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Book Review: "The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts", by Gary Chapman

I read this book because I wanted to understand how relationships evolve over time, and how they remain strong. I’ve heard of the “emotional high” couples get into in the beginning of a relationship, and I don’t want to rely on that carrying a relationship I get into. Not that I don’t want to enjoy that high, but I don’t want to be left empty-handed after the high wears off.

I first heard of “love languages” from a friend while we were getting matcha sundaes at a cafe in Japan. I thought it was a weird and unnecessary topic at the time, but as the years have worn on, I’ve come to value and prioritize emotion and love more and that means needing to understand it. This book, written from a marriage counselor’s point of view and filled with anonymized stories of couples that had their marriages healed, is a pretty good introduction to what love languages are and how speaking your SO’s love language and dialect will help shore up your emotional security.

There was a little quiz at the end of the book to self-assess your favorite love languages and I thought I should share what my score was:

  • Words of Affirmation: 5

  • Quality Time: 8

  • Receiving Gifts: 4

  • Acts of Service: 5

  • Physical Touch: 8

I think this is a pretty accurate picture. I really like physical touch (like back rubs or massages or touches on the shoulder) and spending quality time, with acts of service and words of affirmation ranking second and gifts being last. I think time is our most valuable resource since we can’t generate more of it, and as we get wealthier in life time becomes more valuable with respect to money. I like acts of service and words of affirmation, but I see these as complementary to my own practices (mindfulness and logotherapy, and being able to do things myself to maintain my own independence). I don’t really like giving gifts or receiving gifts.

I hope I can continue to practice these with people I choose to interact with emotionally, and improve upon those interactions.