Anyone can spend time with someone else just by being in the same space as someone else, but is it quality time?
Quality Time is Love Language # 2
All too often people today get confused between spending time with someone and spending quality time with someone…there’s a vast difference!
Take me for example; once upon a time I used to watch a lot of TV. When I’d watch a show, I would “get in the zone”. It’s how I would escape so that I could “unplug” and get away from the concerns of the world.
What this translated to was that I did NOT want any talking, or discussion about the show, but I did expect you to be there watching the show with me.
In essence, this was what I considered quality time.
Watching TV is not Quality Time
What I didn’t understand (at the time) was that my wife’s primary love language was quality time. She would express to me that she wanted to “do something”.
That “something”, she indicated, could be anything. Going for a walk and talking, going dancing, bowling, hell just sharing a drink and having a real conversation. She also indicated that “watching TV is not quality time”.
I would argue that, “of course it was”. It was what I considered quality time, and my time was important too!
Of course, that was an attempt to simply shut her up…likely so that I could watch my show.
Watching TV is a passive pastime, and whereas it CAN be quality time, especially if both of you want to “veg” and just be next to each other, maybe holding hands or something, but you’ve got to encourage conversation.
The point is, I didn’t understand that my wife’s love language was quality time. This means that not only was I arguing to neglect a major need that my wife has, but I was then trivializing her needs by making the issue about me!
What is Quality Time
Quality time is any time spent with someone doing something that is meaningful, something that is going to help them to understand you, or themselves better. Something that will be fun, exciting or romantic.
Quality time can be virtually anything, even a passive pastime so long as you make it about both of you.
If you find yourself sitting and “stewing”, whether that’s both of you watching TV (like was my case), or maybe you’re simply doing your “nightly thing”, whatever that may be.
Ask your love to play a game of cribbage. If you don’t know how to play cribbage, then learn it. It’s a great two, three or four player game and it promotes conversation.
If your partner had a game they were raised with, play that. It’ll not only be considered quality time, it’ll be nostalgic, reminding them of other times that were of high quality to them. This has the side-effect of endearing you to them by “inheriting” the feelings of the past, and having your lover attach them to you.
Some other Specific Examples to Consider
Examples always help gel things, and I’ve given you one such example that is worth the time you spent reading it in platinum up above. Attached feelings are like getting ten times the effect for a single action.
Plan a Get Away
Take some time to plan a weekend, hell even a night, away with your special someone. Even something so small as getting a hotel room in the city that you live.
Plan a dinner, maybe some dancing and/or drinks. Do it as a surprise, or even plan it together.
Making it a surprise is great, so long as they are likely to be on board with the endeavor. But planning it together can itself be quality time. You can make it a fun espionage-like thing, you know, like you’re sneaking away from the kids.
Take Dance Lessons
I can practically hear the men reading this groaning, and the women gasping in delight!
If you aren’t a big dance person, this could seem daunting and potentially embarrassing.
Get over it! Women love to dance, and here’s a secret: So do men!
The problem many men have is that they feel self-conscious about it. If you are a man, making a fool out of yourself can actually be endearing to a woman. If you are a woman, the challenge is going to be to get your guy out of his shell. If you are one of those women who feel more like the men out there, then I refer you back to the beginning of this paragraph, just replace the masculine with the feminine, the message is the same.
The point is that you both will likely struggle at first, but you’ll get better. Nothing can speed the reformation of bonds than taking a dance class, even something so simple as a 2-step type dance.
The most important thing…have fun! If one of you is naturally “better” and a faster study, then show patience with the other, help them feel reinforced and grow their confidence. I promise, it’ll pay in spades!
Have a Conversation
Get him a beer, get her a glass of wine. If you don’t drink, sip tea, coffee, munch on a biscuit, hell drink water. The point is to have something in front of you to hold onto, to play with, to sip or nibble.
These props are useful for things like a furtive, or flirty glance. It helps to manage fear of a touchy subject by allowing you to break eye contact.
The main objective: Talk.
That’s right, just talk about anything. It doesn’t have to be serious, though there’s no better way to broach a tough conversation than by sitting your lover down, giving them their favorite beverage, tossing out a joke or two. Discussing mundane, yet ideally light hearted happenings of the day, and then getting down to business.
Couples that spend time like this benefit in many ways. They tend to feel closer, know each other better, and most importantly the one who speaks the love language of quality time, gets their “fix”.
Go on a Picnic
A variation, perhaps a merging of the last topic with the “plan a getaway” topic is to have a picnic where you can be alone without being interrupted.
This gets you on new ground and allows a conversation, perhaps fueled by the context of the environment you are in.
Picnics are sexy!
Turn Off that Damned Phone! Focus Your Attention!
If you or your partner are at the beck and call of any other thing be it vegetable, mineral or animal, then you aren’t spending quality time with your special someone!
You have to help the person that “speaks” quality time be the center of your attention in many cases.
Make it obvious, even to the point of interruption. Say for example that your partner starts to speak to you. Say “Oh, please excuse me just one second”, then reach into your pocket or your purse and grab your phone.
This will start off as an annoyance. Then make it obvious that you are turning off your phone, then “cast” it aside as if it’s wholly unimportant to you, then look back at them and say, “there, now we won’t be interrupted”.
What started off as annoyance will turn into them being very impressed and feeling like they are the most important thing to you…something that is profoundly important to the beginning of quality time!
While Talking Listen, and Relate
Just as important as having the conversation in the first place, is how well you listen.
You need to really listen, so that you can respond. Don’t change the subject, don’t make it about you. Listen and respond, related in your own way to things they are talking about.
Let the subject change naturally, make it about them. Sympathize with their day, laugh when they say something funny, and do NOT interrupt.
Make sure you maintain eye contact, and like the last topic indicated, give them your full attention.
Don’t listen and do something else, unless that is something you are both doing (playing cards, doing the dishes, making dinner together)
If your partner seems like they are feeling a certain emotion, reflect it. That way they know you understand.
So maybe neither one of you like to bowl, then don’t go bowling. But if you do, make it a point.
So, if you don’t like bowling, then find something else to do. The point is it can be anything, so long as it’s together.
Quality Time Does Not Have to Be Couples Only
I’ve written a lot of things about couples only activities, and sometimes it should be. But it doesn’t always have to be, and shouldn’t always be.
If you are going bowling, take the kids or friends. If you decide to play a game, make it Monopoly and invite others to join in.
If you have been learning to dance, get with some friends and go out dancing.
All of these are examples of quality time.
Most Importantly: Ask!
Don’t assume you know your partner’s interests, they may surprise you. Ask them what five things are that they would like to do.
Love Languages are Asexual
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a love language is more masculine or feminine. Don’t do this!
I’ve known as many men as I’ve known women with quality time as their primary love language. Never make the mistake of thinking a love language is explicitly a girl’s or a guy’s language only.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this explanation of the love language, quality time.
The Other Love Languages:
For an even more in depth discussion about love languages, I encourage you to check out the book, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts”.
What’s your love language? You can tell me about it in the comments below.
If your love language is quality time, how would you like the special person in your life to spend time with you? Let me know in the comments.
If you have any questions or comments of any kind, use the comment form below to let me know, I’d love to hear from you!