Saturday, February 22, 2014

Do You and Your Partner Speak the Same Language?

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A few months ago, my mom and her new husband both read a book by Gary Chapman called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts before their wedding. As a sucker for anything even remotely related to psychology and a hopeless romantic, I was excited to read it but also sceptical. I mean, the cover of the book had a couple walking on the beach together with a heart drawn in the sand. I thought "Okay, this is going to be cheesy", but I gave it a shot and I can honestly say that this book is one of the most informative, powerful, and life-changing books I've ever read. Gary Chapman is not only the author of this New York Times bestseller, but also a relationship counselor, hosts seminars, and has a radio program on relationships and marriage that airs on more than 100 stations.

Have you ever believed that you were doing everything right and then all of a sudden your partner tells you that you don't make them feel special anymore, or that they don't feel like you love them or care about them? Or are you the one who feels unloved? Have you spent countless hours confiding in your mom or your friends about how you don't think your partner loves you anymore? This could all be due to the fact that you two don't speak the same language.

In The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, Chapman discusses the five languages of love and helps people learn to understand and "speak" each of the languages; words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Chapman believes that all people enjoy each of these to varying degrees, however each person usually speaks one primary language. If you don't really understand the concept of "speaking different love languages" I'll give you a quick example.  Let's just say that Mark and Susan are married. Mark's primary love language is receiving gifts so he feels really loved and special when Susan buys him things. Susan's primary love language is acts of service, so she feels really loved and cared about when Mark does things to help her out, such as helping with dishes, washing her car or doing laundry. We often do things for others that we wish they would do for us because those are the things that make us feel loved, so automatically we think that these things must also make others feel loved . So, Mark spends a lot of money buying gifts for Susan, and Susan spends a lot of time doing favors for Mark. They're each trying their best to show each other that they love each other, but because they don't speak the same language, neither of them feel as though they're being loved adequately. Make sense?

In this book, Chapman describes each of the languages and gives real life examples of couples that he has helped in the past. The chapters are categorized by each love language so it's easy to reference and a quick read (I was so sucked into it that I finished it in just a few hours). At the end of each chapter, he gives steps on how to speak that particular language to your partner. Once you've finished reading, at the end of the book there is a love language test that you can take if you are unsure what your primary language is. If you're curious about what your primary love language is but don't want to buy the book, you can take the test online by clicking here. However, I strongly recommend reading the book as well so you can have a better understanding of each language, your partner, yourself, and how to use this knowledge to build an incredibly strong relationship with the one you love. Chapman's books and teachings are primarily directed at married couples, however, this book can benefit everyone, whether you're dating, engaged, married, or single. I actually got my boyfriend to read it because I thought, "Hey...if we can learn about these things now and start making positive changes in our relationship now, then this will only benefit our relationship down the road and possibly save us from a lot of heart ache and misunderstandings." And guess what? He actually enjoyed it.

My boyfriend and I have been together for over three and a half years and have always had a happy and healthy relationship, with our hiccups of course. But I'm excited to say that things have just gotten better and better since we each read this book. The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts really opened my eyes and taught me that not everybody communicates love in the same way. Cody and I now know how to love each other fuller and to the best of our abilities and have started to integrate aspects of all five languages into our relationship because, like Chapman points out, we all enjoy each of the languages to certain degrees :) But, we also have learned what our primary languages are and make sure that we pay special attention to those!

Chapman has over 30 books for sale here, from the one I read to Hope for the Separated, The 5 Love Languages of Children, The 5 Love Languages Singles, The 5 Love Languages Military Edition and many more. This man has literally dedicated a large portion of his life to love and helping others succeed in love and happiness. I definitely plan on reading as many of his books as I can and hope to attend a seminar of his one day.

Over 5 million copies of The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts have been sold and it's been translated into 38 languages. It's truly a remarkable book and I recommend it to all of you. I honestly believe that if each couple sat down and read this book, discussed what they learned, and worked harder to speak each other's languages that the divorce rate would be lowered significantly and there would be a lot more couples out there who feel fulfilled, happy, and excited in their relationships. If you're looking for a good read, I can't recommend this book enough. If you decide to give it a read, please comment on this blog or contact me elsewhere and let me know how if you enjoyed the book!

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