The Five Love Languages

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate is a 1992 nonfiction book by Baptist minister Gary Chapman.[1] It outlines five general ways that romantic partners express and experience love, which Chapman calls "love languages".

The Five Love Languages
AuthorGary Chapman
Original titleThe Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
SubjectIntimate relationships
PublisherNorthfield Publishing
Publication date
Publication placeUnited States
TextThe Five Love Languages online

Summary edit

According to Chapman, the five "love languages" are:

Examples are given from his counseling practice, as well as questions to help determine one's own love languages.[2][3] According to Chapman's theory, each person has one primary and one secondary love language.

Chapman suggests that to discover another person's love language, one must observe the way they express love to others, and analyze what they complain about most often and what they request from their significant other most often. He theorizes that people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love, and better communication between couples can be accomplished when one can demonstrate caring to the other person in the love language the recipient understands.

An example would be: if a husband's love language is acts of service, he may be confused when he does the laundry and his wife does not perceive that as an act of love, viewing it as simply performing household duties, because the love language she comprehends is words of affirmation (verbal affirmation that he loves her). She may try to use what she values, words of affirmation, to express her love to him, which he would not value as much as she does. If she understands his love language and mows the lawn for him, he perceives it in his love language as an act of expressing her love for him; likewise, if he tells her he loves her, she values that as an act of love.

Reception edit

Commercial edit

The book sold 8,500 copies in its first year, four times what the publisher expected.[4] The following year it sold 17,000, and two years later, 137,000.[4] As of 2013 it had spent 297 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list.[5]

Scientific edit

Scientific studies on the validity of love languages have been mixed or inconclusive, although existing research leans toward refuting the concept.[1][6][7] Psychologist Julie Schwartz Gottman has cast doubt on the concept of a "primary" love language and the usefulness of insisting on showing or receiving love in only one way.[8] In a 2017 study published in Personal Relationships explored 67 heterosexual couples and determined there was very limited evidence to suggest having synchronized love languages related to satisfaction.[9] In a 2024 study by Emily Impett et al. published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, they refuted Chapman's three main claims arguing: there are more than five ways to express or receive love, people do not have a "primary" way to express or receive love, and relationships don't suffer from partners having differing ways to express or receive love.[10]

A 2006 study by Nicole Egbert and Denise Polk suggests that the five love languages might have some degree of psychometric validity.[11][non-primary source needed]

Related works edit

Since 1992, Chapman has written several books related to The Five Love Languages, including The Five Love Languages of Children in 1997[12] and The Five Love Languages for Singles in 2004.[13] In 2011, Chapman co-authored The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Paul White, applying the 5 Love Languages concepts to work-based relationships.[14] There are also special editions of the book, such as The Five Love Languages Military Edition (2013) which Chapman co-authored with Jocelyn Green.[15]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Karantzas, Gery (February 13, 2023). "Love languages are hugely popular – but there's very little evidence they exist at all". The Conversation. Retrieved July 21, 2023.
  2. ^ Covey, Stephen M. R.; Merrill, Rebecca R. (2006). The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything. Simon & Schuster. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-4165-4237-7.
  3. ^ Olpin, Michael; Hesson, Margie (2009). Stress Management for Life (2nd ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-324-59943-5.
  4. ^ a b Feiler, Bruce (November 19, 2011). "Can Gary Chapman Save Your Marriage?". This Life. The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  5. ^ "Books | Best Sellers: Paperback Advice & Misc". The New York Times. April 21, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2023.
  6. ^ Fetters, Ashley (October 20, 2019). "It Isn't About Your Love Language; It's About Your Partner's". The Atlantic. Emerson Collective. Retrieved May 6, 2024. When the love-languages concept entered the cultural lexicon, it soon attracted the interest of a handful of relationship and marriage researchers who wanted to test Chapman's claims as scientific hypotheses. Their findings have been mixed, but some researchers have found its attentiveness-plus-behavioral-change formula worthwhile.
  7. ^ Grady, Constance (February 14, 2024). "What the 5 love languages get right, and what they get very wrong". Vox. Vox Media. Retrieved May 6, 2024. Critics, however, point to Chapman's rigid and conservative gender politics (most prominent in the earliest editions of the book) and the lack of scientific basis for his theories. Love languages, they warn, can be too inflexible to be practical.
  8. ^ Fetters, Ashley (October 20, 2019). "It Isn't About Your Love Language; It's About Your Partner's". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 21, 2023.
  9. ^ Bunt, Selena; Hazelwood, Zoe J. (2017). "Walking the walk, talking the talk: Love languages, self-regulation, and relationship satisfaction". Personal Relationships. 24 (2): 280–290. doi:10.1111/pere.12182. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  10. ^ Impett, Emily A.; Park, Haeyoung Gideon; Muise, Amy (2024). "Popular Psychology Through a Scientific Lens: Evaluating Love Languages From a Relationship Science Perspective". Current Directions in Psychological Science. 33 (2): 87–92. doi:10.1177/09637214231217663. Retrieved May 6, 2024.
  11. ^ Egbert, Nichole; Polk, Denise (2006). "Speaking the Language of Relational Maintenance: A Validity Test of Chapman's Five Love Languages" (PDF). Communication Research Reports. 23 (1): 19–26. doi:10.1080/17464090500535822. ISSN 1746-4099. S2CID 143769969 – via ResearchGate.
  12. ^ Chapman, Gary D.; Campbell, Ross (1997). The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively. Chicago: Northfield Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8024-0347-6. OCLC 1020412967.
  13. ^ Rainey, David (2008). Faith Reads: A Selective Guide to Christian Nonfiction. ABC-CLIO. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-59158-847-4.
  14. ^ Chapman and White, Northfield Press (2011), Appreciation at Work network[ISBN missing]
  15. ^ Chapman, Gary D.; Green, Jocelyn (2013). The 5 Love Languages Military Edition: The Secret to Love That Lasts. Chicago: Northfield Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8024-0769-6. OCLC 847246629.

External links edit