The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman [Summary]

Main Summary: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman explores the fundamental truth that people speak different love languages. The author stresses that it is understanding and speaking your partner’s primary love language that makes for a thriving marriage. He addresses common questions about the loss of love after marriage and guides readers through the five emotional love languages. He also debunks the misconception that the “in-love” experience will last forever and provides practical examples to encourage readers to choose love daily, as it has the power to transform relationships and create an emotionally fulfilling marriage.

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Lessons You’ll Learn From This Post

1. Where does Love Go After the Wedding?
2. The “In Love” Experience
3. Love Language #1 Words of Affirmation
4. Love Language #2 Quality Time
5. Love Languages #3 Receiving Gifts.
6. Love Language #4: Acts of Service,
7. Love Language #5 Physical Touch
8. Finding Your Primary Love Language
9. The Choice to Love

Where does Love Go After the Wedding?

The author addresses the question as he narrates a conversation he once had. Where he engages with a man who has been married three times and experienced the loss of love in each relationship. The man is perplexed by how the love that was present before marriage seemed to vanish afterward.

The man shares his experiences of how the love in his marriage faded away. In his second marriage, it started deteriorating from the beginning, while in the first, it gradually declined after the birth of their child. In his last marriage, he believed they truly loved each other before getting married, but after the wedding, his wife became negative and began criticizing him, causing him to lose his love for her.

The author acknowledges that these are common questions asked by many married and divorced individuals today. While existing books and articles provide valuable insights, the author believes that a fundamental truth has been overlooked: people speak different love languages. Just as there are various languages in the world, each with its dialects, there are five basic emotional love languages that people use to express and understand love.

The author explains that understanding one’s love language and that of their spouse is crucial for effective communication of love. Using an analogy, the author describes how trying to express love in one language when the other person understands a different language leads to limited communication. To bridge this gap, one must learn their spouse’s primary love language.

He also notes that spouses rarely have the same primary love language, which often leads to confusion and miscommunication. By discovering and learning to speak each other’s primary love languages, you can unlock the key to a long-lasting, loving marriage. The author believes that love does not have to evaporate after the wedding, but it requires effort to learn and express love in the other person’s primary love language.

Also Read God Is A Match Maker by Derek Prince [Summary]

The “In Love” Experience

The author emphasizes that most of us enter into marriage through the “in love” experience. We meet someone who triggers our love alert system, and we embark on a journey to discover if this feeling is genuine. The in-love phase is characterized according to him, by intense emotions, infatuation, and the belief that our partner is flawless. It consumes your thoughts, and you long to be together all the time. You feel an overwhelming sense of belonging and altruism, wanting nothing but to make your beloved happy.

However, the author explains that the in-love experience is not sustainable. According to him, studies show that the average lifespan of this romantic obsession is around two years. Eventually, reality sets in, and we start seeing our partner’s imperfections.

The illusion of intimacy fades away, and individual desires, emotions, and behavior patterns resurface. We may fall out of love and either end the relationship or begin the challenging work of loving each other without the in-love euphoria.

The author argues that the in-love experience should not be confused with genuine love. Falling in love is not a conscious choice but rather an instinctual response to sexual attraction, serving the purpose of bonding and reproduction. It lacks effort, discipline, and a genuine interest in fostering personal growth.

True love, on the other hand, involves conscious decisions, mutual respect, and a commitment to the growth and well-being of both partners. The author suggests that we often enter marriage with faulty information, believing that the in-love experience will last forever. When the illusion dissipates, you may feel disillusioned and question your decision to marry.

However, the author encourages you to consider a different perspective. Rather than seeking a new in-love experience or resigning to a life of misery, you should strive for rational, volitional love—the kind of love that is conscious, intentional, and based on deep understanding and respect.

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Love Language #1 Words of Affirmation

There is power in using words to build up and affirm your spouse. The author quotes Mark Twain, who said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment,” highlighting the impact of positive words. The author also cites Solomon’s wisdom, stating that the tongue has the power of life and death.

He encourages you to express love emotionally through verbal compliments and words of appreciation. He provides examples of simple statements that can convey affirmation, such as praising your spouse’s appearance or appreciating their efforts in daily tasks. The author suggests that regularly hearing such words of affirmation can positively impact the emotional climate of a marriage.

He also emphasizes the importance of giving verbal compliments instead of nagging or pressuring your spouse. Explaining that affirming words can be powerful motivators and can inspire reciprocal actions.

The author also discusses the importance of encouraging words. He describes how encouraging your spouse in areas where they feel insecure can help them tap into their untapped potential.

Furthermore, the author highlights the significance of using kind words in communication. He emphasizes that the tone of voice and manner in which we speak greatly impact the message we convey. He advises speaking with kindness and tenderness to genuinely express love and avoid sending mixed messages.

The author also touches upon the importance of forgiveness in a relationship. He explained that forgiveness is an expression of love and a choice to let go of past failures. He encourages letting the past be history and choosing to live in the present, free from the burdens of yesterday.

Also Read Bible Sense For Getting Into Marriage By David Oyedepo [Summary]

Love Language #2 Quality Time

The author shares a conversation that he had with a couple, where the wife expresses her desire for more time and attention from her husband. He emphasizes that quality time means giving someone your undivided attention and engaging in activities together.

The author acknowledges a mistake in assuming that words of affirmation would be equally meaningful to both partners and advised the husband to prioritize wife’s love language of quality time. The author suggested creating a list of activities that  his wife would enjoy and making a commitment to do one activity per week.

According to the author, quality time is about togetherness and focused attention, not just physical proximity. He also discusses the importance of quality conversation within quality time, where individuals engage in sympathetic dialogue and genuinely listen to each other. The author encourages couples to prioritize listening and understanding in their conversations, rather than focusing solely on problem-solving.

