Love Language

Dear Emily, 
My boyfriend and I have very different love languages. I need a lot of affection and loving words. His is acts of service. He’s so great at affirming me and rubbing my back and I’m so bad at doing stuff for him. He cooks, he cleans, he does our grocery shopping, installed our ceiling fans (what? who does that?), fixed my tail lights, basically does everything for us. Is there any way I can do something nice for him? I want to show him how much I appreciate his hard work but I don’t know how!

Your boyfriend sounds like such a loving and supportive guy! You also sound like a great partner, so snaps for both of you.

Sometimes in relationships certain household duties are distributed in different ways. One person loves to do laundry, the other hates laundry but loves doing dishes, perfect! There are other acts of service that we can provide to our partners that don’t have to do with physical work. Listening, watching something he wants to, leaving him to tinker with a hobby or read a book, these are all examples of generally being a kind partner. If you wanted to do something specifically special, think of what he likes to do. If he has a fun thing that he’s been putting off for whatever reason, encourage him to go do it. Better yet, surprise him and take him there, or set up a space for him to play guitar, video games, crochet, LARPing, parkour, whatever the fuck he likes to do.

Remember in The Office when Dwight and Jim became the party planning committee? It’s Kelly’s birthday and they take her into the conference room and tell her she can have an hour of a nap, or an hour of TV, whatever she wants. She chooses a nap and they have a little bed set up for her. It’s a cute scene, and a thoughtful act. Simple surprises can make someone’s day.

Other than that, I think you continue to do what you’re doing. It sounds like you two have your own balance in your relationship. Let him know you appreciate him, and pitch in with household chores when you can.

You’re doing great,

Want to know what your love languages are? Go take this test! As with any personality test, take it with a grain of salt. People love to categorize themselves, which is super fun. But we’re all unique little blades of grass on this meatball planet hurling through the Milky Way (mmmmm chocolate), so don’t take it too seriously.

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