Yeah, this book has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m not really sure why, but I find the whole idea of being able to break down expressions of love into five categories fascinating. I’m all for being romantic, the power of love and all that, but I also like that there is a way to break it down into easy-to-understand areas.It’s not just the five different divisions – no, languages is a better word – of love that the book has some interesting insight into, though.
One of the insights that the author, Gary Chapman, has into love is that in romantic relationships, there are really two very important stages. The first stage is what he calls the obsessive stage. This is the early part of the relationship, where you’re head over heels in love; you see the other person as awesome, amazing, even perfect, you can’t see any flaws they might have. , and everything just seems easy. This a stage that tends to last up to two years, and is when people often move in together or even get married.
The second stage is what Dr. Chapman calls ‘covenant love’, and is where things get more difficult. The obsession feelings dissipate, and you start to see all the things you didn’t before. This is the stage where a lot of relationships fail, because it requires work, and conscious effort. As the book says, “It requires thought and action.It does not wait for the encouragement of warm emotions but chooses to look out for the interest of the other because you are committed to their well-being.” This is where the love languages come in – knowing your partner’s preferred love language, and speaking to it, can help to make your partner feel loved, and can help a relationship endure.
It doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, though. The relationship between parents and child, friend to friend, even co-worker to co-worker, can all be improved if we understand and identify not just our own primary love language, but also figure out how to appeal to theirs. This is where I am running into problems, because now I am trying to figure out the primary love languages of those I care about. I know my primary language is quality time, and I have a couple friends who also have that as their primary language, so we speak each other’s languages well.
So I end this entry with a with a request to my friends who read this – if you’ve taken the quiz (which is at www.5lovelanguages.com), and you know the results, I’d like you to share them with me. If not all of them, then at least the primary one. Maybe it’ll help, maybe not, but it’s worth a try. And maybe knowing these things about ourselves and the people we care about will help to improve our relationships. It’s worth a shot, right?