Couples Therapy and The 5 Love Languages: Acts of Service
If you have been following along with my recent blogs, I’m in the middle of a series of posts all about The 5 Love Languages from Gary Chapman. I’m trying to give some ideas of the different ways to incorporate them into relationships, and my first blog in this series was a couple of weeks ago. I gave a good high level overview of The 5 Love Languages, and then I received a number of questions and comments about the best ways to approach each of the different Love Languages. and how to implement them in relationships. So, I decided to take some time to address each one of them in its own individual blog post.
Last week was all about Quality Time, and this week, I’m going to be talking about Acts of Service. You’ll want to stayed tuned in over the next few weeks, as I’ll be addressing Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, and Gifts. If you haven’t already taken the online Love Languages Quiz, I do recommend taking a few minutes to see which Love Languages work best for you in your relationships and how you give and receive love.
Alright, let’s jump on in and talk a little about Acts of Service
An Act of Service really doesn’t have to be complicated, although if you want to go above and beyond, that’s great! I’m going to keep it fairly simple in my suggestions, and the first thing I want you to keep in mind is to not overthink things. One of the biggest keys to this Love Language is empathy. I’m asking you to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and start thinking of ways you can make their lives easier or less stressful. Start thinking of things you could do to make them feel loved through your actions.
Maybe your significant other has had a very long week at work, and they are just exhausted by the time the weekend arrives. Why not give them a mini-spa experience at home. Run them a bubble bath, light a few candles and lay out their favorite comfy sweats to put on after a nice long relaxing bath. You may even want to turn on their favorite music to help them relax. This would literally take less than 10 minutes to set up, but if you’re partner receives love through Acts of Service, it could really go a long way to make them feel special.
A common Act of Service I encourage my clients to try is to cook them their favorite dinner just because you want them to feel your love. If you aren’t a great cook, that’s ok! There are no shortages of online tutorials and videos you could watch to help you out, or you could pick up a premade dinner and plate it on the nice dinnerware. Remember the thought is the thing that counts the most. We are trying to create an environment where you’re showing your love through your actions. And even if the dinner doesn’t come out as planned, they will likely be so touched you took the time to try. You could even order take-out and watch a favorite movie. That’s a great example of how the Love Languages can combine together and overlap. Cooking/preparing dinner is an Act of Service and then watching a movie could fall under the category from last week’s blog of Quality Time.
Another idea is showing love through the Act of Service of cleaning the house. When I see couples in my office for marriage counseling or couples therapy, I do emphasize them importance of sharing household chores, but I want you to imagine how much it would mean to your partner if they walked in the door to a spotlessly clean house. The best part is they didn’t have to lift a finger in cleaning it, because you did it for them. Sometimes even just picking one chore to mark off the list would be a huge help and make them feel very loved and cared for.
Laundry can seem like it’s never ending… Maybe you could do all the laundry and put it all away. This doesn’t have to be something you do every day, but the effort will go a long way if it’s something you start doing on a regular basis.
Why not vacuum and mop all the floors while you let them sleep in on a Saturday morning? They will wake up to a clean house and feeling so loved and cared for by you. How would you feel if your partner took the time and invested the effort to do this for you?
Springtime is officially here, and there are outdoor chores to consider too. You could mow the lawn without having to be asked or you could wash and detail their car. If you are both just too busy to get the yard work taken care of, you could decide to hire someone to do it for you. That’s a way to combine Acts of Service with a Gift. I’ll be talking more about giving gifts in a future blog posting about couples therapy and The 5 Love Languages so be sure to check back for the next installments in this series.
Thinking back on last week’s blog post about Quality Time, it can be pretty easy to combine it with Acts of Service. Washing both of your cars together as a couple could be a fun way to accomplish a goal and also spend some quality time together. Chores are a necessity, so I suggest having some fun with them. Get the job done and then have fun spraying each other with the water hose or throwing bubbles. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest, and when we are in a relationship, we need to remember to have fun. It can’t be serious and work all the time, so be thinking of ways to incorporate work and play.
I’m starting to talk about developing your relationship template, and I feel like I could go on and on about the development of the relationship template, but that will have to be saved for another blog post in the future.
There are so many ways to show your love through Acts of Service in your relationship. I’ve tried to give you a few suggestions to get you started thinking in this way, but I encourage you to have a conversation about these idea with your partner. Acts of Service can go such a long way to show someone how much you care and appreciate them. Ask them what would mean the most to them, and remember, these Acts of Service don’t have to take much time or effort from you, but they can mean so very much to the one you love.
If you’re interested in setting up an appointment for couples therapy or marriage counseling, or if you would like more information about The 5 Love Languages and ways to implement them into your life and relationship, you can call my office directly at 314-485-9189 or feel free to send me a message. My direct email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more life and relationship tips!