Over the last few weeks we’ve been taking an in-depth look at The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Let’s continue this journey with the next Love Language, Quality Time. Learning your partner’s “language” can help you communicate with them better and improve the quality of your relationship. With the Love Language – Quality Time, the emphasis is on not just spending time together, yet in giving your partner your full and focused attention when you do.
Before you can speak your partner’s love language, and let them know how to speak yours, you first need to know what your love languages are. If you don’t know your language, you can take the personality test on The 5 Love Languages website. Most people have different love languages from their partner so it’s important to understand how each person feels loved and valued.
Communicating with your partner by using their love language will help them to feel understood and accepted, making the foundation of your relationship much stronger. If you’re showing love for your partner using your love language instead of theirs, chances are they’re not understanding what you need, and they’re feeling disconnected from you because they don’t think you understand them.
Showing love using your partner’s love language will allow them to know just how much you care. Taking the time to learn their love language so that you can make a conscious effort to show them love in a way they can appreciate it; well, that will just make them feel like the most important person in the world to you.
Let’s take a look at the Quality Time love language. How can you show love for your partner with quality time? If quality time is their language, what does that mean?
Love Language #3 – Quality Time
Quality Time people crave your undivided attention. It’s more than just spending time together, it’s about spending focused time together. For instance, instead of sitting on the couch watching a movie together, they’d be happier sitting on the couch with the TV turned off and looking at each other while having a conversation.
Finding new ways to spend quality time together will go a long way to making your partner feel the love that’s in your heart. Here are a few ways to show love to your Quality Time partner:
- Take a class together.
Find something you can both enjoy doing or learning and sign up for a class together. A cooking class, a dance class, or some kind of fitness class are all great options. You can spend quality time together learning a new skill or perfecting an old one. Your partner will truly appreciate the effort you make to spend time together doing something fun. As an added bonus, you can learn something new or get healthier in the process
From technology that is. Quality time is about focusing on each other and not being distracted by other things. Make a daily date to disconnect and spend some time catching up from the day. Share your day with your partner, and most importantly, listen as they share theirs with you. Your Quality Time partner needs to know that they’re heard and that they have your full attention. Ask questions to show that you’re paying attention. Listen for the emotion behind their words. Are they feeling frustrated, angry, happy? How can you help them see that you’re paying attention
Whenever possible, share a sleep schedule with your partner. Even if you wake at different times for work, try to go to sleep together as often as possible. Cuddle time before sleep releases dopamine and serotonin, helping you both relax and fall asleep soundly. Plus, sharing some talk time before bed will help your Quality Time partner have sweet dreams.
4. Hit the road.
Take a road trip together. Whether it’s a week or just a weekend, you’ll be able to spend plenty of quality time together in the car while travelling. Plan a few adventures along the way by checking the map for tourist attractions or picnic spots.
A getaway is the perfect way to make up for lost time if you’ve been too busy to give your Quality Time partner your attention. Surprising them an unexpected trip jam-packed with quality time will let them know just how much you love them.
5. Date night.
Date night is a great way to make up for lost quality time during a busy week. Scheduling date night at least once a week helps your Quality Time partner know that, no matter what else happens that week, they will get some much-needed time with you. Make plans that involve talking, not just being together. For instance, a dinner date will mean so much more than going to the movies. Date night should be about connecting or reconnecting from too much time apart.
The most important factor of showing love to your Quality Time partner is being present in the moment. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted with technology. Don’t interrupt except to ask clarifying questions. Listen intently and give your partner your undivided attention.
If you or your partner speaks the Quality Time Love Language, here’s what you need to know:
- Maintain eye contact. This shows that you’re paying attention and fully focused on what they’re saying.
- Don’t multi-task, especially when they’re telling you something important. Give them your full and undivided attention so they know you’re listening.
- Don’t just listen to their words yet hear their emotions and feelings too. This requires you to not only listen intently, also to know your partner and how they show their emotions. Responding to your partner’s emotions as well as their words will make them feel extraordinarily loved.
- Don’t interrupt unless absolutely necessary. Interruptions will tell your partner that you don’t really care what they’re saying and you want them to listen to you instead. This will make your partner feel isolated and unloved. Only interrupt if you need to ask a clarifying question or make a statement in regards to what they’re saying. Save your own stories until they’re done talking.
- Spend some quality time together every day and make plans for extra periods of quality time with date nights and getaways.
- Find little ways to connect, even when you’re busy. A few minutes to catch up from the day just before bed is a great way to show your partner you care.
- Don’t get so lost in your busy day that you forget to check in with your partner. They like to know you’re thinking of them, even when they’re not with you.
The most important factor of quality time is giving your partner your complete and undivided attention. For someone who speaks the Love Language of Quality Time, this is how they feel most loved.
Listen for clues that your partner is in need of some quality time with you. Offering encouragement, doing little things for them, and holding hands are all great ways to show love. If your partner complains that you don’t spend enough time with them, this is a sure sign that their Love Language is Quality Time. They are seeking togetherness, and not just in the traditional sense of being near each other. They are craving your focused attention. Watching TV while listening to your partner tell you about their day is not what they consider quality time. Turning the TV off and focusing on what they’re telling you is acceptable quality time. Even doing something together, like cooking dinner, while they talk can be considered quality time.
Quality conversation is also an important aspect of quality time. By this I mean sympathetic and empathetic listening, sharing ideas, feelings, and personal experiences. It’s more than just listening to the words that your partner is saying; it’s about listening to the emotion behind them. How do they feel about what they’re telling you? How can you show them you can relate? Or at least show them you understand?
Make sure that quality time also includes quality discussions that bring you closer together. Share your goals and aspirations, talk about your feelings. Your partner is your best friend, lay it all on the table and allow yourself to be vulnerable. They’ll feel overwhelmed with love.
As we continue to look at the remaining two love languages over the next few weeks, take some time to see how you and your partner relate to each other and which love language you feel the most connected to. Communicating to each other in your desired love languages will strengthen your bond and help you feel more connected to each other.
If you missed the previous posts about Words of Affirmation – Language 1 and Acts of Service – Love Language 2, be sure to check the blog to learn more about them. Remember, if you want to know what your love language is, you can take the test at The 5 Love Languages website.