In this book summary of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you’ll find my notes, high-level ideas, valuable lessons, and important action steps.
The 5 Love Languages Summary
Everyone will always have an emotional need for love, from childhood all the way through adulthood.
The infatuated and honeymoon love eventually runs out for all couples, no matter what. Then reality sets in and couples start to feel their relationship breakdown. They miss out on the next stage of their love, which is a choice, a way of thinking, and a discipline to love.
Some couples love each other, but they each don’t feel loved because they’re not communicating their love in the right way (language).
Love Language #1 – Words of Affirmation. Simple statements like, “You are so funny,” “You look stunning tonight,” or, “Your green eyes are gorgeous.”
Love Language #2 – Quality Time. This means to give your full, 100%, undivided attention on the other person and talk to them. Doesn’t fill someone’s love tank if you’re multi-tasking on your phone or watching tv.
Love Language #3 – Receiving Gifts. Some people are naturally tuned to appreciate symbols of love more than anything else. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful.
Love Language #4 – Acts of Service. This comes down to doing the things your spouse or significant other would want you to do. By serving them in whatever capacity, they will feel super loved.
Love Language #5 – Physical Touch. Touching and loving on some people will give them more security and feelings of love in the relationship than anything else you can do for them. Do random touches throughout the day, like holding their hand or a big hug, and they’ll love it.
Discovering your significant other’s love language is key to a successful relationship—and you need to know yours too, so you can relay the information to them.
Love is a daily choice, not always a feeling. Loving feelings sometimes aren’t there, but you can still decide to be loving. Keep practicing it, even when it’s uncomfortable or doesn’t feel natural.
Your fundamental needs are for security, self-worth, and significance, which love affects all three. Life’s better when you give and receive love.
Lasting love comes down to choosing to love your significant other. Because the magical feeling of falling in love and doesn’t last as long as you think.
Each individual has a unique love language—words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, or physical touch—that best fills their love tank. If you don’t understand how they best feel loved, then you’re probably going to end up in a struggling relationship where you both feel unloved.
Expressing love in the relationships most important to you takes thoughtfulness and hard work, yet it’s beyond worth it.
Three Favorite Quotes
“People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need.”
“Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse’s perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse. Only then can we give encouragement. With verbal encouragement, we are trying to communicate, “I know. I care. I am with you. How can I help?” We are trying to show that we believe in him and in his abilities. We are giving credit and praise.”
“Real love” – “This kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is a love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth.”
Action Steps For You
Pay close attention to how you’re nurturing your relationships, especially your love life.
It doesn’t make sense to keep trying to express love to your significant other by words of affirmation if they think talk is cheap, and their strongest love language is acts of service. You could be loving them at a 20% instead of 100% because of ignorance or lack of effort.
And recognize just because you have one love language, theirs could be completely different. Invest the time and energy to learn the ins and outs of their love language and your relationship will thrive like never before.
So first find their love language. And then give the extra thought to love them in their favorite way.
If you don’t know what their love language is, simply ask them. Or, if they don’t know, have them take the free test.
Gary Chapman is mainly talking about romantic relationships, but I believe these love languages are important in all of your relationships.
For example, if you visit your mom who appreciates kind words more than anything else, shower her with praise. Tell her how great of a cook she is. Bring up an old memory when she saved the day. She’ll feel amazing all because of your words of encouragement, which won’t take much effort.
A huge part of success is having healthy relationships around you. Because you have to admit that success doesn’t mean as much if you have no one to share it with.
So pay close attention to how you can love your significant other, and the people around you, better. You’ll feel remarkably happier as a byproduct of making others happy.
Order The 5 Love Languages
Or check out other book recommendations to become more successful.