According to the best-selling book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts there are five different ways in which people like to give and receive affection towards their loved ones. Problems arise in relationships when we don’t realize that people have these different ways of giving love. One person may feel unloved if their partner doesn’t tell them explicitly about their feelings every day while another could never hear “I love you” but be totally blissful as long as they spend hours together watching Netflix every week. If you or your partner’s love language is acts of service, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. They fill your car up with gas, because they know you hate making the stop.
2. They handle chores around the house they know you don’t like to do. If you hate dishes the most, they’ve made it their domain to always be in charge of dinner clean-up. If you’re domestic but not handy, they handle the outdoor chores like yard work and minor repairs around the house.
3. Sometimes you laugh a little because they grumble about driving out to help you with a flat tire or picking you up from the airport — but you both know they absolutely love being the person you rely on for stuff like that. Their biggest sense of pride is knowing that you are taken care of because you have them in your life.
4. If they’re away from you for a little while for a work trip or whatever you always find yourself a little bit surprised at how much extra work you seem to have. They help you so much, and with such little complaint that it’s easy to forget how much they do for you.
5. They like to pay for meals when you go out to eat together. Money is considered an act of service because it represents something they’ve worked for, and something they can do to make you less stressed and feel more taken care of.
6. In winter months they warm your car up in the morning so that by the time you get in it to go to work it’s already hot and cozy.
7. They also get up early so they can shovel the walkway and sprinkle salt on the ground so they know you won’t slip.
8. They love to pack you lunch. They might not be great with words or with slipping little love notes in, but you should consider the meal itself a love note. They don’t want you to do the work of making your own lunch, they want you to know they’ve got you covered.
9. They’ll use whatever strengths they have to upgrade your life. If your partner is great at computers, they’ll help you set up yours so that it serves you better. If they’re a chef, they’ll help you reorganize your kitchen so that simple cooking is easier for you. Whatever they happen to be great at is a gift they’ll use to benefit you every day.
10. They feel a little disgruntled if you have to ask them to do something for you. A big joy they have in your relationship is attempting to provide these things for you without you having to ask. Try to observe all the subtle ways they help you ever day and express gratitude for how seamlessly they do it.
11. They pay a lot of attention to your daily routine. They know what you enjoy doing and what feels like a frustrating chore. They know what you’re always forgetting to do. They observe what makes you feel better when you are stressed. Acts of service people tend to know their partner’s daily life more intimately than any other type, and they use their power to try to make your life better, every day.