This book deciphers how romantic partners can best understand each other in order to make their beloved feel more loved. Chapman categorizes people into 5 ways of relating to love based off behaviors and communication style, called “love languages.” He teaches readers how to care for their partner based on what love language they have. Anyone who has ever felt misunderstood or neglected by their well-meaning romantic partner will greatly appreciate the mysteries of love explained in a straight forward manner.
My key Takeaways from “The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman:
Takeaway #1 Finding and Filling The Love Tank
Takeaway #1 Finding and Filling The Love Tank
Love languages are no different than foreign languages in that if you don't speak the same language as your loved one, you won't be able to understand them. A love language is more than words though, it's the way we express love through body language and tone of voice and how we receive love can be very different from our partner. That's why, when you're not speaking the same language as your partner and mistranslate their words or actions, misunderstandings, conflict, and resentment arise.
Understanding your partner's love language takes time and requires both parties to uncover the nuances of each other's love language but when you understand how each of you works, you'll know how to keep fulfilling both of your emotional needs long after the rose tinted glasses have come off.
Takeaway #2 The 5 Love Languages
The 1st love language is known as 'Words of Affirmation'. It sounds obvious that kind words that compliment and positively encourage your partner have the ability to fill their love tank but when we don't know the other's love language our requests can be heard as demands. The solution is to focus on what your partner does right and compliment them on that thing each and every time rather than taking things for granted or making demands of them.
The 2nd love language is spending quality time together. Being in the same room is not enough if this is your partner's primary love language – they must feel that they have your undivided attention free from distractions in order to feel loved, respected, and appreciated. Watching TV together does not count, your partner needs you to spend time on a quality conversation or doing a quality activity together, one that builds memories or helps plan the future.
The 3rd love language is fulfilled by receiving gifts. By giving your partner gifts you are giving them symbols of your love – it doesn't matter about the cost of the item, the fact that you thought of them and sought out a gift for no reason is enough to make them feel loved. Most couples give gifts in the beginning of a relationship but perhaps due to finances and other responsibilities such as young kids, gift giving can soon be relegated to birthdays and holidays only leaving your partner feeling unloved and emotionally abandoned.
The 4th love language is fulfilled by acts of service, this means that your partner needs you to do useful things such as taking out the trash, washing the dishes, and grocery shopping so that they feel loved. Unfortunately, for this love language to work without resentment, acts of service cannot be demanded, they need to be done voluntarily. Ask your partner what you can do for them rather than making them have to ask for it from you.
The 5th love language is physical touch. If this is your partner's primary love language you will need to show your love through touch – Not only is this done through sexual intercourse but by holding hands, stroking their arm, hugging, and affectionately pecking your partner on the cheek or lips. Hugging or kissing your partner when other people are around also makes them feel especially loved and appreciated.
Takeaway #3 Discover Your Love Language
Out of the above 5 love languages, which do you require most often from your partner? Whether it's quality time together, hearing words of affirmation, touch, your partner doing something for you, or receiving gifts, the thing that makes you feel the most fulfilled is likely to be your primary love language. The things that your partner does or does not do that you find the most hurtful can also lead you to finding your love language – If you get upset when they don't kiss you hello or goodbye, your love language might be touch.
Now that you know your love language, let your partner know! Then, consider your partners love language and do those things that keep his or her love tank filled.