Monday, June 7, 2010

The Five Love Languages

When my friend E.R. got married a couple of years ago, she told me about this book their priest had her and her husband read called The Five Love Languages.  The book kind of diffuses the whole Cinderella syndrome - brides and grooms expecting the honeymoon period to last forever all by itself.  It spells out that while love is a universal feeling, there are different languages in which to express it.  You may say I love you and your partner may say Ich Liebe Dich and if you don't speak German, you'll never know what they're saying.

The book spells out the different languages that people express love: quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, acts of service.  If you feel loved when your partner spends quality time and gives you words of affirmation, that is how you're going to express love.  If your partner feels loved by acts of service and physical touch, he's not going to understand that you wanting to spend the day at the park (quality time) is you showing your love.  He's not going to have his "love tank" filled.  Furthermore, you will not understand that his taking out the garbage (acts of service) is his way of showing love and your love tank is going to remain unfilled.  You can both go on for years trying to decipher each other's ways of showing love, but like a car, you can't run on empty for ever.

My first thought when I was reading this book is, isn't the point of marriage to find some who speaks the same language as you?  But Gary Chapman (the author) spells out that very rarely do two partners speak the same language.

If you're dating, engaged or married, I HIGHLY recommend this book.  If you're single, there is a version of the book for singles.  If you have kids or teens, there are versions of the books to help you understand them.  There is even a book written specifically for men, because let's face it, they never speak our language. :)  I can tell you that I will have all versions eventually because I think the book is THAT good.

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