have many useful contraptions and inventions that help to make the home run more smoothly. We have found new things to argue about in our relationships!
The author sometimes comes across as misogynistic and it appears that he has no love language to communicate with people who are in other wide-ranging and the differing types of relationships that exist in society today.
I believe Chapman deserves the criticism he receives for addressing such a limited audience in his writing. He would be well-advised to make his tone more inclusive to reach the wider world of people who are seeking to improve the communication mechanisms in their relationships.