When you think about the best moments of your relationship — where you found yourself feeling the most loved and appreciated — what did your partner do to demonstrate that? Did they take care of the dishes and the laundry for you on a stressful day, or perhaps surprise you at home with a super thoughtful gift? If you and your partner often show love in these ways, you might have the act of service and gift love languages, respectively.
Created by pastor Gary Chapman, the Five Love Languages are a framework for couples to better understand how to give and receive love with one another. The five love languages — acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time — are all specific ways that someone might prefer to be loved by their S.O. If you and your partner share this specific pairing, you may be wondering about the acts of service and gifts love language compatibility.
Both understanding and honoring your partner’s desired way to feel loved is key to a healthy and long-lasting relationship, according to psychotherapist and relationship coach Toni Coleman, LCSW. “When love languages are out of sync, what often gets communicated is that one's partner doesn't care, isn't interested enough to make an effort, and a number of other negative interpretations that couples often make,” she tells Bustle. Luckily, the acts of service and gifts love languages have some positive elements shared between them — read on for how the two best fit into a relationship.
Sexual Compatibility Of Acts Of Service & Gifts Love Languages
In the bedroom, a couple with acts of service and gifts love languages have a unique juxtaposition that allows them to be an ideal pair. As relationship therapist Jaime Bronstein, LCSW says, “A couple with someone whose love language is acts of service and one that is receiving gifts could be a match made in heaven. The acts of service person is a ‘giver,’ and the gifts is a ‘receiver.’ As long as the couple has chemistry, they should have no problem with being sexually compatible.”
The giving and receiving between a couple with these particular love languages can be both physical and emotional in a sexual setting, allowing for a feeling of total intimacy. This balance between giving and receiving is possible when both partners are intentional about trying to meet each other’s needs and honor their partner’s love language, Coleman says. “When a partner feels valued, loved, respected, and appreciated, it is a real turn on,” she tells Bustle. “Think of it as foreplay.”
Emotional Compatibility Of Acts Of Service & Gifts Love Languages
The selfless nature of these two love languages tends to show up well in their emotional connection. As Bronstein explains, “Their emotional compatibility is off the charts. They are naturally empathetic, so they will not have difficulty understanding one another's love language and how they operate. They will greatly appreciate one another and express their gratitude excessively, which brings joy to both people in the couple.”
Emotional compatibility, according to Coleman, calls for both partners to share physical, intellectual, and friendly chemistry. With the similarities in personality between a person with acts of service love language and someone who prefers gifts, that chemistry can ensure a fantastic emotional connection. “They understand one another and bring out the better sides of one another — and their emotional intimacy is stronger due to that,” Coleman says.
Communication Between Acts Of Service & Gifts Love Languages
In an acts of service and gifts love language pairing, the complementary nature of how each person shows and receives love can easily bring harmony into their union. This allows for more favorable conversations when conflicts might arise or when one partner wants to share a need with the other. “Both parties are usually happy and mesh well together because of their love styles,” says Bronstein. “When you have one person who loves to give and one who loves to receive, it typically means a relationship with lasting potential.”
Their ability and willingness to hear each other out is also a key element of this relationship, Bronstein adds. “Each of these two love languages tends to be great listeners; therefore, their communication should be easy as both will try to understand and validate each other,” she explains.
Dating Compatibility Of Acts Of Service & Gifts Love Languages
Romantically, people with these love languages are often happy to express love in a way that suits their partner well. According to Bronstein, an acts of service partner can offer several gestures that can feel like a “gift” to the other — similar to how the gifts person has a knack for choosing presents that hold personal significance to the receiver. “The acts of service person will want to plan the dates and be creative and thoughtful in doing things for the one they are dating,” says Bronstein. “They love to surprise their receiving gifts counterpart, and the receiving gifts person finds that their attraction grows towards their acts of service date.”
Friendship Compatibility Between Acts Of Service & Gifts Love Languages
Love languages are applicable to any kind of connection, including ones where platonic love is shared. As Coleman says, “Friendship is all about comfort, getting one another, being understood and accepted for who they are.” And friends with acts of service and gifts love languages can definitely create that kind of dynamic.
“These friends are kind and are typically supportive of one another,” says Bronstein. “They want the best for one another, and there is no jealousy. Often these friends both like to give gifts to one another, which becomes an endless cycle of gift giving.” Each friend is bound to feel fulfilled and appreciated in this pairing.
Potential Relationship Problems Between Acts Of Service & Gifts Love Languages
Despite the similarities in their personality and expression of love, a couple with acts of service and gifts love languages can also misunderstand the other’s needs from time to time. As an example, Coleman says that if the acts of service partner is sick and the gifts partner buys them flowers or a book rather than doing them a favor like running errands, the sick partner might feel like the other isn’t making an effort.
Another potential issue? According to Bronstein, sometimes the acts of service partner isn’t comfortable receiving certain gestures, such as a nice gift. “That's something that they should work on as it could be an unresolved issue having to do with not feeling worthy of receiving love,” she says. “Once they resolve that and see that they are worthy, the couple can have a successful and healthy relationship.”
Are Acts Of Service & Gifts A Good Match?
With their complementary expressions of love and healthy shared communication, Bronstein says this love language pairing can make for a fabulous and strong relationship. “Not only is the relationship peaceful, but it's also fun and exciting — mainly because the acts of service person provides creative and thoughtful events, adventures, and gifts, creating fun and joy for both people.” As Coleman shares, as long as each partner makes an effort to make the other feel seen and appreciated in the ways they need, an acts of service and gifts pairing can definitely find fulfillment together.
Toni Coleman, LCSW, licensed psychotherapist and relationship coach
Jaime Bronstein, LCSW, relationship therapist and coach