Book Review: The 5 Love Languages


I heard about this book from a friend about a year ago. They asked me what my love language was and I didn’t know.

I appear out of touch not having read a book that sold 10 million copies and just celebrated its 25 year anniversary. I posted a couple shorter reviews on Instagram and Facebook and there was a warm response from fans of the book. They atested to its power in their relationships

Chapman believes we each have a way we like to receive love:

    1. Words of Affirmation
    2. Acts of Service
    3. Receiving Gifts
    4. Quality time
    5. Physical Touch.

They are all important but each of us has a strong preference toward one language. It’s one of those situations where the way we express ourselves in the world is often the way we want attention shown on ourselves.

Each chapter has a good narrative for how these love languages play out in a long term relationship. Chapman uses stories from his counseling practice. He describes the interactions that couples have before they understand each other’s language and what happens afterwards.

The book is simple and that makes it easy to talk about. That same quality also makes me a little skeptical. The book feels like the observations of a long time counselor and those are valuable, but I kept wondering if the framework would hold up to more substantial research. I wonder how the Love Language framwork overlaps with Myers-Briggs personality testing. An online search will unovered I am not the first to wonder this but the answers vary widely from site to site.

Chapman himself is a Southern Baptist pastor. You’ll find a layer of generic Christian tone throughout the book. I wasn’t bothered by it but a few times when he veers a little towards doctrine rather than science.

I give this one a could rating, maybe with a nudge toward should if you want to be ready for when you are asked your love language.

P.S. My love language is physical touch. Hugs, anyone?

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