The Five Love Languages By Gary Chapman Book Review - The Great Marketing Campaign
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Written in 1992, it's quite amazing how relevant it, still, is. Well, when you think about it - love is timeless and everybody wants to be loved. Anytime, anywhere. So, perhaps it is not that amazing, after all. But that's where the dilemma sets in. Should I review the book or Chapman's idea of love languages? Because the two reviews would be very different.
As a psychologist, Gary Chapman has an impressive resume and has influenced millions of people. The idea that each person speaks a different love language, as obvious as it seems, hasn't been spoken about or developed since the release of this book. Nowadays, most of us, whether read this book or not, have an understanding of it. Even though they haven't read the book - they must've known someone who has, or they've heard about it from somewhere else. If you're one of the minority who still has no idea what this is about - the five love languages are Chapman's developed models of different types of love. According to him, we adapt one main love language and we tend to stick with it for the rest of our lives - we only develop different dialects overtime. We most likely form it in our childhood, when we're highly affected by the love of our parents. So, in a way, you can't consciously choose it. The good news is that there's no wrong type of love - it's all about how we approach it and if we can understand it. The five love languages include:
Words of affirmation
Acts of service
The effectiveness of such discovery lies in the relationship with other people. It's now as much about discovering your own love language, as learning your loved one's. The main issue is that we think that everyone speaks our own love language and if we want to express affection, we approach the person the way we want to be approached. "Treat others as you want to be treated" - doesn't work in this scenario. Only learning another person's love language you can start filling their 'love tank' and vice versus. And that's the answer to a successful relationship.
I won't get much deeper into details, as I already feel that the main essence of the book has been exposed in these few text paragraphs. So, what the book is really about, then?
In my eyes, it's one big Dr Chapman's services marketing campaign. The book consists of 12 perfectly structured chapters that create the flow as if you're in the famous psychologist's office, coming for your first visit. The structure goes as follow...
Laying out the problem;
Presenting 5 solutions;
Showing how to apply the solutions to yourself;
Sharing some of the frequently asked questions and answers;
Providing the test helping to define your love language profile.
So, if you're Chapman's fan but don't have a thousand dollars for a private consultation - you can get the taste of it for just under $16 by buying this book.
But if you're looking for a compelling book - you'll be very disappointed. I've heard about this book years ago and wanted to read it for quite a while. I love love, so the idea of a book about love languages sounded so romantic and I fully expected to be inspired and blown away. Instead, I got to read about endless Dr Chapman's patience success stories and how everyone though how amazing he was and even close to a 'miracle'. Even when I think of it now - the numerous Biblical references to Christianity and its rules about life; his obvious attitude towards women as the weaker link in the relationship and even life; constant, purposeful storytelling filled with his egoistic nature - make me cringe a little.
Perhaps, I was looking for more depth. Perhaps, some meaning behind each language and a story behind how it connects to universal love. Perhaps, I will stop here, as I'm risking to accidentally write a book, better than the original one. Unfortunately, about something genius that has been already discovered by a great psychologist, but not a writer.
Recommended - but know, what to expect.