05/02/2007

How do you say 'I Love you'? (by Judson Swihart)

'How do you say, "I love you"?' is a short but useful book by Judson Swihart. In under 100 pages he describes eight 'love languages': helping, meeting emotional needs, touch, words, being on the same side, spending time together, meeting material needs and bringing out the best.

His claim is that for any individual, two or three of these 'languages' will be fluent, with one as the most important, and others will be far less used. This can create problems in a relationship if, for instance, the husband believes that love is best shown by meeting material needs, helping and touch, while the wife believes love is best shown by words, spending time together and being on the same side. The husband in such a situation may work long hours to earn plenty of money to buy his wife presents to show how much he love her - yet she will not understand the message as she longs instead to spend time together talking and really doesn't care about material gifts.

The point of the book is not to show that some people are incompatible, but to assist anyone to have better communication, first by figuring out what language their loved ones speak, and secondly by learning to speak and understand that language for what it is.

I'd read this before many years ago, and found it a useful refresher. Definitely recommended, particularly for anyone having difficulty communicating with those they love.

Not currently in print in either the UK or USA, but 'How do you say "I love you?"' can sometimes be found second-hand, for instance from Amazon - see links here and above.

(Note: Similar theories are covered in more depth in the excellent book 'Five love languages' by Gary Chapman)

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