Top critical review
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Doesn't really live up to its promises
on 21 June 2012
When you first read the basic concept of the 5 love languages, it makes a lot of sense. And I actually think there is a lot of truth in the idea, and this was no more obvious than when I entered a relationship where despite being a very loving giving supportive person towards my partner, she never seemed to feel loved. Thinking back to the 5 Love Languages concept I was able to think about it a bit more and realise that I was expressing love in the way *I* would want to receive it, and it didn't hit the mark. So don't get me wrong, I think there is an incredible amount of merit in the concept of 5 Love Languages and I have seen tons of my friends' relationships suffer from one or both partners finding they just can't seem to get their expression of love "across" to the other person, to have that important message received and felt by the other person (which is the whole point, really).
However, I found that beyond the revelation of there being this love-languages concept, both the non-singles version and the singles version don't really help you apply it that well. My first question after absorbing the concept of 5 love languages, was "hmm OK so what's my primary love language?" -- and I really struggled to figure it out, believe it or not. So I thought "OK, I really need this book to have some good exercises that help unearth this". But no, it didn't, it let me down - it pretty much just asks you to think about it and figure it out. Maybe I expected too much? I am a little fed up with self-help style books that explain a really interesting and important concept, and then pad it out to full book-size without really helping you implement it.
As other reviewers have also stated, the "singles" edition doesn't really seem to add any value. I bought it after buying the main edition and found that it wasn't much additional help. I find it a bit of a disappointing cynical thing to have tacked on a bit of stuff to aim it at singles, when they could have easily just altered the subtitle of the original book to reinforce that it's also useful to singles, and not bothered wasting peoples' money.
In summary, I think the concept of 5 Love Languages is very significant and I think everybody should be taught this, and the world would be a better place, really. But the singles edition is unnecessary, and I would even go so far to say that if you can get someone to explain the 5 Love Languages (or just read a detailed review somewhere) then you could probably get the gist of it and figure it out for yourself.