A little over a week ago, I sat down and started reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Almost a week later, I finished it, which is the fastest I’ve read a long book like this in a long time. I’m aware that it’s a pretty old book now at this point, though to be fair, it has been released several times over the years in a more updated format to keep up with the times and connect better with our current generation. I was obviously no exception. I read the latest revised edition from two years ago and found myself intrigued the entire time while reading.
Now, the author Chapman has come out with several other versions of the book meant to be targeted specifically towards different demographics like singles, men specifically, and women specifically. Not a single one of his versions however was for people on the autism spectrum. This is not a criticism from me though. I’d like to point out that even though the author probably didn’t have people on the spectrum in mind while writing the book, this doesn’t at all mean that people with autism won’t be able to understand any of it. In fact, as someone who’s on the spectrum myself, I found this book to be a lot more helpful than most others I’ve read dealing specifically with relationships between people on the spectrum.
Without getting into the nitty gritty details about each love language, I will just list the basic five explained in this book: acts of service, physical touch, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, and quality time. While some of the chapters focusing on these love languages happen to be shorter than others, there’s no shortage of information here. Gary Chapman takes every love language and gives a meticulously thorough explanation for each of them and offers some helpful suggestions on how to approach each of them, whether it’s how to explain to your significant other what your primary love language is or how to speak your significant other’s ‘love language’. I didn’t finish the book thinking that he should’ve elaborated more. To back up Chapman’s thorough approach, he explains the reality of the five love languages and how effective they are when used by telling real life stories about couples that have come to him for advice and were told to be more diligent in speaking each other’s love language. The results usually turn out positive. It makes me want to meet with and talk to Chapman myself.
On top of the thoroughness of his topics and the stories to back up his claims, the book is written in a clear, straightforward manner. At no point did I feel like the writing style was too complex for its own good. It felt like I was reading the world’s longest blog post. It’s organized, easy to follow, and straight to the point. Most of the chapters explain a specific love language, tell a few real life stories, then has a list of suggestions at the end to try and speak your significant other’s love language (all of which I admittedly took screenshots of with my phone). Finally, at the end, there’s a quiz you can take that helps you determine what your primary love language could very well be if you don’t know it already. Granted a few pages of words probably can’t set in stone exactly what your love language is, but if you’re not lying when you answer the questions given, the results are most likely as closely accurate as you can get. I for one found the quiz to be extremely helpful, and made it easier to discuss the love languages to my own girlfriend afterwards.
To cap off, I should note that the book’s premise assumes that you’re already married (hence why there’s a singles version out there). If you don’t feel like seeking out the singles version but aren’t sure if you’re ready to read this book because of its assumption, I can assure you that it really doesn’t matter. It would still prove very helpful if you’re in a dating relationship. A few parts of it only apply to married couples yes, but those segments are honestly few and far between, and what stuff is there that only applies to marriage may not be helpful to you at the time, but you’ll at least have that knowledge for when you are married. It certainly doesn’t hurt to do research ahead of time.
All in all, this is an easy 10 out of 10 for me, and while this might’ve not been the most autism-centric post, I also love reviewing books whenever I read a good one, and I think even people on the spectrum should read this. If it helped me, it should help others too.