People whose primary love language is Acts of Service feel your adoration by the things you do. Actions that go above and beyond help them feel your love towards them. They can be things like mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, or getting up in the middle of the night to take care of the little one, letting you sleep. Anything that can make your partner feel appreciated or that can help make their life easier.
Now, there is an interesting caveat to the Acts of Service love language, and one that may not seem fair, but it’s something that will need addressing. The most powerful acts are those that are done spontaneously or without asking, acts that supersede expectations.
Let’s take a look at John and Jane as an example!
Let’s say it’s Jane’s job to do the dishes. She’s been doing it for years. Unfortunately, John (whose primary love language is Acts of Service) has grown accustomed to Jane doing the dishes and almost expects it. Does this make that act any less meaningful? It shouldn’t, but sometimes that expectation can cloud the act. So when John says that they need Jane to do more acts to feel loved, you could understand why Jane may feel hurt or frustrated. She sees doing the dishes as an act of service that is not recognized.
If you or your partner have Acts of Service as your primary love language, it’s essential to have an open conversation about these things. In this case, it can be a two-way street.
Sticking with the above example, if Jane wants to show their love, they may need to think of acts that go beyond expectations, things that are spontaneous or unique.
On the other hand, John should see and show appreciation for all the acts that Jane does daily to help make their life easier, even if she’s been doing them for years.
Like most of the languages, it doesn’t always need to be some grand gesture. If John notices that Jane’s car is a little dirty, he can get up an extra hour earlier to get it washed. And seeing Jane’s face when she finds a newly washed car can be so rewarding!
Look for small acts that can create some significant responses from your partner.
Examples of Acts of Service:
- Prepare breakfast, lunch, or dinner if your partner is usually the cook.
- Clean your partner’s car before they wake up.
- Take the kids and leave your partner to relax with no responsibilities for a few hours.
- Take out the trash.
- Pick up their mail.