Acts of Service Love Language: How to Use It in Your Relationship
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When it feels like something is wrong in your relationship, it is normal to find yourself in a time of extreme anxiety, stress, and worry. A healthy relationship relies on openness, communication, and trust, and if any of these begin to dwindle then you may start to feel like a distance is forming between you and your spouse or partner.
Noticing that something isn’t right in your relationship can be the first step to fixing it. Many women find it useful to understand and recognize the 5 love languages that partners use to show each other love. One language, in particular, known as acts of service, can help couples reconnect and experience love on a deeper level.
Here we will look at how the acts of service love language could help you and your partner grow back together.
The 5 Love Languages
Dr. Gary Chapman, an experienced marriage counselor, described the 5 love languages that different couples use to show each other love.
These languages are:
- Words of Affirmation – using verbal compliments and encouragement, as well as regularly saying “I love you”, to show your love.
- Receiving Gifts – purchasing thoughtful gifts to show that you think of your partner when you’re apart.
- Quality Time – giving your undivided attention to each other away from all distractions, so that you can focus purely on yourselves.
- Physical Touch – dedicating regular time to kisses, cuddles, and sex to show your love and appreciation for each other.
- Acts of Service – completing tasks or acting in a way that helps your partner see how much you value them.
Acts of Service Love Language
The acts of service love language is one that is commonly required to feel valued, loved, and appreciated. Sometimes thought of as a practical love language, those who value acts of service will feel most loved when their partner performs thoughtful tasks. These acts might include picking up groceries on the way home from work or running you a bubble bath if they can see that you need to unwind.
Why do Acts of Service Make You Feel Loved?
Because the acts of service require time, your partner has to sacrifice their own time and dedicate physical energy to demonstrate their love for you. Women commonly feel that the time dedication required is a stronger indicator of their partner’s love for them than physical affection or gift-giving, for example.
Examples of Acts of Service
If you or your partner feel most loved or appreciated through acts of service, it can take some time to get used to performing these acts. Much-loved acts of service include:
- Preparing dinner and clearing away afterward
- Making a note of any dream vacation destinations and booking a weekend away or the surprise trip of a lifetime
- Taking responsibility for chores your partner doesn’t enjoy, such as taking out the trash or dealing with household bills
- Playing to your individual strengths; if one of you is great with plants, take on the backyard. If one can handle power tools, take responsibility for building any furniture purchased together.
- Paying attention to each other’s schedule. On one partner’s busy day, the other can fix dinner or do the laundry to minimize the mental and physical load on that day.
When Acts of Service Are Missing
If you prefer acts of service love language to feel loved, you can feel disappointed if your needs are not met by your intimate partner. Feeling that you are doing all of the domestic chores or that your partner doesn’t help out can mean that you feel unsupported or unloved.
In these situations, you might begin to worry about your relationship, taking any anxiety or anger out on your partner. If it feels like something doesn’t add up, you may even find yourself withdrawing from them as a form of emotional protection.
Although these might be your natural responses to relationship stress, they are unlikely to help you overcome any problems that are present.
Communication in Your Relationship
If your partner is unaware of your need for acts of service and, therefore, doesn’t fulfill them, it can make you feel insecure and even unloved.
Communicating your needs to your partner is, therefore, key to strengthening your bond with each other. If your partner is unaware that they need to perform acts of service, you will need to broach the subject with them to make sure you are both getting what you need.
Telling your partner what you want may not come naturally. Many women have become accustomed to meeting their partner’s needs whilst their own remain unmet. It can be helpful to talk through your relationship desires with an impartial therapist. This gives many women the courage and verbal tools to speak honestly with their partners. Encouragingly, when both partners know how to show their love for each other, a relationship that feels unsteady can quickly become strengthened.
Acts of service is a love language appreciated by many women. When your partner performs thoughtful tasks that take the pressure off you, you will most likely feel supported, appreciated, and loved.
It can be helpful to work through your feelings, as well as any anxiety, with an experienced therapist who can help you understand what might help you feel more secure in your relationship.
Learning how to talk to your partner about your individual love languages can lead to a secure, healthy relationship that is built on demonstrating love in a language that you both understand.