I’m a lot. My girlfriends say it, the ghosts of boyfriends past echo it, and even my mom agrees…. “You are not the easiest person to deal with”. Hell, I’ve heard it so much over the years that EVEN I agree that I may be a little extra compared to all the other women I know.
If you do not know the 5 Love Languages, first, I want to know what rock you have been living under… second, you can read more about them here. You will need this background to understand the next 4.5 minutes of easy reading as predicted by WordPress.
I’m honestly not surprised that acts of service beat out all the other love languages by tsunami, followed by an avalanche, coupled with a landslide. The other languages stood no chance. Out of a 30 question test, 15 of my answers pointed straight to Acts of Service with the remainder split almost evenly across the other Love Languages. And sadly for my fiance, physical touch was dead last.
Remember, my middle name is “Daddy Issues”, so why not have my definition of love hinge on how much effort you put in to show me that its real? As a coping mechanism, I trained myself to believe that JUST showing up is the definitive sign that you truly love me. I vividly remember 9-year old me, full of sass and wise beyond my years, rolling my eyes, listening to my dad on the phone talking big shit about visiting me for my birthday. Me thinking, “How Sway??”, when just to talk to you this evening, I had to ‘agree to accept the charges’ ???
How about you work on staying out of prison for longer than 5 minutes, get a job, get your life together, and THEN try to make up for 9 years of being a deadbeat? Eventually, years of broken promises from all my father figures forged a iron-clad suit of armor around my emotions. And I became cut-throat, relentless, and dogged in my beliefs. If you love me, you will show up. You don’t show up…. f*ck you, I knew you weren’t going to anyway.
And unfortunately, this intricately crafted breastplate, resilient, battle-tested, and powerful, has accompanied me into all my relationships. And honestly makes it impossible for me to date anyone who isn’t a robot. Don’t show up, forget, or drop the ball, you ain’t sh*t. Simple. As. That.
Ok, it shouldn’t be too difficult to be a person of your word. Just show up and do what you say you are gonna do. That sounds straight-forward, right? NOPE. Let’s delve a little deeper and understand why the Acts of Service is possibly one of the hardest Love Languages to master and possibly makes all Acts of Service lovers seem like they are one bird short of the cuckoo’s nest…
At their core, Acts of Service people are those people who value efficiency, productivity, and function over form. They are typically high functioning individuals with busy schedules and a strong sense of independence. We rarely ask for help, and people rarely feel the need to help us because we seem to have it “all under control”. We typically ARE the Calvary, supporting others through their battles, building bridges, storming mountainsides, and ambushing the enemy to rescue a co-worker, family member, or friend. I’m not always there when you call, but I’m always on time. And I gave you my all, now baby be mine. And treat we each and every person in our life, the only we way know how.
All that being said, Acts of Service people HATE requesting others do things for them because they hate feeling demanding or burdensome. We will get in the trenches for others, sacrificing ourselves and putting others needs ahead of our own. But when our own crap hits the fan, we are fully prepared to ride on our own.
But deep down inside we are desperately hoping someone will step in and offer a helping hand. Yup, I am literally telling you that Acts of Service people don’t like asking for help, but really really really want someone to offer and follow-through. Now, lets add another little monkey wrench… we want you to do it without even being told. And we want you to do it because you WANT to do it, not because we asked you. I know, that sounds like it is too damn much. And maybe it is, maybe we are a little nuts.
My fiancé often looks at me like I’m a mystical creature, sh*tting out magical gold coins when I say that I should not have to tell him everything I need help with, that he should take initiative to suggest things or do things. He basically feels like he’s expected to be a mind-reader. And I get that… I get why for many people they would be at a loss in trying to love their Acts of Service partner.
People have the need to know that what they are doing is right, that the path they are traveling down is the correct one, and that it ins’t a waste of time. But I cannot generate a magic list of everything that someone could ever possibly do to support me. That would literally be a full-time job. And to be quite honest, there are seemingly inconsequential things that someone could do that would make me over the moon that I may not even think to write down. At the end of the day, what we are craving is someone who cares enough to pay attention and take some mental notes, try different things, have a conversation, ask questions in an effort to help lift some of the load and stress in our lives.
And that is why I say we are probably the most infuriating of all the Love Languages. We don’t know what we need, we can’t always articulate what we want. We crave help and support, but can’t bring ourselves to ask for it. Then we want you to find joy in supporting us and offer on you own.
As I write this, I agree, it is a lot. But I promise that if you learn to love me in my language, I am worth it. I am ride or die. I love hard. I remain loyal. I will take the shirt off my back, give you my last dime, and then hit the streets to hustle for your come-up. You won’t have a better ally, soldier, commander, or servant….
By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answer to our own. ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf