The 5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

The 5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

by Gary Chapman


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Are you and your spouse speaking the same language? While love is a many splendored thing, it is sometimes a very confusing thing, too. And as people come in all varieties, shapes, and sizes, so do their choices of personal expressions of love. But more often than not, the giver and the receiver express love in two different ways. This can lead to misunderstanding, quarrels, and even divorce.

Quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch are the five basic love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman identifies these and guides couples towards a better understanding of their unique languages of love. Learn to speak and understand your mate's love language, and in no time you will be able to effectively love and truly feel loved in return. Skillful communication is within your grasp!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781881273158
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 10/28/1992
Series: Relationship Series Today! Series
Edition description: REISSUE
Pages: 203
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

GARY CHAPMAN, PhD, is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The 5 Love Languages. With over 30 years of counseling experience, he has the uncanny ability to hold a mirror up to human behavior, showing readers not just where they go wrong, but also how to grow and move forward. Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. For more information visit his website at

Read an Excerpt

In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other. My friend on the plane was speaking the language of "Affirming Words" to his third wife when he said, "I told her how beautiful she was. I told her I loved her. I told her how proud I was to be her husband." He was speaking love, and he was sincere, but she did not understand his language. Perhaps she was looking for love in his behavior and didn't see it. Being sincere is not enough. We must be willing to learn our spouse's primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments / 9

1. What Happens to Love After the Wedding? / 11

2. Keeping the Love Tank Full / 19

3. Falling in Love / 27

4. Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation / 39

5. Love Language #2: Quality Time / 59

6. Love Language #3: Receiving Gifts / 81

7. Love Language #4: Acts of Service / 97

8. Love Language #5: Physical Touch / 115

9. Discovering Your Primary Love Language / 133

10. Love Is a Choice / 143

11. Love Makes the Difference / 153

12. Loving the Unlovely / 161

13. Children and Love Languages / 177

14. A Personal Word / 189

The Five Love Languages Profile for Husbands / 193

The Five Love Languages Profile for Wives / 199

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The 5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 217 reviews.
Pegasuss More than 1 year ago
7 Months ago (May 2009) and after almost 17 years of marriage, my wife and I were ready to call it quits. The love for each other was gone and for all intents and purposes, we were little more than glorified roommates, and not even good ones at that. Although we were not officially divorced by the courts, emotionally, spiritually and physically we WERE divorced ~ bankrupted in our relationship. During the summer as we struggled with how, or even IF we wanted to continue being married, a dear family member gave me this book and asked me to read it. I told my wife what I was learning and it piqued her interest. She began to see some real changes in how I treated her (Her love languages are Acts of Service and Gifts). As I read through this book, and discovered my love language(s) (and hers as well), it became apparent to me that this author had stumbled across something that I believe could and does STOP divorce in its tracks if people would read this book and apply its principles to heart for themselves and for their partners. If my wife and I can take a dead marriage and turn it into the best we have ever had using these principles anyone can. Will it stop infidelity or abusive behavior of a spouse? The answer to those particular situations have to be dealt with at a personal and spiritual level and although this book does not specifically deal with those issues, it does offer tremendous guidance in learning to love your spouse the way he/she feels love. God can and WILL save your marriage and this book can help you understand what a true loving partnership is about and why we need each other interdependently in this life and in our marriage. My wife has since commented after finishing this book that it should be required reading for anyone contemplating getting married. It truly is THAT powerful. I know many today are hurting and struggling in their marriages and having gone through that fire, my heart truly breaks for others in similar situations. It is tough thing to separate your life from someone you once loved. I can only say for myself having learned and put Gary's suggestions into practice, that I have seen a difference in how my wife and I now love each other. There is hope. READ this book and give it to your partner! Test the principles that Gary Chapman provides and see if you don't see a change in how your partner responds (lovingly) to you and begin to have the best marriage of your life. Best hopes for the readers in discovering your partners Love Language and a new found love for each other.
jas527 More than 1 year ago
If you can read, you can understand the love in your marriage. This book is a simple and easy to read. It gave me the basic tools that I needed to understand my wife, ex-wife, and our children. Learn your love language and stop talking at one another. You can stop talking altogether. Start communicating in the language that your spouse has always spoken, and learn to articulate yours. My life would be different if I had read this book either. I can not change the past, but I am better prepared for the wonderful future ahead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Five Love Languages (TFLL) by Gary Chapman is probably the most useful book on relationships ever written. While the title expounds by saying "how to express heartfelt commitment to your mate", its usefulness in application doesn't stop there. The lessons learned in TFLL can, and should, be applied in all relationships--not just romantic ones. Learning how friends, extended family, and those whom one works with closely expect to receive and express love (or exchange love with appreication, gratitude, admiration, motivation, etc.)will enhance those relationships tremendously. I have also found the lessons learned from TFLL to be valuable for empowering, inspiring and motivating others to fulfill their potential in working relationships. If you have ever worked with one of those "difficult people", then the lessons in TFLL will help in identifying how you can apply a different tactic to capture their attention and empower them. Learning that the reasons why people do certain things are often out of expectations that differ from our own will certainly go along way in helping to adjust our own actions/reactions to others' actions/reactions, and in the end, just might help enhance the working relationship with those colleagues. Learning that different people have different priorities in expressing and receiving love (again: or admiration, appreciation, etc.), that we should't project our own love language priorities on others, and that we should express love/appreciation/gratitude in a manner that will be most meaningful to each other, will inspire more meaningful exchanges and enhance our relationships. In short, if their are people in your life that you wish to insure you have the best relationship possible with, then you should read this book and apply all of the suggestions for learning the priority of their individual love languages--right after you figure out your own order. It's actually fun to figure out your own love language and then try to guess what the order of love languages will be for your mate, friends, family, and co-workers.
TrulyTula More than 1 year ago
This selection is very atypical of the books I would pick; however after reading in the NYT that an US Army officer would customarily give a copy to his soldiers before returning home to help them prepare for their domestic re-engagements to help mitigate the misunderstandings that often happen within a marriage, I had to check it out. The observations, examples and logic are all very simple but made this reader realize where I fell in the scale of behaviors and why I would encounter the problems I did. The bottom line was that my partner mostly demonstrated his affection in the way that I was not likely to recognize. Based on my own conclusions about how to best get my attention I also learned while he did not complain, I never reciprocated my support of our relationship in ways which would most resonate for him. By the time I had this epiphany the damage had already been done; however I now look at my friendships/relationships with keener & more open eyes to assess how to best reach my loved ones. The results are more satisfying and I avoid the frustrating loops of less than successful repeat behaviors. I now give this book to newly engaged couples, or as a part of their wedding gift and the feedback I get is always about the book. Everyone who cares about their significant other should make it a point to get their own copy because the message is delivered very plainly and effectively and one can determine how best to adjust their own conduct to (often with minor changes) better remain on their partner's radar in the best way. I highly recommend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book off the shelf never hearing about it before...the title caught my eye and I was completely surprized how much i liked this book!!! This isn't just a relationship book but an inside look on how to better understand people. After reading this you will be amazed at how much you truely learn about your co-workers and family. You will begin to understand why they do what they do and maybe you will get a better understanding of yourself! I starting reading this and couldn't put it down...I brought it to work and 5 people borrowed it and it came back with rave reviews from all of them...I hope this book helps you as much as it has me!
SciFi-Nut More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to us (spouse and me) because of negative changes occurring in our relationship. I thought that life was beautiful, when in fact I was not successfully showing my wife I loved her - and I really do! This book lets you see how some people perceive love - which can be different than how you see or feel love. Knowing now how my wife 'feels love' I now show her in a way she understands - and she in turn shows me in the ways I need to be shown. Having troubles in your relationship may be minimized if you have the knowledge contained in this book. Good reading!
ripcurlchik More than 1 year ago
This book is AMAZING. For anyone in a relationship, or just interested in how to make ANY relationship work, it is a LIFE SAVER. Dr. Gary Chapman uses very MODERN examples, and just really makes it easy to relate the book to your life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All I can say is that my husband and I were struggling for months trying to understand each other. One day I saw the author of the book on TV. I was automatically intrigued by his easy concepts. I bought the book for my husband before we got married. I bought one for myself as well. We had been having a very difficult time communicating. I suggested that we read the book together simultaneously and highlight the parts we felt applied to us. That way we can see each other's views more clearly. All in all it saved us and we got married 6 months later and fell in love all over again. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had several people refer to this book & it was great! Although it refers to spouses throughout it's applicable to yourself & anyone in your life. I recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the greatest book i have ever read, finally learned how to show my wife i really love her. i never knew in 21 years of married life what her love language was. i do now, and it surprisingly fun to be married.
MarySingleton More than 1 year ago
This book Should be read by all couples considering Marriage and read together. Some of us have some askew expectations when it comes to relationships. This book really opened my eyes to Love, Mutual Respect, and Communication. I learned Unforgettable Life Lessons.
Regaining-Love More than 1 year ago
While I was at first put off to find this book in the religious section of the store as opposed to the relationship section, I am so glad that I purchased the book. It is profound! It has only the slightest bit of christian content, being written by someone who does many church marriage improvement workshops and discussing some of those within the book. The five languages of love helped me to understand why my expressions of love to my wife were falling on deaf ears, as they were not her languages of love. It also explained why I had hurt her so badly by not telling her of my love in the ways that she needed to hear that I loved her. It was not that each of us didn't love the other, it was that we were expressing our love for each other every week and most days in ways that the other partner could not understand. This book is a must for anyone with a marriage problem, as a gift for someone entering into marriage or a gift for a child or friend who is entering into serious relationships. Buy it, read it, have your spouse read it, take the test at the end and then talk about it with your spouse. It will change your life and your marriage!
Georgi78 More than 1 year ago
I have been married for 28 glorious years...most of them, anyway! I wish this book had been available all those years ago. It should be mandatory for all couples that are thinking about marriage to read this is that essential. It is a 'How To' guide for everyone and anyone in a relationship to maximize the ultimate in love, communication, happiness, and the very basic needs inherent in all of us. For that matter, it will open your eyes to the needs of your children. Fabulous book, I recommend it to absolutely everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chapman gives examples and useful tools to the five languages of love. Includes a questionaire to help the reader determine his/her needs in regard to feeling loved and appreciated. This book is helpful for couples to understand what it takes to maintain a healthy, loving relationship. Recommend reading this before marriage.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After spending the last few years feeling like we were stuck in an unloving relationship, my wife read the book, and then suggested it to me. After reading the book, and discussing it with her, we found out that we'd been using the wrong language on each other for years. Not that we didn't love each other, just that we weren't on the right page with each other. We now know what fills each other's tanks, and we're much happier.... all in the space of a few days. We wasted a lot of time not knowing how to reach each other in the correct way. Now, we know, are working at it, and will continue to do so. It's easy once you get the right help. Read the book, it's a marriage saver!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Around christmas things started to go downhill between my husband and I. We didn't argue but we began to feel like we had nothing in common and that we really just didn't know each other anymore. The friendship was there, but the love was gone. A Co-worker then offered this book to me. My daughter and I had moved out of the house for two months and during that time, I read. When I was finished, I was so amazed with what I learned that I asked my husband to read the book as well. He did and I am now in the process of moving back home to be with my husband. We are more in love now than I believe we were the day we married. This book and the lessons it has taught us has truely been the tool that we needed to save our marriage. This book has also helped us to learn our daughters primary love language and our relationship with her has benefited a great deal as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has made my very good marriage of 20 years even better, stronger, and is a book that both my husband and I will re-read every once in a while. I suggest you both read it, and try to figure out each other's primary language. It's fun, gets you communicating, and just helps build a healthier relationship.
colehoo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You've got to read this book. It will open your eyes in terms of understanding your spouse. It is a quick, easy read with simple ideas that will make a profound difference in your relationship.
aarondesk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good treatise on living with your spouse and being happy. The book is straight-forward and just the right complexity level.
foof2you on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I learned more about my wife by reading this book than any other book out in print. Read this to help your marriage, save your marriage. This book will change you marriage for the best.
Taegan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
EVERYbody needs to read this book! It made a PHENOMENAL difference in my marriage once I learned the "love language" of my husband. It also improved my relationships with my children and even with friends and extended family members.It is a very easy and enjoyable read.
kikilon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's pop psychology at its best, light, deep and interesting at the same time. it's designed to make you slap your forehead. i love the concept of love languages. I'm going to incorporate it into my writing from now on. it made a lot of sense to me. And I love lists. ^_^
temsmail on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This books seems to be a streach in its basic premise.
melopher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I like the idea behind this book, and like how it is written in a way that simplifies the subject matter. The book is easy to read and understand. I like the differentiation made between feeling in love, and actual love. It is simple, and won't cover every circumstance and situation, but is a good starting point in understanding how we each process things in different ways.
kristenn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like most relationship books, how helpful this is depends on how many you've already read. All common sense gets redundant after a while. The premise is true enough, except for the fact that there are more than five basic needs out there. My boyfriend found a 'love language' in the book to fit him perfectly, but although my own need is just as straightforward, you can't contort any of the given five to fit it. And there's no way I'm unique there. The religion angle was significantly more low key than I was expecting. Again, that perspective depends on what you've already read. The case study examples really got repetitive, but I'm not sure what would have been a better way to do it. Some of his advice definitely only works for certain personality types and -- probably more important -- certain subcultures, but he's pretty up front about that too.