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WOW! I did a little poll on my Instagram stories asking for ideas if your spouses’ love language is Acts of Service and got a ton of awesome ideas – 65, to be exact ;)!
More importantly, I had a breakthrough about the difference between household chores and ‘stuff you should do’ versus expressing love via Acts of Service… the thing that makes them different, even when the actual task (like emptying the dishwasher, for example) is the INTENTION behind it.
Backing it up a bit… if you aren’t familiar with the 5 Love Languages it’s a book that outlines the 5 ways people like to give and receive love. I have *not* read the book but I’m putting it on my list because I have heard it better illustrates the nuances (dialects!) within languages and helps you understand more about the entire concept.
Basically, the 5 Love Languages are: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Service.
What is Acts of Service?
In the context of love languages, acts of service refer to one of the five ways in which individuals express and perceive love. For those who resonate with this love language, meaningful actions and practical gestures hold the utmost importance. These actions are undertaken to show love, care, and consideration for their partner. Whether it’s helping with chores, preparing a meal, or providing assistance in various tasks, acts of service serve as tangible demonstrations of affection.
Basically, for a person whose love language is Acts of Service, actions literally speak louder than words.
Honestly, it’s oftentimes really difficult to speak someone else’s love language. For me, when I think of acts of service, I think of household chores – most of which I already handle. For me, acts of service sometimes feel like acts of servitude – which isn’t a great feeling for anyone.
I think being fluent in this love language means anticipating ways to make your partner’s life easier and to serve as a teammate in the mundane ‘adulting’ stuff.
I have a tendency to feel resentful when the bulk of household ‘stuff’ falls onto me while I have a partner who feels loved when I handle these things. So it’s honestly a challenge that I’ve struggled with in the past.
But I understand how important it is to love and be loved in your own way so I’m really open to figuring out what kinds of Acts of Service I can do without feeling like a maid… which is why I asked my Instagram gals for ideas!
65 Acts of Service Love Language Ideas:
- Pay a bill before your spouse gets to it.
- Make breakfast in the morning.
- Have their clothes washed, folded and put away.
- Make their favorite treat.
- Iron their favorite work clothes so it’s done and ready when they go to wear it.
- Help with yard work or one of ‘his’ chores.
- Pack their lunch for the day.
- Make their cup of coffee in the morning.
- Wash their car.
- Take on chores that they hate. Scheduling appointments, etc.
- Fill their car with gas.
- Help them with a project they’re working on… could be household or work.
- Take the kids to school/daycare on a day that they’re supposed to.
- Do the dishes/put them away.
- Ask “what can I help you with?”
- Make the bed.
- Match their socks.
- Picking up their favorite snacks from the store.
- Let them do something for them without complaining about it (a night out, a weekend away, a golf session, etc)
- Ask “what can I do to make your day better today?”
- Plan a date.
- Ask if they want a snack or drink while you’re up.
- Get their car detailed.
- Make their favorite meal.
- Mow the lawn or have it mowed.
- Organize their drawers.
- Clean up dinner.
- Leave a little note in their work stuff.
- Buy their toiletries when they’re getting low without them having to ask.
- Get up with the kids and let your spouse sleep in.
- Make a music playlist and share it with them.
- Change the sheets.
- Have lunch delivered to their work.
- Remember to do things when they ask you to do them. Especially if it’s a favor to them. <– editor’s note – I am notoriously bad at this… it’ll get done but maybe not the day I say it will and I never realized how crazy it drives someone who prioritizes Acts of Service
- Complete a house project that’s been on their list for a long time.
- Meal prep something they like… ex: breakfast burritos.
- Complete an errand that they hate.
- Clean up the dog poop/take out the trash/anything that’s ‘their’ chore.
- Make a podcast playlist for them.
- Toss their towel in the dryer while they shower so they have a warm towel to use. <– another editor’s note – I’m SHOCKED at how many people recommended this/do this! So spa-like ?
- Pre-set the coffee pot so it’s always ready when they wake up.
- Grocery shop for the house.
- Make their plate at meals.
- Do something they plan to do before they get to it.
- Get a sitter and plan a surprise date night.
- Bring them breakfast in bed.
- Pick up an area of the house that drives them nuts. For us, it would be the kitchen island.
- Go to one of their sporting events/hobbies to watch (ie softball, golf, whatever).
- Plan meals for the week.
- Help with something without being asked.
- Bring the trashcan in from the curb.
- Schedule their haircut, dentist appointments, etc.
- Clean their shoes with a magic eraser to make them look new again.
- Drop off/Pick up their clothes from the dry cleaner.
- Organize the pantry.
- When they ask for something do it right then or shortly after.
- Help them do something nice for someone they care about.
- Get them a snack when you get one for yourself.
- Start their car before it’s time to leave so it’s warm or cool.
- If you’re out running errands, call or text asking if you can pick anything up for them.
- Handle the logistics of a weekend away/plan a trip.
- Clean out/organize their inbox.
- Add calendar reminders for birthdays, anniversaries, kids’ games, etc.
- Leave a joke or love note in their lunch, travel bag, gym bag, on their banana – wherever!
- And the ultimate… carry his child 😉 – kind of joking kind of not ?
I also just have to add… I’m sure not everyone does all these things every day/week/month. One of the patterns I see here is ‘without them asking/having to ask’ which probably brings a lot more intention and thought into the entire process.
Not all of these will be important or helpful to your spouse, but hopefully, you found a few gems that will really help you show Acts of Service in a way that works for you, your spouse, and your fam!
One more thought on love languages in general… I definitely think a person’s love language preferences change over the years as life changes. For instance, I think my need for Words of Affirmation increased when I left my corporate job to work from home solo and handle more household and parenting duties. Toddlers aren’t really known for their ‘awesome job, mom! you really made my life better today’ compliments after a long day.