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Review: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your MateThe Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is unsurprisingly “touchy-feely”, but it contains insightful and practical lessons about love in marriage. Chapman says that people express love in five broad ways, or “love languages”, and he shows how to determine and speak your spouse’s love language. Chapman stresses the importance of communication and expectations in marriage. The book is mostly about love between spouses, but there’s a chapter near the end applying the lessons to parent-child relationships.

It sounds cheesy, but the main concept is that each person has a “love tank” that must be filled for a person to feel loved. Your goal in marriage is to keep your spouse’s love tank full by speaking their love language. I liked Chapman’s idea of a Love Tank Game in which spouses ask each other each evening after work, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how full is your love tank? What can I do to fill it?”

My pastor recommended this book during premarital counseling. My wife had already read it, and recommended it as well. Chapman is a Christian and he references the Bible throughout the book, but the lessons apply to anyone regardless of religion.

The 5 Love Languages
Words of Affirmation: praising & complimenting
Quality Time: undivided attention
Receiving Gifts: spontaneous gifts
Acts of Service: chores and errands
Physical Touch: hugging, kissing, sex

Clues to determine your love language
What you ask your spouse for
How you express love to your spouse
What you love or hate about your spouse
Take the quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessment...

While reading the book, I guessed that my primary love language is Words of Affirmation or Quality Time. According to the quiz, my languages rank as Quality Time, followed closely by Words of Affirmation, then Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Receiving Gifts. I’m a minimalist, so gifts aren’t very important to me. A good point for me to hear was that even if you’re frugal and rarely buy yourself gifts, you’d do well to buy gifts for your spouse, if gifts are her love language. It’s not about you, it’s about your spouse.

Additional notes
Request, don’t demand that your spouse perform acts of service.
Don't give advice unless you’re asked for it; just listen and sympathize.

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