People often become uneasy with the idea of serving someone else. This often indicates taking a submissive role to someone else and putting this other person’s needs above their own wants and needs.
However, service can come in a variety of forms. It does not necessarily mean being dominated by someone else. Service is as simple as asking your partner if they would like a drink when you are getting up to get a drink for yourself. Service is doing the dishes or cooking dinner when it is not your turn because your partner had a long day at work.
Other times service may require more from you. Maybe service means letting your partner watch his or her favorite show instead if you watching yours or maybe it means attending an event or program with your significant other, even if you do not really enjoy that type of thing.
Service is such an important of any relationship we have, but it is often difficult to focus on service when we look at our partners. Most of us do not question the idea of service to our children (changing diapers, dropping kids off and picking them up from sports practice, taking them to fun activities and parties, staying up all night with them when they are sick, etc…). However, when it comes to other adults in our lives, this can be more difficult, even though this is an important part of relationships.
Additionally, service is one of the five types of love languages (words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch). Love languages are how we feel loved by another person and just because you are married or dating or engaged or whatever does not mean you have the same love language as your partner.
Ideas for Acts of Service
As mentioned previously, there are endless ways to give service to your partner. Here are some great ideas!
Do something Special for Your Partner
Service does not have to be extravagant. It can be as simple as making breakfast for your partner because you woke up first or giving the children a bath because your partner wants to finish watching a television show or is tired. It can be doing whatever your partner deems as important or special.
This is a good time to look more into what the love languages consist of and determine what makes you feel loved and what makes your partner feel loved. These are several “tests” on the internet to determine what your love language is. Here are some that I was able to find: Option one. Option two. Option three.
No matter how you look into your own love language, it is good to do this activity with your partner so you can talk about it and learn more about each other.
Get out of your comfort zone to do something your partner enjoys
Everyone has their likes and dislikes. Partners enjoy time together and they have activities they enjoy doing that may not be the other’s favorite. However, it is good to get out of your comfort zone periodically to do activities with your partner that he or she enjoys, even if those activities are not your first choice.
For example, my husband LOVES hockey. He began playing hockey in his late forties, plays on a C League team with other firefighters at our local skating facility, and enjoys watching hockey on television. Because of his love of hockey and my love of him, I got him NHL tickets for his 49th birthday. Again, not my favorite thing, but well worth the two-and-a-half-hour drive one direction and the afternoon with him at the rink because he had such a great time! I’m not sure he has enjoyed something that much in quite a long time (besides the grandkids that it)!
Give the opportunity to spend time with friends
Many times the daily tasks of life get in the way of us simply enjoying time with friends and extended family. One way to give service to your partner is to take some of their daily tasks and daily burdens and allow him or her the opportunity to do something with friends.
These types of activities do not have to last for days or be expensive, they can be as simple as allowing your partner to go to the local coffee shop and spend an hour chatting with friends or visit a friend’s home to spend time without having to parent for an hour or two.
Go on new adventures together
Book those airline tickets! Visit the places he talked about seeing in the next state over. Book the cruise she put on her “bucket list.”
When the budget is tighter there are still great options! Go for a walk in the park or visit the local State Park. Go camping or glamping! Enjoy the new restaurant that just opened in town or the one you have been staying you want to eat at for the last year. Start planning for and saving for the amazing cruise or resort stay three years in advance.
Anything works! The idea is doing something new with your partner that you can both explore and enjoy!
Sometimes the best things are simple
Sometimes your partner just needs your attention. He or she may just want to talk about something and need someone to listen to. Often it is the female that needs to talk or vent and the male wants to fix the situation. This is one area that frequently brings conflict in a relationship.
Guys–sometimes (likely many times) she just wants you to listen to her vent. She does not need you to fix her problems or tell her what to do, she just wants to share her stress. This tends to be very difficult for men because they want to make her life easier by helping her, but she is not asking for help. She is simply asking for a friend to listen.
Hopefully, when she truly needs help, she will ask for help and not expect you to guess. This is where good communication comes into play.
Options truly are endless on what you can do to bring joy to your partner. This idea of service can go on and on. These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about yourself and your own relationships!