The 5 Love Languages: Acts of Service

Acts of Service is one of the five “love languages” identified by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages. If this is your initial encounter with the five love languages, we suggest that you read our summary of each love language first.

This article aims to help you better understand Acts of Service. If this is your love language, you’ll be equipped with information and talking points for your partner in the following section. The final section is for the significant other of someone with this love language. It will help you understand what this love language means to your partner.

Washing a fork doing the dishes

Your Love Language

If Acts of Service is your love language, this section will help you better understand why these servant actions impact you with meaning. You’ll learn how to express this desire for service to your partner too. It will help them understand your love language better and also develop a more meaningful relationship.

Understanding the Language

Acts of service make you feel noticed and loved. It’s an excellent way for your partner to build a lasting home deep in your heart. To you, nothing says “I love you” like helping out in tangible ways.

Actions speak louder than words. This is one of the truest statements for you, especially when it comes to displaying love. The person who loves you will take an interest in your ongoings. This is true for most people, but in your eyes, they will go a step further and contribute to what you’re doing. 

Going the extra mile is an impactful form of love to you. When someone completes their tasks but still chooses to help with yours, it’s a hard feeling to put into words. All you know is that you feel loved.

When the tasks start to pile up, people get frustrated and overwhelmed. However, this feeling is amplified for you and can even bring on panic attacks in some. This helps explain why you feel so loved when someone offers to help or takes it upon themselves to complete a task for you.

Talking to Your Significant Other

What good is it to know your primary love language if you don’t teach it to be spoken? Don’t just internalize what you’ve read about it. The information above needs to be passed to your partner.

It’s important not to have your partner conflate this love language with being your personal butler. Whenever you try to talk to them about it, this is the trap that misconception will spring on them. Avoid that by telling them you aren’t expecting a servant.

Explain to them in your own words how you feel when a burden is removed from your plate of responsibilities. Don’t forget, the weight that’s been lifted is a familiar feeling to them also. Telling them how important it is for you to experience that feeling because of them is key.

We recommend you go as far as to tell them about the five love languages. That way, they can read about it themselves and also discover their own love language by taking the test.

Their Love Language

People tend to display their love to others in their own love language. That makes sense because it demonstrates Jesus’ command in Luke 6:31. We should do to others as we would have them do to us, right?

Yes, but the golden rule isn’t really applicable here. In context, that verse is actually about loving your enemies! How much more should you do to others you love romantically? Your partner’s love language is something that you should want to understand.  

Understanding the Language

Performing acts of service are the best way to show your partner that you love them. Nevertheless, it’s not the only avenue for showing love to your partner. They still feel loved by the other approaches too, so keep it fresh in your romance with them by showing them your love in other ways also.

Your partner is likely someone with responsibilities. They’re probably a task-oriented person who’s all about checking boxes and crossing things off the to-do list. They might even get overwhelmed from time to time with what needs to be completed. These traits are key to understanding why they value acts of service.

You have the ability to shape their mood. If multiple responsibilities start piling up, they can become quite frustrated and irritable. If their to-do list keeps getting longer, they can wonder if you see their contribution and value their efforts. This is where asserting yourself in a proactive way will make them feel loved.

Relieving one or two of their responsibilities is a way to make them feel really seen by you. Having been seen, they feel loved by the completion of whatever task you chose to take off their to-do list. They recognize that you went out of your way to finish one of their tasks. You shared in their responsibility and cared for them by relieving a burden.

Having a Servant Attitude

Showing your partner love is all about having a servant attitude. This is not to be confused with a butler mindset. You’re not waiting on their every need, you’re just being willing to help and searching for those opportunities.

Some people will appreciate the garage cleaned out without having to ask that it be done. Some people will be more thankful for a spotlessly cleaned kitchen. Others still might find the most value in seeing the dishes done or finding that the garbage has already been taken out. 

When the opportunity presents itself to take a load off their agenda, take it! Your partner just wants to be seen and valued for what they contribute to the relationship. Nothing expresses that more than taking it upon yourself to remove one of their burdens. In this way, they feel both seen and valued as demonstrated by your act of service and love.

Learn More: The 5 Love Languages Resource Hub