There are five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical touch, Acts of Service, and receiving gifts. This is the third part in a series where I will look at these love languages, and talk about how to survive long distance for each one. Today I’m focusing on Acts of Service.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: long distance is hard.
There’s no way around it.
But when you find yourself in a long distance relationship, whether it is romantic, familial, or even a best friend, you might turn to the internet for answers. Looking for stories from others who have gone through similar experiences to see how they learned to cope. But they’re not your stories. And those people aren’t you.
Things suggested in advice posts aren’t tailored to your individual experience, and often miss the mark. And while I can’t give you tailored advice, I can give you advice based on your LDR’s love language.
Which might be the next best thing.
You found out your LDR’s Love Language is Acts of Service. Now what?
Perhaps surprisingly, Acts of Service is one of the love languages best suited for long distance.
Part of this is because these acts usually don’t require you to share a physical space with the other person. While some everyday acts you’ll see mentioned online aren’t possible if you’re not in the same location (like taking out the garbage or shoveling the sidewalk) there are so many ways to show love even when far away.
When people talk about Acts of Service it’s important to remember that what makes the acts special is that they are done without prompting and often by surprise.
Acts of Service aren’t doing your share of chores, or completing something you had been asked to do. But going above and beyond without having to be asked. It’s also important to note that this doesn’t have to be huge things.
It can be small simple things that show you care.
A Few Ideas for Long Distance Acts of Service
There’s plenty of things that can be done to help out your long distance love. It usually requires you to be a little creative, but they can be easily accomplished. To start you just need to figure out what your Long Distance Love is putting off or needs help with, then you figure out how to help them.
Have they been putting off getting groceries?
Offer to order them.
Have they been meaning to call and cancel a subscription?
Say that you’ll do it on their behalf.
It’s all about taking things off their plates to make their life easier. Of course, in a lot of these cases, you won’t be able to use the surprise element: Sending the random five dollars for coffee is one thing, but it’s important to get consent if you’re completing a larger task. So remember to ask before doing anything like this though.
The phrase “would it help if I…” is going to be a great go to.
The best way to find ways to help your long distance love is to listen to them and see what they’re struggling with. If there’s a way for you to help out from afar, offer it. Just remember to actually follow through. It’s the act that matters, not the offer.
So if you offer to do something, do it to the best of your ability, and don’t take on more than you can handle.
That won’t help out anyone.
Remember: Acts of Service is love, not laziness
When we talk about Acts of Service people can distort it to mean that the person with this love language is just lazy. Or that they want everyone to serve them because they think they’re so great.
This is usually not the case!
Acts of service is all about feeling loved and appreciated when people lend a hand. Even just listening to your long distance love, even if there’s nothing you can necessarily do to help, is gonna be a great way to communicate your love for them regardless of your love language.
A final note: be honest with each other.
Accept help where you want it, and ask when you need it.
You can’t ask for more than that!