Fall Issue 2022
Exclusive Interview with Writer Gary Chapman
by Rachid Filali
Filali: How do you explain the great success of your book, 5 Languages of Love, is it due to the desire of contemporary man to restore something precious lost in the midst of the current life, exhausted by its pressing material demands?
Chapman: After many years of counseling couples, I realized a person’s greatest need is to feel loved. And when people are married they want to feel loved by their spouse. Material things, and having a busy lifestyle are fine in and of themselves, but nothing can replace the deep desire to be loved by others.
Filali: In your book, you have been able to identify with great intelligence the true languages of love, brilliantly displaying their hidden secrets, but is not love in its abstract sense very difficult to "encircle" within 5 or 10 or more languages?
Champman: In my book, I talk about giving and receiving love in five languages: Words of Affirmation, Giving Gifts, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Quality Time. I believe every person has a primary love language that speaks clearly to them and makes them feel loved. The other four love languages are important but speaking the primary love language to your loved one is essential in keeping love alive in relationships. Each love language is important and can be expressed in a variety of ways.
Filali: Many serious scientific reports have confirmed that people who have suffered bad treatment during their childhood have been seriously ill in their old age. This, of course, stems from the absence of love, which is a vital element in our lives. Do you confirm this or do you have another explanation?
Chapman: While I can’t confirm this observation, I do believe that people need to feel loved regardless of their background and experiences in life. When people feel loved the world is a much brighter place. When people don’t feel loved the world seems dark and hopeless.
Filali: Touch is one of the languages of love as you mentioned in your wonderful book, perhaps this language has now been replaced by the touch of a mobile phone! Couples - for example - are sitting next to their wives, not touching them, preferring instead to touch the mobile phone, looking for something that is actually very close, is not it?
Chapman: I often see people focused on their phone or device very intensely, and not paying attention to the person they are with. I don’t believe anything can take the place of showing love using physical touch. Right when life begins, we pick up and hold babies to make them feel loved. When physical touch is a person’s primary love language, they will want to be touched all throughout their lifetime.
Filali: There are many people who prefer to look for love in romantic novels and films, while finding him in his daily life, acting violently and roughly, both towards his brothers and his family, and even with his wife and with the animals too. What is the meaning of this puzzling thinking?
Chapman: When a person doesn’t feel loved, they may find it hard to give or express love to other people in their life. A life lived without love can feel very bleak and without hope. That’s why I encourage people to know and understand their primary love language. And the next step is to learn how to communicate what makes them feel loved to the person(s) most significant in their life. Learning to love others, more than ourselves is what breaks the cycle of inappropriate behavior towards others.
Gary Chapman, Ph.D.—author, speaker, and counselor—has a passion for people, and for helping them form lasting relationships.
Chapman is a well-known marriage counselor and director of marriage seminars. The 5 Love Languages® is one of Chapman’s most popular titles, topping various bestseller charts for years, selling over twelve million copies and has been on the New York Times best-sellers list since 2007. Chapman has been directly involved in real-life family counseling since the beginning of his ministry years, and his nationally-syndicated radio programs air nationally on Moody Radio Network and over 400 affiliate stations.
Rachid Filali was born in Algeria in 1964 and has been a journalist since 1985. Filali is a researcher in linguistics and is fluent in a number of languages: English, Arabic, French, German, Chinese, Japanese. He expressed his view about the universe and life in his first collection of poetry published in 2007. The second book published in 2014. In addition to these, he has published two books on world literature. He is also scientifically published in his study book about bees. Currently, he is collaborating with a number of Arab and foreign magazines and works as a corrector and revisor for the newspaper Elkhabar-Elriadi.