Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Book Summary: The 5 Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman




Overview:

•There are different love languages that people speak (5 total)

•If you or your spouse's or significant other's "love tank" is not full, you are probably speaking the wrong love language.

•Once you find and learn to speak the proper "love language" to your spouse/significant other, your relationship should improve.

The five love languages are:
Words of affirmation 
Quality time 
Receiving gifts 
Acts of service 
Physical touch
Notes:

Love languages are like spoken languages.  They take a while to learn, but once you speak them, your relationship will improve greatly.

Oftentimes, people speak the right love language during the phase in which they are in love, but over time, that love language disappears.

Oftentimes, a spouse will speak one love language, thinking the other spouse will respond, but the other spouse doesn't feel the love that you think they will.

"Seldom do husband and wife have the same primary emotional love language."

The "in love" phase of early dating and marriage has a limited and predictable lifespan.

Being in love is euphoric and all-consuming.  Reality comes later, generally after marriage, and the relationship changes over time.

"We can recognize the in-love experience for what it was—a temporary emotional high—and now pursue 'real love' with our spouse."

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

•These are compliments, encouraging words, kind words, humble words, etc.

•"One of the deepest human needs is the need to feel appreciated."

"When you read an article or book on love, record the words of affirmation you find. When you hear a lecture on love or you overhear a friend saying something positive about another person, write it down. In time, you will collect quite a list of words to use in communicating love to your spouse."

Find a positive trait about your spouse and share that trait with him/her.

Compliment your spouse in front of their parents, friends, and others.  

QUALITY TIME

•This means giving someone your undivided attention. 

"If your mate’s primary love language is quality time, she simply wants you, being with her, spending time."

"When I sit with my wife and give her twenty minutes of my undivided attention and she does the same for me, we are giving each other twenty minutes of life."

•Sitting in the same room isn't enough, it must be focused time without distractions.

"Quality time does not mean that we have to spend our together moments gazing into each other’s eyes. It means that we are doing something together and that we are giving our full attention to the other person. The activity in which we are both engaged is incidental."

•Quality conversation is a part of quality time.

•Give eye contact.  
•Don't do something else at the same time.
•Listen for feelings.
•Observe body language.
•Refuse to interrupt.

Quality activities are also important.  These are things that you can both do together and that at least one of you has an interest in.

"The essential ingredients in a quality activity are: (1) at least one of you wants to do it, (2) the other is willing to do it, (3) both of you know why you are doing it—to express love by being together."

RECEIVING GIFTS

•Gifts are a reminder of love, and for people who speak this love language, gifts are often kept for a lifetime.

"A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” You must be thinking of someone to give him a gift."

•"Gifts are visual symbols of love."  Wedding bands are an example.

•Gifts don't have to be expensive to be meaningful.  They can be free, created, or cost very little.  The importance is that they are from the heart and mean something.

•People have different attitudes about money.  Some like to spend, others like to save.  Think of giving gifts as a good investment in your relationship.

•Your presence during an important time in life or a crisis can be a "gift of self."

ACTS OF SERVICE

•Acts of service are "doing things that you know that your spouse would like you to do."

"Such actions as cooking a meal, setting a table, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing the baby’s diaper, picking up a prescription, keeping the car in operating condition, paying the bills, trimming the shrubs, walking the dog, and dealing with landlords and insurance companies are all acts of service."

A particular act of service may not fill up the spouse's love tank, even if their love language is acts of service.  You have to find out what they like.

It may be hard to do acts of service if you grew up in a household where one parent did or did not do certain chores or if you have a bad memory of doing a certain chore/act.

"Learning the love language of acts of service will require some of us to reexamine our stereotypes of the roles of husbands and wives."

PHYSICAL TOUCH

•This is not just sexual touching.
•It includes holding hands, kissing, embracing, and all kinds of physical touches.

•The touch must be welcome and appropriate.

•Touch can either communicate hate or love.

"Since touch receptors are located throughout the body, lovingly touching your spouse almost anywhere can be an expression of love."

•Sitting close together is an important act for someone whose love language is physical touch.

•Physical touch is very important during times of crisis.  

***

Discovering your love language

•Many people think that their love language is physical touch because they like to have sexual intercourse with their spouse.  It has to include all types of touch.

A spouse's criticism provides a window into their love language.  If your spouse complains that you never touch them, their love language is probably physical touch.

All love languages are vulnerable to insincere manipulation.  

"If your deepest pain is the critical, judgmental words of your spouse, then perhaps your love language is words of affirmation. Sarcastic, hateful, or dismissive words are wounding to anyone, but especially so to the person for whom affirming words is their love language."

Ask, "What have I most often requested of my spouse?"

Examine what you do or say that expresses love to your spouse.

"spend some time writing down what you think is your primary love language. Then list the other four in order of importance. Also write down what you think is the primary love language of your spouse."

Love is a choice.

People never fall in love on the same day. They also rarely fall out of love on the same day.  This is called "the disequilibrium of the 'in love' experience by Chapman.

The love languages can be applied to all types of relationships, including with your children.  It is worth finding out what love languages those close to you speak.  

We reason: If someone loves me, I have significance.  I may not feel significant until someone expresses love to me.  Without the expression of love, that feeling of significance vanishes.

But to you who are listening, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  Luke 6:27–28; 31–32.

Take the 5 love languages test at www.5LoveLanguages.com/

Source:
Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages. Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. 

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