Acts of service are simply things you do for your partner. You're not doing it to suck up to them, you're doing it because you want to. Simple things like taking the lead on a file and writing an agenda for a meeting before your partner has to. Making the deposit. Cleaning the executive washroom.

Responding to an unspoken request gives direction to a relationship, just like demands and the responses they get give direction to a relationship. Those directions are opposite, if you haven't caught the drift. Love is given, not demanded.

Are you demanding and critical? There's nothing wrong with saying "Yes," in response to that. Being demanding and critical, when tempered with a strong sense of justice when dealing with others, is required of entrepreneurs from time to time. Just remember that if your love language is having things done for you, you can't command that they be done, nor should you expect your partner to know that's what they should be doing to soothe the savage beast within you.

What we do for each other before formalizing a partnership is nothing compared to what we do or don't do for each after the event. Often, we slip up, and begin doing things for our partner that they don't recognize as an act of service. If getting up early and vacuuming the carpets leaves your partner highly appreciative of the impression it leaves an early visitor or group, do it. Don't make a big deal about it, and don't leave it until after they're gone.

We also tend to criticize our partners most loudly in areas where we ourselves have the deepest emotional need. So, if you're being criticized by your partner, get down to the basics - what is their greatest need that is behind their criticism? You'd better be pretty mature, if you want to get to that level.

Some people allow themselves to be used, turned into doormats as it were, or worse - objects to be used for gratification by others. Unfortunately for them, they become a little less human, when they do that. An act of service has nothing to do with slavery or a willingness to be one. It has everything to do with demonstrating, by deed, that someone else is as important as you.

Which brings us to the fifth love language, after words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, and acts of service...

Author's Bio: 

he Publisher of HomeBizNews, Lorne Peasland, is a former advertising agency owner and national media consultant, the founder and past-president of the Canadian Home & Micro Business Federation, and author of "Influencing Public Opinion - A Communications Primer For Political Candidates, Community Activists, and Special Interest Group Spokespeople" (ISBN 0-9697364-0-1). He is a home-based marketing consultant, writer and speaker, and can be contacted through either of his web pages at http://www.accept.ca/homebiznews/lorne.html or
http://www.accept.ca/homebiznews/pms2.html, via e-mail at
lorne@pacificcoast.net., or by phone at 250-708-0250.