Book Review

The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love LanguagesThe 5 Love Languages
Author: Gary Chapman
Series: The 5 Love Languages #1
Publisher: Northfield Publishing
First Published: 1992
Genres: Marriage & Relationships, Self Help
Pages: 206
Format: eBook
Source: Prime Reading


Are you and your spouse speaking the same language? While love is a many splendored thing, it is sometimes a very confusing thing, too. And as people come in all varieties, shapes, and sizes, so do their choices of personal expressions of love. But more often than not, the giver and the receiver express love in two different ways. This can lead to misunderstanding, quarrels, and even divorce.

Quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch are the five basic love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman identifies these and guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate’s love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return. Skillful communication is within your grasp!

My Thoughts

I had first heard about this book in a Communications class while I was attending university and it is apparently widely referenced. It made me curious and I had made a mental note to check it out someday. Years later when my first marriage was not going so well and I found myself feeling emotionally empty, so I put aside my pride and decided to seek help.

While some of the advice given in the book sounds like common sense it isn’t so for everyone. It is a well-known fact that communication can be difficult in a relationship, especially when egos get involved. I appreciated this book for the practical advice that it gives delivered in a simple and straight forward package. It’s a quick read that can easily be completed in one sitting with chapters divided by Chapman’s proposed love styles.

He writes that a good indication on how a person likes to receive love is the same way that they give it. Couples with mismatched styles may find that they’re not getting the type of affection that they need to feel satisfied emotionally even in what would otherwise be a loving relationship. He makes it clear that many people might have more than one “love language” and it is just as important for folks to understand themselves as well as understanding their significant others.

For each of his explanations on the love styles, Chapman goes over the ways that a person of that type communicates love complete with a checklist. With it he also includes a story from one of his prior cases as a marriage counselor that led him to outline each specific love style and how these couples would resolve their conflict. The addition of these anecdotes serve as examples of how well Chapman’s theories can work for those willing to try.

“That kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is a love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth. Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth living.”

It is notable that this book is dated and that Chapman is religious, so his writing is peppered with Christian perspectives which may be a positive or a negative for readers. I personally wasn’t bothered by it and didn’t find any of the traditional views to be overbearing, the central ideas about relationships are the same regardless.

At the end of the book is a quiz to determine your own love language(s), but because the internet is a beautiful thing it is available online for free. It gives you a number value for each love language category and a basic description on the way each style works. It’s simple, quick, and surprisingly insightful.

I was able to apply the advice in this book to my previous marriage and it helped out in some ways. This book is no miracle that will work for everyone, of course, and it is so simple that it probably seems unnecessary. Obviously it depends on the people and whether they are willing participants and its usefulness can only be what you take away from it. I can comfortably recommend this book for couples, new lovers getting to know each other, or even ones that I’ve been together a while and are going through a rough patch.

About Gary Chapman

Married more than 45 years to Karolyn, Dr. Gary Chapman is just the man to turn to for help on improving or healing our most important relationships. His own life experiences, plus over forty years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The 5 Love Languages®: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Millions of readers credit this continual #1 New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate their love to their partner.

Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, that air on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman also serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Dr. Chapman holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and Ph.D. degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.

Dr. Chapman and his wife have two adult children and two grandchildren and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

I’m a Filipino American blogger, historian, and lazy writer. I enjoy books, video games, anime/manga, and smoking hookah.

Leave a Reply