Read Like a Gent: The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman

It’s a time of year when many of us are thinking about gifts and those close to us, and what we probably know subconsciously, but have never articulated fully, is that all of us feel differently about gifts.  For some, physical gifts are very meaningful, and for others, “presence is the best present.”  Gary Chapman’s book explores these two love languages, gift-giving and quality time, as well as three more, giving you helpful advice not just to improve your relationship with your significant other, but with everyone around you.

What is a “love language”?

After thirty years of marriage counseling, Chapman noticed patterns in the way people speak and understand emotional love.  If we think about them in terms of language, they could be considered dialects or variations.  As is the case with any language, basic understanding is a starting point, but advanced understanding is better.  The more we know about ourselves and those around us, the more potential we have for strong relationships.

What are the five love languages?

We spoke about two of them already:

  • Gifts – you like to receive gifts and see gifts as an important part of sharing your love for others
  • Quality Time – the most important “present” you can receive is complete and undivided attention

The other three are:

  • Words of Affirmation – you enjoy hearing spoken praise or appreciation
  • Acts of Service – you’re a show me, rather than tell me person.
  • Physical Touch – physical touch really communicates your love

As with most personality tests, people are very rarely all one thing, but are often a mix of 2, sometimes 3 of these languages.

Where do I start?

Well, this is an article about books to read, so reading the book is one of the first things we would suggest. At just a hair over 200 pages it’s a quick read.  But to get you engaged with the concept (and perhaps start conversations with your family) you might take the quiz and see if it tells you in a more detailed way something you’ve always at least vaguely known about yourself.

Do you know your love language and that of your significant other?  Share them in the comments below!

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