Yesterday, I introduced the five love languages and 10 ways to say I love you through Words of Affirmation. Today we’ll look at the second and third love languages—Acts of Service and Gifts—with 20 more creative ways to say I love you this Valentine’s Day, or any day of the year.
Acts of Service: Putting Words into Action
This is my highest love language; perhaps because this was the example I saw most growing up.
It’s proving your affection through deeds. Here are ten suggestions to get you started.
11. When they mention how much they would appreciate it if you did ______, do your best to make it happen in a timely manner. This makes them feel important and valued.
12. Offer to do a chore they dread, to give them an unexpected break.
13. Look for ways to make something you’re doing already, help them out. Pick up their dishes along with yours after dinner and load them in the dishwasher, or see if they need anything while you’re running errands to save them a trip.
14. Make an effort to do things they’ve said mean a lot to them. My husband loves it when I greet him at the door after work. I can’t be there every time, but when I can, I greet him with open arms and a welcome home kiss.
15. When they are sick or going through a tough time at work, ask what they need the most—time alone, to be pampered, a long soak in the tub—and try to make it happen.
16. When they are injured, offer to bring them an ice or heat pack, pillows, meds, or read to them while they convalesce.
17. Surprise them by doing something you wouldn’t normally do, when they’re feeling overwhelmed by life. My brother-in-law surprised my sister by taking a day off from work to create a rock path in their yard. She really appreciated it because he hates yard work! And my daughter, with two active boys, then one and two, returned home from Women’s Retreat to a clean house and laundry done; what a way to welcome her back!
18. Offer a neck or shoulder rub after a hard day.
19. Surprise them with a cup of ice water when they’re working outside in the sun, or a mug of hot coffee on a cold day. Pause while you’re there to ooh and ah over their efforts.
20. Make or buy their favorite treat—especially meaningful when they’re not on a diet and there’s no special occasion except to show you love them.
Gifts: Presents of all Sorts
People who have this love language don’t necessarily expect big, expensive gifts, but items that say “I was thinking of you.”
21. My husband knows I love daffodils. We were almost home the other night when he circled back to a nearby field and jumped out of the car. He searched in the dark for two daffodils he had spotted earlier that day and picked them for me. It meant more than a dozen roses.
22. Pick up random items that you know they love, and then surprise them when they need a lift: ping pong balls, homemade caramels, a mug, a tool or kitchen gadget.
23. If they call during the day and tell you they’re sick, offer to pick up meds, a favorite magazine, comfort food, or a movie.
24. Bring out the kid in them: invest in bubbles, balloons, or a simple toy from the dollar store and have fun together.
25. Big ticket items are nice too. A gift certificate for a massage, a weekend away, or tickets to a concert or play they want to see. If you plan to surprise them, make sure their schedule is clear and that they know what to wear so they’re comfortable and relaxed.
26. Commemorate the time you’ve been together with items that represent specific memories: a coffee card from the place you met, a t-shirt from where you spent your honeymoon, a framed picture of a favorite family time.
27. Surprise them on their birthday or holiday with something they mentioned wanting months earlier. Cell phones are a handy way to snap pictures of the item and price details, or keep a running “wish list” they don’t know about.
28. Give them a day to enjoy with a best friend, parent, sibling, or child that they may not feel they can spend money on. It shows you value the other relationships in their life too.
29. Give a gift in remembrance of a deceased loved one: a plant for the yard, a photo album of pictures, or something they can use frequently that reminds them of fond memories.
30. What are they passionate about? Would they appreciate clothes or equipment to workout in; is there a tool they would love; a magazine about their work or hobby; is there a conference, museum, or event they would love to go to?
Tomorrow, in part 3 of “Fifty Ways to Say I Love You,” we’ll look at the last two love languages: Quality Time and Meaningful Touch. I hope you will check in then.