Helping Teens Discover How to Speak Love Languages: A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and Paige Haley Drygas

Leah Courtney
My husband and I were fortunate to take a class and learn about the 5 love languages idea before we were married. The original idea comes from Gary Chapman's book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.  The concept of the five love languages is something that has impacted our marriage and our parenting in profound ways. I know it's something that has strengthened our relationships. So I was very interested to see A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages. 

We've shared the concept of the five love languages with our children often, so they understand the concept. But I love the idea of a book especially written for teens. In A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman along with Paige Haley Drygas explain the concept of the five love languages using words and examples that teens can relate to.

Review of A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages

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The 5 Love Languages

The idea behind the five love languages concept is that we all have a different way of expressing love. We receive and express in five main ways:

  • Physical touch
  • Words of affirmation
  • Time spent together
  • Acts of service
  • Gift giving
Relationship problems can arise if people don't speak the same love language. You think you're showing love, but the recipient doesn't feel loved. 

My husband and I speak different love languages. One of his primary love languages is physical touch. My main love language is acts of service. I feel unloved when I've been gone and come home to find the house messy, dirty dishes piled up, and the laundry undone. Meanwhile he's wondering why I won't hug and touch and be more physical because he's missed that while I was gone. The result is that both of us can end up feeling slighted and wondering why the other doesn't love us more.

Thankfully, because we know about love languages, we can make an effort to avoid this disconnect. We try really hard to deliberately speak the other person's love language even if it doesn't come naturally.

A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages

Because knowing about love languages is a key to good relationships, learning about them in the teen years is really important. Teens are often struggling with relationships- with their parents, their siblings, and with members of the opposite sex. Learning about love languages can improve their relationships in the short term but also set them up well for marriage later on (if that's the direction God leads them).

In this teen version of the 5 love languages book, Gary Chapman and Paige Haley Drygas explain the concept of love languages using language and examples that teens can understand and relate to. The book covers each of the love languages, giving specific examples of how they play out in relationships. 

As each love language is explained, teens are also given a "warning", a caution against using the opposite of each love language. For example, the opposite of using words as a love language is harassing and speaking harshly to someone. An opposite of listening (quality time) is excluding others. I really liked these examples that used situations that teens encounter regularly.

One thing I wondered as I began reading over this book is how it would address relationships with the opposite sex. We've discouraged close, exclusive relationships for our teens. And I wondered if a book on love languages would focus on these relationships. I was pleased with the way those relationships were handled. The authors talk about the difference between romantic love and real love- deliberately choosing to speak someone else's love language. It was emphasized over and over that love is a choice.

At the end of each chapter there is a section that encourages teens to pause and think about what was in the chapter. There are also occasionally specific action steps teens can take in regards to the chapter. After describing each love language, the book deals specifically with family relationships, anger (which teens can struggle with), and love relationships. There is also a question/answer with Gary Chapman and a questionnaire to help teens discover their love language.

I really like this teen version of the love language book. I'm going to bribe encourage both of my teens to read it. You can find more information about love languages, discover your love language, and get other resources at The 5 Love Languages website. You can find A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages on Amazon here. And you can read an excerpt from the book below. You can also enter to win your own copy of the book. The giveaway will end on July 23.

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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