The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is an insightful look into the world of relationships. It is based on Christian marital relationships, but personal value can be found in it regardless of one’s religious affiliation or relationship status.
The advice given is simple and profound. In essence, the book states that there are five things every person needs in a relationship, although the order of what is needed will vary from person to person.
In no particular order:
1. Physical Touch
3. Acts of Service
4. Quality Time
5. Words of Affection
Physical Touch: Not just the need for sex, but also the need for hugs, hand-holding, cuddling, and other kinds of intimacy that are touch-related. Gifts: Far from being a shallow need, gifts show your partner that you were thinking of them when they weren’t around. They don’t have to be big gifts – even really small gifts can help ease this need. Acts of Service: Taking out the trash without being asked to, doing chores the other person usually does, taking care of your partners car for you – these little acts of service are important because they show that you care about making your partner’s life easier. Quality Time: Spending time with your loved one that involves interacting together. It’s not time where both of you sit in the same room doing different things – it’s time where the two of you are alone and communicating and enjoying being together. Words of Affection: Words of affection are really important as well – speak your love for your partner. Tell them they look particularly handsome or beautiful. Tell them, if it is true, that they are SO good at something and you admire that trait in them. This will help you keep a healthy relationship.
Everyone will order these in a different way, and I do believe that when one or more of these are not given in a relationship, the relationship suffers. And the other interesting thing is that you may give others different things than you yourself need.
The only flaw that I see with this is that these languages only work if both people are willing to put the effort in. I do not believe that if one person gives and gives, that they will ever be happy without receiving what they need in return.
Everyone knows relationships are work – and that, when done right, are worth it. In this book Gary Chapman shows a way to do the work that benefits both of you.
by Gary Chapman