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Love Languages #3 Receiving Gifts.

On this subject, the author shares his experiences studying anthropology and discovering that gift-giving is a universal expression of love in various cultures. He recounts a personal encounter with a man named Fred, who showed his love through simple gifts like coconut juice and a crooked stick.

The author emphasizes that gifts are symbols of thought and love, regardless of their cost. He explained how visual symbols of love, such as wedding rings, hold emotional value. The author encourages you to understand and appreciate your spouse’s love language and learn to become a proficient gift-giver.

He also addresses the importance of changing attitudes about money and the significance of the intangible gift of presence. The author shares a story about a husband’s presence during his wife’s childbirth and the impact it had on her.

He stresses the power of physical presence in times of crisis for those whose primary love language is receiving gifts. The author then notes emphatically that giving is at the heart of love, and for some individuals, receiving gifts speaks the loudest.

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Love Language #4: Acts of Service,

The author, on this subject, defines acts of service as doing things for your spouse that you know they would appreciate and finding ways to serve them. He emphasizes that acts of service, such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of household chores, and supporting each other, can be powerful expressions of love.

The narrative then shifts to a personal experience the author had in China Grove, where he discovered the impact of acts of service. He recounts a conversation with a troubled couple, who disagreed on many things in their marriage.

Through their discussion, the author helps them realize that their actions and expectations had changed since their courtship days. The husband had stopped helping his wife with household chores, which had previously made her feel loved, and the wife had withdrawn from doing things for her husband due to his demanding behavior.

The author stresses the importance of freely giving love rather than demanding it, explaining that requests can guide love but demands can hinder it.

He encourages the couples to make lists of actions that would make them feel loved if their spouse chose to do them. After sharing their lists, they realize that small acts of service, such as making the bed or washing the car, can serve as powerful expressions of love and bring about positive changes in their relationship.

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Love Language #5 Physical Touch

According to the author physical touch is important in communicating emotional love. He provides examples from research on child development, highlighting how babies who are held, hugged and kissed develop a healthier emotional life.

The author quotes the Scriptures to illustrate Jesus’ understanding of the significance of physical touch, as he welcomed children to be touched by him. He stresses that physical touch is not only essential for children but also plays a vital role in marital love.

The author shares a story of a husband who prefers simple food over elaborate meals and expresses his need for other forms of physical touch, particularly sexual intimacy, to feel loved. He notes that sexual intercourse is just one aspect of physical touch and that loving touches can be expressed in various ways throughout the body. The author highlights that it is crucial to learn and speak your spouse’s love dialect, respecting their preferences and boundaries.

He also discusses the psychological importance of physical touch and how it can make or break a relationship. He explains that physical touch communicates love louder than words and that different parts of the body have varying levels of sensitivity. The author emphasizes that physical touch should never be abusive but rather a means of expressing love.

During times of crisis, the author highlights the power of physical touch to provide comfort and communicate love. He notes that in such moments, holding a spouse as they cry can be more impactful than any words. Crises according to the author, also present an opportunity to express love through physical touch, which will be remembered long after the crisis has passed.

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Finding Your Primary Love Language

If you must maintain emotional connection and fulfillment in the relationship, according to the author, you must identify your primary love language and that of your spouse. He acknowledges that some individuals may immediately recognize their primary love language, while others may find it more challenging.

The author highlights a common misconception among men, who often mistake “Physical Touch” as their primary love language due to their strong desire for sexual intimacy. However, he clarifies that sexual desire is different from the emotional need for love and that meeting emotional need is crucial for a healthy sexual relationship.

The author further explains that most sexual problems in marriage stem from unmet emotional needs rather than physical techniques. He states that sexual desire for females is primarily rooted in emotional connection and feeling loved and appreciated by their spouse. The author encourages couples to speak each other’s primary love languages to ensure emotional fulfillment, which in turn positively impacts their sexual relationship.

Various methods for discovering your primary love language are discussed, such as identifying what deeply hurts or upsets you in your relationship, considering your requests or desires from your spouse, reflecting on how you express love to your partner, and examining your early experiences of falling in love. The author encourages you to write down your primary love language and rank the other four in order of importance.

The Choice to Love

Amid hurt and resentment, the author emphasizes that love is a choice: “How can we speak each other’s love language when we are full of hurt, anger, and resentment over past failures? The answer to that question lies in the essential nature of our humanity. We are creatures of choice.”

The author highlights the transformative power of choosing love: “Love doesn’t erase the past, but it makes the future different. When we choose active expressions of love in the primary love language of our spouse, we create an emotional climate where we can deal with our past conflicts and failures.”

Addressing the significance of choosing to love, the author shares a powerful insight: “Meeting my wife’s need for love is a choice I make each day. If I know her primary love language and choose to speak it, her deepest emotional need will be met and she will feel secure in my love.”

In discussing the importance of choosing to speak each other’s love languages, the author encourages couples to go beyond their natural inclinations: “When an action doesn’t come naturally to you, it is a greater expression of love. We are talking about love, and love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself.”

Overall, the author emphasizes that love is not simply a feeling but an intentional decision that can transform relationships and fill emotional love tanks.

In conclusion, this book offers valuable insights into understanding and expressing love in relationships. The author addresses common questions about the subject of love languages and asserts that by discovering and speaking each other’s primary love languages, couples can foster a long-lasting, loving marriage. He also explores the five love languages, emphasizing their significance and how they can be effectively utilized. He highlights the importance of choosing love as a conscious decision and how it can transform relationships. Ultimately, the book provides a practical framework for nurturing and sustaining love in relationships.

Finally, here are some questions we’ll love you to answer.

What is your Primary love language?  And how do you differentiate between the “in-love” experience and genuine love?

We would love to hear from you, please leave your answer and comment in the comment box below.

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