The acts of service love language describes the process of feeling love and adoration through visible actions. Acts of service is one of the five love languages that help to explain the different ways in which we like to express and receive love.
But, what is the acts of service love language, how is it used to create a good relationship, and what are some of the best acts of service examples and ideas to try? We’ve covered all this — and more — below!
Love Languages: A Recap of the Concept
If you haven’t yet heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages, there’s no time like now to get acquainted with them! The concept has become increasingly popular in recent years, helping to inform couples — and singles — about the ways we express and receive love. Below, we’ve put together a quick recap of the five love languages.
• Acts of service: Giving and receiving love through visible, meaningful actions that offer genuine support and help.
• Quality time: Demonstrating love through spending meaningful time together without any outside distractions.
• Gifts: Expressing and feeling love through the giving and receiving of gifts that demonstrate genuine adoration.
• Words of affirmation: The use of genuine, meaningful words to encourage, support, express gratitude, and show love to a partner.
• Physical touch: Showing and expressing love through authentic physical contact such as hand-holding, massaging, or cuddling on the couch.
You can take the quiz here to determine your most prominent love language.
What Is the Acts of Service Love Language?
An act of service is an expression of love and adoration through a physical gesture. This means that those who relate to the acts of service love language feel most loved when someone does something for them. From afar, this might seem a bit high-maintenance and lazy. But, at its core, acts of service are about expressing love through meaningful actions that offer genuine help and support.
For those with this love language, actions speak a lot louder than words. When someone goes out of their way to make your life a little easier, you feel valued. So instead of telling this person, you love them, do something for them that you know they’ll appreciate.
Dating Someone Whose Love Language Is Acts of Service
So, you’ve both taken the quiz, and you’ve discovered that your partner relates to the acts of service love language. What do you do now?
• Make note of the little things: How do they like their cup of coffee? What are their favorite flowers? What have they been meaning to do around the house but haven’t had time to do? Keeping these small details in mind will help to ensure that your gestures are authentic and meaningful.
• Think about what they don’t like doing: Whether it’s cleaning the bathroom, taking the trash out, or walking the dog first thing in the morning, helping them out with things they don’t like doing will show them how much you care.
• Focus on acts of service that are easy to fit into your schedule: For example, having a smoothie ready for them after their workout before they head to the office or packing their lunch while you pack your own.
• Play to your strengths: What’s something you’re great at that your partner struggles with? Maybe it’s fixing the leaky tap, putting a shelf up, or changing the oil in the car. Helping them out with these tasks will offer genuine support.
Dating someone with acts of service isn’t about doing everything for them. It’s about using small pockets of your time to do small things that offer genuine, meaningful support.
Receiving Acts of Service
What if you’re the one who relates to the acts of service love language?
• Communicate this to your partner: Tell them how much it means to you when someone does something meaningful for you.
• Be specific about which actions matter most to you: Your partner’s not a mind reader. Let them know which acts are most important so they can focus on these. Chances are this will change depending on what’s going on in your life.
• Appreciate what they do: When you notice your partner has gone out of their way to do something nice for you, acknowledge it. No one likes to feel taken for granted or used. What we appreciate grows.
• Remember that they might have to say no: There will inevitably be times when your partner cannot perform an act of service for you. This doesn’t mean they love you any less, so try to always remain accommodating and understanding.
Acts of Service Examples: 17 Top Ideas to Try
When it comes to acts of service love language ideas, knowing where to start isn’t always easy. The important thing to remember is that it’s not about the size or scale of the gesture, but the meaningfulness and thought behind it.
To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of 17 of our favorite acts of service examples. Check these out below!
1. Serve them breakfast in bed
2. Let them sleep in while you make the kids breakfast and get them ready for school
3. Spontaneously take them out for dinner after they’ve had a long day at work
4. Look after them when they’re sick
5. Send them a romantic goodnight text
6. Hold doors open for them
7. Take charge of and complete a household task that they haven’t had time to finish yet
8. Make them a special lunch when they’ve got a busy day ahead
9. Show genuine interest in a new hobby they’ve just taken up
10. Set them up with a cozy Friday night-in with snacks and romantic Netflix movies
11. Take out the trash
12. Pick the kids up from school when they’re having a stressful day at work
13. Surprise them with a romantic, home-cooked dinner
14. Plan a vacation for you to go on together
15. Pickup their favorite snack or sweat treat on your way home
16. Pack away their clothes and suitcase after they’ve been on a work trip
17. Buy them something that you know they’ve wanted for a long time
Understanding the Acts of Service Love Language
You and your partner have the same primary love language, but, likely, you don’t. So, if your partner relates to the acts of service love language, take time to understand this, even when it doesn’t come naturally to you. This is what relationships are all about. Learning to communicate effectively even when you’re coming from different perspectives.
And don’t forget, you can use love languages outside of relationships. Ask your friends, family, kids, and coworkers to complete the quiz so you can give love to each other in more meaningful ways.