As you may have read in my last post, we’re taking an in-depth look at The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Gary Chapman uses this book to distinguish the five different ways people are most open to receiving love and how learning your partner’s “language” can improve and solidify your relationship. In my last post, we looked at Language 1 – Affirmation. Now let’s take a look at Language 2 – Acts of Service.

You first need to know both your love language and your partner’s so that you can learn how to show your love in a way that will be appreciated. If you don’t know your language, you can take the personality test on The 5 Love Languages website.

Communicating your partner’s love language will help them to feel appreciated and loved, and it will build the foundation of your relationship. Most couples speak different love languages, and therefore don’t understand the best way to communicate love to their partner. If you’re showing love for your partner in a way that you’d like to be loved, chances are they’re not understanding your needs, they’re feeling like you don’t understand them, and they’re feeling disconnected.

Learning your partner’s love language and showing love in a way they can receive it will improve the connection you have with each other.

Love Language #2 – Acts of Service

Acts of Service people are helpers; they love to help people, yet they also love being helped. They’re excited when you ask for their help and happy to do anything they can. They show deep appreciation when help is offered to them, or someone just does something without being asked.

Here are a few ways to show love using the Acts of Service Language:

  1. Help with chores.

Offering a helping hand around the house with things like yard work, DIY projects, and shopping trips will go a long way in showing your Acts of Service partner that you love them. If your sweetie has a big project coming up that has them feeling overwhelmed, offer assistance. Maybe your Acts of Service partner overextended themselves with volunteer work. What can you do for them to ease up their schedule?

What chore does your partner hate doing the most? Laundry? Dishes? Cleaning toilets? Whatever it is, offer to take over responsibility of that chore. Your sweetheart will be deeply and genuinely grateful.

2. Pamper your sweetie.

When your Acts of Service sweetheart is dealing with a bad cold, set them up in bed with some fluffy pillows, good magazines, and the remote. Then offer to run out for chicken soup and ice cream.

Did your sweetie have a long week at work and they just want to come home and collapse? Pick up dinner and run a bubble bath for them.

Is it pouring down rain and the car is all the way across the parking lot? Offer to get it and drive around.

Doing special things for your Acts of Service partner that makes them feel pampered and loved will let them know how much you truly appreciate them.

3. Use your strengths.

What do you know how to do that your partner doesn’t? What are you able to do that they are not able to? Balance out their weaknesses with your strengths. Are you able to lift heavy objects that they can’t move? Maybe you’re a computer genius and they don’t even know how to check email. Show them love by being their “hero” and doing those things they aren’t able to do.

Maybe one of you makes the best eggs in the world and the other burns toast. Work together and do those things your good at to show your love and support to your partner.

4. Little things mean the most.

What is it your Acts of Service partner always needs yet never seems to have handy? Do they always forget their sunglasses at home? Keep an extra pair in the car for them. Do they have trouble remembering birthdays? Keep a calendar with all the ones they need to remember so you can gently remind them to pick up a card and/or gift. Maybe there’s a snack they always crave for movie night. Stop by the store and pick it up to keep on hand.

Does your partner have a favorite meal that you know how to cook? Surprise them with dinner at the end of a long day. Do you wash your car every Saturday morning? Take a few extra minutes to wash theirs too.

These little acts of kindness show your partner that you’re always thinking of them and want them to be happy.

5. Make it a habit.

Do something daily to show your love to your Acts of Service partner. Make the coffee in the morning, do a load of laundry so you can bring them a clean, warm towel, clean up the dinner table after your meal. Your Acts of Service don’t always have to be grand gestures. Simple acts of kindness will be well received and make your partner feel loved on every day.

Most importantly, your Acts of Service need to come from the heart. If you’re overextending yourself and feeling resentful, that will show in your attitude and the gift you’re offering won’t be well received. Cheerfully helping will let your partner know that you appreciate all they do and will show just how much you love them.

If you or your partner speaks the language of Acts of Service, here are some other things you need to know:

  • This is a very strong “show, don’t tell” personality. Demonstrating your love goes a lot further than saying “I love you.”
  • For people who speak the Acts of Service language, they have a hard time being insincere, keeping secrets, or hiding a relationship because they can’t help showing love to the person they care the most about.
  • If you’re an independent person, it may be hard to accept the way your partner speaks their Acts of Service language. Their strongest desire is to do something nice for you. And you can show love by allowing them to do so.
  • Always show appreciation for their acts of service because this is how they say “I love you.” If they spoke those words, you wouldn’t ignore them so don’t forget to say “thank you” for the things they do to demonstrate their love.
  • They expect you to do things for them as a show of love so don’t ignore their language. Small, simple gestures go a long way. Make sure they feel loved and appreciated in a language they speak.
  • If you’re in a relationship with an Acts of Service person, you’re lucky because they would be more than happy to take some of those chores you hate off your to-do list. All you have to do is ask and say “thank you.”
  • Be sure to ask about the chores they don’t like to do and see what you can help them with. They’ll be eternally grateful.
  • Being able to rely on your unconditional help is very important for them so make sure you’re there when they need you. If the car breaks down, they need a ride to the airport, or they really need help getting a project done, step up and offer to help in any way you can. Knowing they can count on you will strengthen their commitment to you.
  • Don’t wait to be asked. Step up and help when you see they need it or ask “what can I do for you?”
  • Strive to understand how they like to be pampered. Is it with a great meal? Extra help with the chores? A little TLC and foot rub at the end of a long day? Knowing their favorite way to be pampered and spoiling them with it will let them know just how much they’re loved.
  • Little things go a long way. Bring them coffee in bed if they’re not a morning person. Warm up their car in the winter so they don’t have to go out in the cold. Do an extra chore for them when they’re short on time. It’s the simple things that can let your partner know how much you love them every day.

When it comes to the Acts of Service Language, showing your love and appreciation can be done in simple ways all the time without a lot of effort.  The actions will go a long way in building a strong, unbreakable bond between you and your partner. And, lucky you, your Acts of Service partner will show love by doing lots of little things for you too.

Over the next several weeks we’ll take an in-depth look at the other three love languages and how you can use them to strengthen and build your relationship. If you missed last week’s post about Words of Affirmation – Language 1, you can read it here. Remember, if you want to know what your love language is, you can take the test at The 5 Love Languages website.