I love to read. The older I get the more books I want to dig into and the less time I have. I used to be a 100% fiction junkie with a strong focus on easy beach reads. Still love those, but my cravings have shifted toward fiction – on controversial topics, fiction – based on true events, and non-fiction – anything that I am truly interested in learning about.
I also love to read reviews. Aren’t they SO helpful? You can find me in the aisle at Home Depot or Target on my iPhone searching all over Amazon.com to see which product was rated highest before I make a selection. I scour OpenTable and UrbanSpoon before I spend my hard earned money and well deserved free time inside a restaurant. But, I’m a horrible contributor. I hate writing reviews. Even if I have a seriously bad experience somewhere and need an outlet to rant or love a product so much that I want to tell everyone I know. I just don’t ever do it. Like coupons. I have them. They sit in my kitchen drawer until they expire. I digress…
Since being compelling is not necessarily a qualification for promotion for me, that must mean a lot when I decide to go live with a hard recommendation to read this book.
Hate the idea of self-help books? That’s not really what this is. Get over yourself and read this.
Have a PhD in Psychology? You should still read this.
Happily Married? You should still read this.
Read it before? You should think about reading it again. I certainly will read this again one day.
Think you know everything about love and your relationship already? You should definitely read this.
This is an easy read and every story in the book about Dr. Chapman’s clients and encounters with couples is relate-able in some way. While this book definitely focuses on the significant-other relationship in your life, all of the principles apply to any relationship you have – with your family, children, friends, etc. And if you search the web for the book title, you will find a dozen variations of this book that take the concepts presented to a very specific audience such as military relationships and parent/teenager relationships.
The one thing that I lack so much of is emotional intelligence. I got to be really lazy about it since I suppressed emotions for nearly 30 years and was never expected to grow that way in the relationships I had. And I find myself now in a very fulfilling relationship in which I am expected to grow in this way. So I find myself craving information that will help me develop this emotional intelligence. It’s my mystery to be solved – my final frontier. I have read a lot of books and blogs about emotional energy, 10 things to do and 8 things not to do, mindset, finding and keeping happiness… and none of them hit me as hard as the simple messages in these pages.
Dr. Chapman describes through examples the five different languages of love that exist and how, like with spoken language, if each person in a relationship is speaking a different language, they will not be able to communicate. And in the case with love, language can be easily misinterpreted or worse, completely missed or dismissed. Each of us has a preference toward one of the five types- sometimes a very strong preference toward a single language, and sometimes a primary and secondary language. And surprise, surprise, we often show our love to others in the way in which we prefer to receive it. But just like you wouldn’t explain the universe to a child the way you would to a scientist, you have to tailor how to choose to act on love in your relationship based on how your partner will best receive it.
Too simple right? Well… right. The book also explores the difference between the instinctual and obsessive in-love feeling we have when we are dating versus the choice of love we all have to make in marriage. It takes on the tough subject of how to turn a doomed relationship around when only one party is willing to admit a problem or do the work. And it gives very simple and practical advice on how we can communicate with to our partners to get exactly what we need without making any demands or nagging.
It is always worthwhile to have a better understanding of the people we love and their needs. I always preach that every person in your life has to earn their right to be there. And you have to earn your right to be in theirs too. This is the best place to start I’ve encountered yet.