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▣ January 7, 2008

posted by Nancianne Sterling on January 7th, 2008 at 7:32 AM (MST)

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Do you and your mate speak a different language?

Do you and your mate speak a different language?

I have had a couple of boyfriends over the last five years. Each relationship was very different from the next. However, there was one thing that all the relationships had in common.

I bought every one of these men a copy of a book entitled The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.

I read this book back in 2001 on a recommendation from my friend, Brian. Brian had been married for ten years at the time, so I didn't really think this book would be applicable to me. I was wrong.

Below is a solid review of the book that I found on Amazon.com:

In Chapman's theory, there are five key ways in which people express and understand love. These five "languages" are Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Chapman believes that while some people can often express and understand love in any number of these languages, we all have a primary love language through which we are most comfortable expressing and receiving love. He goes on to say that tension in relationships often stems from not understanding the other person's primary love language --- not understanding how the other person is communicating their love and how that person needs to be communicated to in order to understand they are loved.

Though Chapman originally framed his teaching on the love languages in the context of marriage, it quickly became clear that people in all stages of life were connecting with the concept of the languages. And over the last several years, he has tailored his message for different groups in books including THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF CHILDREN, THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF TEENAGERS, THE LOVE LANGUAGES OF GOD, and now, THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES FOR SINGLES.

After reading this book I realized that I did not even know my own love language. I craved Quality Time from the men I dated because very few of them were able to give it to me. Naturally, I assumed Quality Time to be my primary love language. It is not. After reading the book, I recognized that quality time did not mean much to me unless it was coupled with Words of Affirmation. When all is said and done, I need those affirming words to feel loved. The quality time is secondary.

Of the four men for whom I purchased this book, I'm averaging .250 in successful completions. One guy told me to give him an executive summary. I did and he told me quality time was too much to give with his successful career. The next one read a few chapters but never anymore. The third BF never read it. Like Bachelor #1, he was very busy billing hours to his client. However, he did seem to make time for novels that he chose himself. Only the fourth, actually read the book.

Two caveats worth mentioning: First, Gary Chapman's writing is categorized as Christian because he is a pastor by trade. While he does have biblical references/teachings in the book, the overarching themes definitely reach across to the secular pond. Second, the Five Love Languages for Singles can be preachy and very conservative for the average reader. For this reason, Id still recommend the original book, The Five Love Languages or The Five Love Languages for Men, regardless of your current relationship status.

last edited on May 20th, 2008 at 1:51 PM (MST)


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