Learn Your Love Language: Acts of Service
on Aug 8, 2022
Ever been called a people-pleaser? Do you show love and affection by doing nice things for your special other? If you like ironing your partner’s shirt, making their sandwiches for the work day ahead, cooking up their favorite meal or just simply giving up your time to carry out a visual action you know your partner will appreciate – then it may be that Acts of Service is your love language.
Exactly 30 years ago, author, pastor and marriage counsellor, Gary Chapman, released his New York Times best-seller book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”.
Sharing his personal insights into our relationship behaviours, he identified that there are five different ways in which we give and receive love and affection with our partners. Since, his theories have become vastly recognised across the globe – and one of those concepts is the Acts of Service Love Language.
But what is it?
This love language is all about meaningful gestures, giving up your time and effort to do things that make your partner feel good. Sometimes, this love language can be confused with task-delegating, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find this to not only be one of the most selfless ways to show love but also one of the most rewarding ways to receive affection too.
People who identify ‘Acts of Service’ as their dominant love language are those most willing to share the load of every day life. They commit their time, effort and affections into continually letting their partners know they are firmly on their side. Housework and chores aside, acts of service lovers can recognise that it isn’t always about the practical task or action itself, but rather how volunteering to do each one will make their partners feel more appreciated.
Despite this love language occasionally getting a bad rep for gender stereotyping, in accordance to this survey by YouGov America, there’s very little discrepancy between males and females claiming this to be their most prevalent way to give and receive love.
How to love through Acts of Service
The most effective and easiest way to love your partner through acts of service is to simply put them first. Spend time each day to think about what things you could do to make them feel better. Is it about sharing the housework more evenly? Or ensuring they aren’t rushing to a work meeting because you’ve laid everything out ready ahead of time.
Maybe it’s not all that practical at all, but instead you know your lover would appreciate their favourite takeaway on order, a hot bubbling bath tub, or even hearing you compliment them ‘just because’.
While it’s said that actions speak louder than words, you can also show your affections by openly asking the question “What can I do for you today?”, or “What would make you smile?”
If it is your lover’s love language, be sure to show and vocalise your appreciation when your partner makes the extra effort for you. Simply saying ‘thank you’ is often enough to make someone feel loved.
Sex and intimacy can play a pivotal role in relationships where one or both partners recognise this love language as their dominant one. Thinking about your partner’s sexual preferences first, or leading your intimate moments with a willingness to take or surrender control can bring two lovers speaking this same language closer together. Here are three ways to love through Acts of Service:
1. Offer practical support
Circling back to showing your affection through practical acts of service. Folding the bedsheets, firming down shirt collars, taking on a bigger share of the household chores or taking care of the shopping list are all gestures that may seem small, but are often most appreciated. While practical help isn’t always considered romantic, it generally is the most helpful way to show love and consideration through this love language.
2. Be spontaneous
Sometimes the best gifts and most meaningful acts of service are both given and experienced with no pre-planning. Use the element of surprise to show your partner love and be spontaneous with the way you give affection. Meet them from a hard days’ work wearing their favourite outfit or lingerie set, take them on a seductive treasure hunt and surprise them with a bed full of roses at their end destination, or book yourselves onto a cheap weekend flight to somewhere romantic.
3. Take or surrender control
How do you apply this love language in the bedroom? It’s all about prioritising your lover’s pleasure preferences. Do they enjoy when you take the lead and let them revel in your touch, tease and temptation? If so, spend longer on their body and use foreplay as your best friend before leading into the big moment. If your lover enjoys being more dominant in the bedroom, you can accommodate that sexy alpha-personality by surrendering your control within the remit of what feels comfortable for you both.
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Not talking your love language?
Maybe you’re less of a hands-on person, and would prefer to show your partner you care through physical touch or giving gifts. If acts of service isn’t your love language, find out which one is here.