“The deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated.” – Gary Chapman
If you follow any of my social medias you would have seen that I just finished reading The 5 Love Languages last weekend and I loved it. It made so many things clear and I felt fully prepared to be the best girlfriend I could be. Mind you, I’m in a very loving relationship so I didn’t read this book because I felt like my relationship was falling apart, I just read it to better myself as a person.
I like to highlight and underline things that speak to me so I went through the book and found every highlight and underline and wrote it on a sticky to tell you what I took from the book and hope that you decide to read it, too!
Lets start with the 5 love languages:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Receiving gifts
- Acts of service
- Physical touch – not JUST sex.
Gary Chapman give tips near the end of the book on how to figure out your love language and what you partner’s love language might be. To help figure out yours, look at what you most desire from your partner. To help you figure out your partners, look at what they ask of you the most or complain about what you don’t do the most. He said that people often criticize their spouse most in an area where they have the deepest emotional need. But, criticism is not effective. He even says so! You can also take the quiz that’ll help you figure it out like I did! https://www.5lovelanguages.com/
Gary Chapman goes into a lot more detail than I did in the last paragraph. I’m only telling you my takeaways but he tells you stories of real couples, his thought process, his journey, his personal relationship struggles, and the psychology behind it all.
Emotions are NOT bad. They are a psychological response to whatever is going on. That’s so vital to understand in life, not just relationships. I am constantly reminding myself this. Our emotions are valid.
Gary Chapman reminds us that “We are influenced by our personality but not controlled by it.” I hear a lot of people say “I am who I am” and that’s ALMOST always just a pathetic excuse to be a small-minded jerk. We are constantly evolving and if we allow ourselves and encourage ourselves to grow, we will. We are not limited to being the same person we were when we were teenagers.
Another thing Gary Chapman mentioned was that your significant other can’t read your mind. I remember telling my boyfriends dad something that he says he still thinks about. I said this because it was my boyfriend, his dad, and his dad’s girlfriend and we were all talking about arguments, I think. I told him that even when we’re pushing you away, we don’t want you to leave us alone, we want you to keep trying. It was something along those lines. I know not everyone is this ridiculous, but I am and always have been. I shut down when I’m anxious and often my boyfriend, like any other right minded human being, doesn’t know what more to do when he has tried everything. But, because he knows me so well, he just stays with me. I can’t expect him to read my mind. You can’t just give signals because not everyone can pick up those ques you give and you can’t be mad at them for it.
Love is a CHOICE. Yes, there’s what I call a honeymoon phase. Gary Chapman calls it “in-love” and it’s when you think nothing can tear the two of you apart. You will feel like this forever, so you think. A study shows it lasts 2 years on average. ON AVERAGE. It can last longer, or not even last 2 years. After that, he says we enter “real-love” which is a choice that you make every day. It makes sense to me, we have to choose to communicate, choose to try to understand each other, choose to show our partner love in their language. It’s not like I wake up and think “Will I love him today?” but, I have to make the choice to do something for him even if it’s unnatural for me or I don’t feel like it. I’m pretty sure Gary Chapman explains it a lot better than I do. He said real love is a kind of love that unites reason and emotion.
There’s a section in the book where Gary briefly touches on being treated like a doormat. This made me think of all the toxic relationships I have heard of. What I interpreted from that page was that if you allow someone to treat you like a doormat, you are doing both yourself and them an injustice. You need to love them so much that you no longer allow them to think that treating you like a doormat is not okay and love yourself enough to walk away. Also, I can not stress this enough, SILENT TREATMENTS CAN BE DEVASTATING. Thank you, Gary, for saying that.
Parents: even your child can have an empty love tank. Just wanted to throw that out there.
One thing that didn’t surprise me, but I never thought about, was that men are more likely to find a new partner before leaving their wife. This is what Gary Chapman said, not me. But, I’ve seen it and heard of it happening so many times. I wanted to share this piece of information because I feel like this piece of information might inspire some to read this book. It might explain why your husband did that, and it might give you insight into failed relationships you’ve had.
If your partners love tank is full, they’re more likely to go out and be the best versions of themselves. I am so excited at making sure my boyfriend feels so loved and to see him be his best self. I adore him as is, but I want him to love his life as much as I love him.
I know that there are certain lines that you can’t cross with me, just like there are lines I would never cross with my boyfriend, but not everyone is the same. Some can forgive things that I find unforgivable. Gary Chapman said “Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s a commitment.” He also said “Forgiveness is the way of love.” But like I said, we all have our limits and as I said in a previous paragraph, don’t allow someone to treat you badly because that’s not fair to either of you.
Another takeaway I wrote down was to be direct but gentle. When I’m angry, my boyfriend is always so gentle and calm. I can definitely be not as gentle, but I will work on it and I constantly try to! It’s important to be gentle when someone is angry because chances are if I’m yelling, which I never do, but if I was and my boyfriend responded with a soft voice I probably wouldn’t keep yelling and then we might be able to have a calm conversation and actually reach an understanding.
Last, don’t pressure your significant other, or anyone, into doing something. Instead, encourage them to develop an interest they already have. I definitely need to work on this! I want my boyfriend to be his best possible self, but I go about it all wrong. Instead, I think I make him feel worse, not better.
“The object of love is not getting what you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love.” – Gary Chapman