The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Even though I am a perpetually single person, I find reading books about relationships and romance interesting from a sociological and psychological point of view.

This is one of the most well known of relationship self-help books and I knew most of the concept of it by reading the author’s website awhile back. This book was very easy to read which is probably one of the reasons it was so popular. The book also has a very Christian
bent which is something that I did not need. I think the themes in the book are rather universal for couples.

I noticed some of the advise in the book came natural to me. For example, the idea that people should write their feelings at various times and places in their day as a way to help them express their feelings. As an uberintrospective person, I do this naturally, but it’s a good technique for those who are not analytical or whom assess their relationship often.

A couple of lines from the book that I felted echoed with my own experience of relationships (romantic or otherwise: “Being sincere is not enough.” and “Love is a choice and cannot be coerced.” I think both are things that fairy tale movies do not necessarily tell you.

Reading the book confirmed my “love language”. My rankings:

  1. Quality Time
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Words of Affirmation
  4. Physical Touch
  5. Receiving Gifts

At first, I felt like Words would above Acts, but if I look at my own childhood, Acts is more important for me. I grew up in a culture where my parents did not verbally tell me they loved me nor would they compliment me. As I grew older, I knew and appreciated that they loved me through their acts of service.

Overall, I think this book reaffirms what most relationship and psychology experts think is the best way of maintaining a long term relationship: kindness and generosity. The Atlantic had an article about this specifically last year. I feel like reading that article more or less was the same as reading this book.

Read July 11, 2015.

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