The Secret to Love That Lasts.
The 5 Love Languages (2015) is a contemporary guide to developing a relationships of lifelong love that can easily overcome the hurdles that modern couples face. These blinks detail the five ways people give and feel love, and how any couple can use this knowledge to make their relationship more nurturing, affectionate and compassionate.
Who should read these blinks?
- Lovers wanting to know what to expect from marriage and how to make theirs work
- Couples in crisis
- People who want to meet their partner’s needs and have theirs met in return
Who wrote the book?
Gary Chapman, a pastor, public speaker, marriage counselor and author, has given speeches and proffered advice, both in the United States and abroad, on the topics of marriage, family and relationships. He is the host of a nationally syndicated radio program and a senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
What’s in it for me? Bring renewed attention to how you communicate with your partner.
English, Mandarin, Swahili, Quechua: the world is full of languages, and most of us don’t understand a single word if a person talks to us in a language we don’t speak. In fact, trying to communicate without a shared language is fertile ground for misunderstanding, conflict and resentment. Luckily, however, most of us speak the same language as our partner. Or do we?
Actually, in a sense, we really don’t. There are different languages or ways to express love, and understanding your own and your partner’s primary way of communicating is a crucial part of any good relationship or marriage. In these blinks you will learn about the human need for love, the way love is communicated between people and how to identify the love language you speak.
In this post, you’ll discover
- how Mark’s and Andrea’s marriage was lost in translation;
- why being in love only lasts for two years; and
- how a bad Christmas gift can influence communications with your partner.
Love is a human need that’s defined by your emotional well-being.
If there’s one word in the English language that’s both absolutely essential and totally confusing it’s the word “love.” But despite its countless meanings, philosophers and religious thinkers alike agree that love is essential to a full and fulfilling life.
So how should you think about love?
Well, first of all it’s important not to get confused by the word’s many definitions. Instead you should concentrate on the type of love that’s key to your emotional health. So, while we use the word in countless ways – in reference to objects like ice cream, cars or jewelry; to describe our feelings about activities like jogging, hiking and dancing; and when talking about emotional connections to parents or partners – we also use it to pin down a romantic feeling.
And the easiest way to define what love means to you is to take a look at the sources of your emotional fulfillment. That’s because the need to be loved and appreciated is rooted deep in human nature. For instance, child psychologists have shown that all children have emotional needs that, if left unmet, can result in emotional instability.
The most important ones?
Love and affection.
So, love is clearly important and you need a way to measure it. One way to gauge whether your emotional needs are being met is to pay attention to your love tank. Just as a car can’t drive without gas, you can’t function without love, and if your need for love and affection isn’t adequately met you’ll end up with an empty tank. Keeping your love tank full is an essential component of a healthy marriage. All solid marriages require fuel.
For example, the author has a client who thinks that financial gain and material possessions can’t compensate for an empty love tank. The way he sees it, a fancy house, expensive cars and a beach house don’t mean anything if your wife doesn’t love you.
Relationships change as the joy of falling in love fades; communication is the only solution.
You might have noticed that there’s always some new expert or book claiming to know the secret to long-lasting marriage. Yet plenty of couples still struggle to keep their love afloat after the honeymoon period, when the euphoria of falling in love starts to wane. It makes you wonder how being in love affects us, doesn’t it?
Well, being in love makes us view the world through rose-tinted glasses. Here’s how:
The first phase of attraction, the thing that gets relationships started, is marked by what’s called the in-love phenomenon. It’s the obsessive, instinctual part of love that’s closest to our animal instinct to reproduce and perpetuate the species. This initial phase clouds our judgment.
And it’s also been closely studied. For instance, psychologist Dorothy Tennov conducted an in-depth analysis of the in-love phenomenon, and, after studying hundreds of couples, she found that the average lifespan of most relationships that centered around romance was just two years!
That’s because once the rapture of falling in love wears off reality starts to set in. To survive this difficult transition it’s essential for every couple to build an emotional atmosphere that lets them work through differences and fulfill each other’s emotional needs.
The first step in cultivating such a climate of real love in a marriage that’s advancing beyond its initial stages is effective communication. Because humans have emotional needs that the short-lived in-love experience can’t accommodate. So, as this feeling fades, it’s essential for couples to work on emotional communication that can sustain their relationship over the long haul.
Not just that, but real love is a choice that means adopting a different attitude and a new way of thinking. It’s all about defining your expectations for the marriage, and how you share them with and receive them from your partner.
“In fact, true love cannot begin until the in-love experience has run its course.”
People feel and express love differently, and understanding your partner’s love language is key to a long-lasting relationship.
Most people know that language consists of more than mere words – there’s body language, for instance, and tone of voice. Well, the language of love is equally complex. That’s because different people perceive love in different ways, and use different words and actions to express it. Essentially, we all speak a different love language.
So, just like being multilingual can be to your advantage, understanding the different ways love is expressed will help you build a strong, happy relationship. But this requires couples to devote the necessary time to discovering the nuances of one another’s love language. It’ll be worth the effort, though, because that’s the surest route to filling your partner’s love tank – a tool that will help you and your partner excel while supporting your relationship.
Misunderstandings arise even between partners that have known each other for ages. Usually, this is because one partner has incorrectly translated the other’s love language – an easy thing to do, considering that, though partners tend to share a lot of common habits, they often feel and express love differently. It’s uncommon for a person’s love language to correspond exactly with that of their partner.
For instance, Mark and Andrea used to disagree on everything except the fact that they both loved their kids. Mark knew Andrea was a good mother, but didn’t feel her giving him affection. On the other hand, Andrea knew Mark was a great provider and caretaker for his family but complained that his 50-hour workweek left no time for him to be with his family.
Mark’s primary language was physical touch and Andrea’s was quality time.
As you can see, understanding your partner’s love language is essential. In the following blinks, you’ll learn the grammars of all five love languages, and how to identify which one your partner is speaking!