The Five Love Languages

Note: I have also posted this on Adventures to the Altar. I felt it was appropriate for both blogs because it does involve a book. Apologies for the redundancy in the event that you follow both. And also, thank you for following both!

E and I are not associated with any specific house of religion, and Wayfarers Chapel belongs to the Swedenborgian Church, which is a fairly liberal Protestant church. Most pre-marital counseling is associated with faith. We will be able meeting with the minister who will be performing our ceremony in a few months, but in the meantime, I decided to ease into the waters of pre-marital counseling by reading The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.

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I thought it was a quick read that reminded me to be aware of the ways that I show love to E. And it also helped me to realize what I seek out to feel loved. After I read it, I passed it on to E. We discussed the book, and E’s opinion was that it was helpful for people who were already married or not yet engaged. That made me laugh because, of course, we fall into the in-between of engaged. He did also say that it made him aware of his love language, and that he was curious about mine. We took the test, and I actually scored pretty evenly in three languages. Of course, I would be terribly indecisive. It’s so like me.

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But I like to think it’s because I feel so loved that my “love tank” is full, and any one of those actions from E only adds to it. (So mushy!) All in all, I am glad that E and I both read this book, and it makes me feel comfortable with trying more pre-marital workbooks in the future. E and I are very open with each other and often discuss our hopes and dreams for our future together, especially when we disagree. I don’t expect any huge surprises as we move forward with our “counseling,” but maybe writing things down, on our own, will force us to think about what we truly want from our marriage together.

Have you read The Five Love Languages? Have you participated in pre-marital counseling? How do you find it? How does your significant other find it? Sound off below.


9 responses

  1. I haven’t read it, but I know the premise because a lot of my friends discuss it a lot. I find it really useful in all my relationships, not just romantic ones. It makes a big difference to me to know that someone doesn’t call me as often as they would like because they’re more focused on expressing their love by providing for me, or because words don’t mean as much to them and they would prefer touch. It helped me understand my relationship with my parents and also how I choose my friends.

    All that was just from the idea that people express love differently and knowing the manifestations the book explains. I don’t know if the actual content of the book would help more than that idea. I bought a copy and a friend borrowed it before I read it, so if I ever get it back I’ll find out.

    • I find it quite helpful in all of my relationships as well. It helped me to understand what I responded to because of how my parents showed me they loved me and what my fiance responded to because of how his parents love him. It is an insightful book that gives a lot of helpful examples for all of them.

      • Yes, definitely. Also sort of in response to tycobeans below, knowing what makes me feel loved was only a small piece of what I think was really important. I mean, I know what makes me happy. What really made a difference for me was being able to see specific ways that others were expressing their love for me that weren’t necessarily ways I would have recognized otherwise and similarly, seeing how others would miss recognizing mine. I’m not saying this is a reason to go buy the book, but I just want to point out that “if they say x makes them feel loved, do x” method doesn’t work with all relationships, and the book is about accepting love as well as expressing it. I do admit that when taken as marriage advice it does seem a little late in the game, seeing as if you haven’t figured out how to express love for each other at that point there are probably bigger problems.

  2. I’m familiar with it, but I haven’t read it yet. The idea of actually asking my boyfriend if his “love tank” is full sort of makes me cringe, but I like the idea of expressing love and affection in ways that are meaningful to your partner. I think I’ll check it out, though- my boyfriend is more of an “acts of service” kind of person, I’m a “words of affirmation”. I think that’s what those categories are called, anyway.

  3. I’m a Dr. Harley follower (marriagebuilders). I finally read this book, after hearing so much about it for years….maybe (maybe) I would have appreciated this book earlier on in my marriage. My review: “When your spouse says doing ____ makes them feel loved, do it. There. I just saved you $14”

    • I responded to this a bit above, but I just skimmed “A summary of Dr. Harley’s Basic Concepts” and I’m curious to know where you think this book fits into those.

  4. I’ve never read it, although a lot of people I know seem to have found it helpful.

    No, we didn’t participate in any type of pre-marriage counseling, and we’ll be celebrating our 12th anniversary this fall, all happy years.

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