Five Love Languages

Understanding the five love languages

What are the Five Love Languages?

First published in 1992, The Five Love Languages is a book that is entirely focussed on the most intimate relationships held between adults. It looks at five different paths whereby love, affection and even romance are followed, which are referred to in the book as 'languages', hence the meaning of its title. The five so-called languages are spending quality time with one another, exchanging gifts, physical touching, words of affirmation, and acts of devotion. The last one is sometimes also referred to as acts of service. The idea of the book is that it is a guide to self-counselling that individuals and couples can follow in order to re-establish higher levels of affection and love in their relationship. In it, the advocated approach is that a person will look at the way their partner expresses his or her love with others, and an attempt is made to use the same 'language' subsequently. The original version of the book had the sub-title “How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” although this was dropped from later editions.

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 Who wrote The Five Love Languages?

The author of The Five Love Languages is Gary Chapman, who is also an associate pastor at the Calvary Baptist Church in North Carolina in the United States. Chapman penned The Five Love Languages to express his ideas about love and personal relationships after having previously studied anthropology. He is also a Doctor of Adult Education, a postgraduate degree that he gained from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What other books has the author of The Five Love Languages written?

Chapman followed up The Five Love Languages in 1997 with his next book; this one focused on how adults can show love to children. Entitled, “The Five Love Languages of Children”, it was later followed by another guide to love aimed at single people. In 2009, he wrote, “The Marriage You've Always Wanted” and later co-authored another book, “When Sorry Isn't Enough”.

How can you put The Five Love Languages into practice?

Overall, Chapman's theory is that people choose to express their love in the manner that they would like to receive it. Making observations of what your partner does and says about love and affection is, according to him, the key to being able to please your partner by reciprocating in a way that suits them and, ultimately, makes them feel loved.

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