All of us have a particular way we like to give and receive love. Whether you prefer words of affirmation, gift giving, quality time, physical touch, or acts of service, there’s a way for your partner to ensure you feel adored, respected, and cared for. However, you may not fully understand the intricacies of these relationships. If you’re someone who’s drawn to the acts of services love language or is dating someone who is, here’s what you need to know.
What is the acts of service love language?
The acts of service love language is one of the five love languages identified by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.”
People who have acts of service as their primary love language, feel most loved and appreciated when their partner does things for them that make their life easier and better. This could include things like doing household chores without being asked, making them breakfast in bed, filling up their car with gas, or running errands for them. It doesn’t need to be anything major or over-the-top to be meaningful, either. This really is the personification of “it’s the thought that counts.”
People who speak this love language feel most fulfilled and loved when their partner is actively showing their love through actions rather than simply saying “I love you.” They appreciate when their partner takes the initiative to anticipate their needs and take care of them without being prompted.
Misconceptions about this love language
- It’s all about doing things for your partner. While acts of service involve doing things for your partner, it’s important to remember that the true purpose is to show your partner that you care about them and are willing to make an effort to make their life easier and happier. This doesn’t mean you’re their personal servant or that they’re selfish.
- The things you do for your partner should be grand gestures. You don’t have to buy them a new car or cook all three meals a day for them seven days a week to show them you care. Even the littlest thing means a lot to someone who speaks the acts of service love language. It could be something as simple as remembering to pick up the dry cleaning when they had to stay late at work.
- It’s not as important as other love languages. This is a common misconception for all love languages. All five love languages are equally important and can be a significant factor in a relationship’s success. It’s important to understand and speak your partner’s love language to create a more fulfilling and loving relationship.
- It’s a one-sided love language. Just because someone speaks the acts of service love language doesn’t mean that they don’t reciprocate. They may show love in different ways, and it’s important to understand and appreciate your partner’s love language to create a balanced and loving relationship.
How to recognize if your partner uses the acts of services love language
- They frequently do things for others without being asked. People who appreciate acts of service may often go out of their way to do things for others without needing to be asked. They may offer to help with tasks or take on extra responsibilities to show their love and support. They don’t mind going out of their way or filling in where needed, no matter how busy they are themself.
- They get upset when others don’t help them. People who speak the acts of service love language may feel frustrated or upset when others don’t offer to help them or make their life easier. They may feel like their love and effort are not being appreciated. It’s not that they believe everyone should show love in the same way as them. However, they see helping out as a very small but meaningful thing to do.
- They show their love through actions. People who speak the acts of service love language may not express their feelings through words as much as through actions. They may do things like cook a meal, do the dishes, or take care of the kids to show their love and support. Don’t mistake their lack of verbalization for a lack of care.
- They appreciate when others do things for them. People who speak the acts of service love language feel loved and appreciated when others do things for them without being asked. They may feel like their partner is taking the time and effort to show their love and support. It also relieves mental strain since they don’t have to worry they’re being “naggy.”
- They value practical gestures over gifts. People who appreciate acts of service as their love language may value practical gestures over material gifts. They may feel like gifts don’t show the same level of care and thoughtfulness as actions that make their life easier or happier.
How to express affection to someone with this love language
- Do things for them without being asked. It really is that simple. It’s all good and well to pick up the slack when they approach you for help. However, it’s better to get there before they have to ask. Offer to help with tasks or take on extra responsibilities to show your love and support. For example, you could do the grocery shopping, clean the house, or take the car for its inspection.
- Anticipate their needs. People who speak the acts of service love language feel loved and appreciated when their partner takes the time and effort to anticipate their needs. For example, if your partner has had a long day at work, you could offer to run them a bath or give them a massage.
- Show your support. People who speak the acts of service love language appreciate it when their partner is actively supportive. You could attend their events or meetings, take care of things for them when they are busy or stressed, and listen attentively when they need to talk. Anything that makes their life a little less stressful and gives them some extra breathing room will be appreciated.
- Pay attention to details. People who appreciate acts of service as their love language may value attention to detail. For example, you could surprise them by doing something they mentioned they needed, like buying their favorite snack or filling up their gas tank.
- Take care of the little things. Doing small things can make a big difference for someone who values acts of service. You could make their bed, pack their lunch, or even just hold the door open for them. Think of the stuff your partner hates doing and often procrastinates on and take care of it. You’ll be their hero!
Remember that everyone is different, and the best way to know what your partner wants is to communicate with them. Ask them what tasks or gestures they would appreciate, and try to incorporate those into your routine to show your love and support.