When I wrote The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, I never dreamed its message would spark such a response. Total sales are now more than 10 million copies. Each year the book has sold more copies than the year before. The 5 Love Languages has been translated into fifty foreign languages around the world.
I have been asked on many occasions to explain its phenomenal success. The only answer I have is that its message focuses on our deepest emotional need: the need to feel loved. For married couples, it provides the insights and practical tools for keeping emotional love alive in a marriage. Thousands of couples have indicated that the idea of the five love languages brought “new life” to their marriage.
Because the book was written specifically to married couples, I did not anticipate that numerous single adults would also read it. I often encounter single adults like Jill, who said, “I know you wrote The 5 Love Languages for married couples, but I want you to know that it has greatly helped me in all of my relationships.” I meet singles like Nathan, a senior in college, who told me, “I never understood my roommate until I read your book. You’ve got to write a version of The 5 Love Languages for single adults.” And so, my motivation for writing this edition comes from the many, many single adults who have expressed these same needs and desires.
Though my writing and counseling have focused primarily on marriage and family, I continually find myself right in the middle of a culture alive with single adults. Years ago, I started a single-adult ministry in the church that I attend and where I have served as a counselor for many years. For nine years I immersed myself in the joys and struggles of single adults. We did all kinds of fun stuff together, living life alongside one another. Some of the small groups were focused more on “growth” for people who were doing well and we had “support” groups for those who were going through more difficult times. It was during these times of growth and support that I was able to spend hundreds of hours in individual counseling with single adults who faced an array of emotional and relational issues. That ministry is still a thriving part of our church family today.
Married or single, young or old, every human has the emotional need to feel loved. When this need is met, we move out to reach our potential for God and our potential for good in the world. However, when we feel unloved, we struggle just to survive. I am deeply convinced that the truths in this book will enable single adults to learn the skills that lead to loving and being loved.
Now, it is important for you to understand that this volume is not a rehash of the original 5 Love Languages with a new cover on it. The five love languages have not changed, of course, but in the following pages we will focus on their application to single adults. I am indebted to the hundreds of single adults who have shared their stories of how the five love languages have enhanced each of their relationships.
Nothing has more potential for strengthening one’s sense of well-being than effectively loving and being loved. Whatever your situation—never married, divorced, widowed—your deepest emotional need is to feel loved, and your greatest successes will be obtained by loving others. This book is designed to help you do both of these things effectively.
In the first two chapters, we will explore who single adults are and why love is the key to relationships. In chapters 3–7, you will learn about each of the five love languages. In chapter 8, you will discover your own primary love language and how to discover the love languages of others.
NOT JUST FOR ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS
The remaining chapters will help you learn how to love and be loved by speaking these love languages. In chapter 9 you will discover how to apply the principles of the five love languages in understanding your parents, siblings, and the rest of your family. Chapters 10–11 will explore dating relationships, the possibility of marriage, and the importance of love languages in building a successful marriage relationship. Chapter 12 will focus on communicating love to roommates, classmates, and coworkers—the love languages aren’t just for romantic relationships. Chapter 13 has guidelines for single parents communicating love to their children. Finally, in chapter 14, we’ll focus on love as the key to success.
Come with me on this journey into the personal lives of dozens of single adults who have found that life’s greatest discovery is in learning how to give and receive love properly.