One definition of quality time is: “time during which one focuses on or dedicates oneself to a person or activity”. I want to add to this: in order to grow and develop a relationship. Be careful not to confuse it with “quantity time”, which is a whole different concept 😉
Now that we’re on the same page, let’s see what quality time isn’t: staring into each other’s eyes for hours, awkward endless silence or just sharing physical space. Therefore, a person who speaks this love language will not feel affection if you’re doing something else while he or she is trying to have a conversation. That’s called monologue on their part, and rudeness, on yours.
UN-DI-VI-DED attention…yes! This word is crucial. If your partner expects this from you and you’re not fulfilling that need then a potential reproach will sound something like: “You’re always too tired to…”, “You’re always busy” and “You never have time for me!”. These are clear indicators you’re dealing with someone who appreciates togetherness more than anything else.
Usually, people who speak “Quality Time” are often misunderstood and believed to be clingy, needy instead. That idea must disappear from your mind in order to have a functional and positive relationship with your lover or spouse. Such a person needs to feel he or she is listened to, so my first advice is respect their turn when speaking. Interrupting communicates “I don’t care what you’re saying” or “Yeah, yeah, whatever, I know what you mean”, when in fact you don’t. Respect their need to be heard and be there, emotionally open. Oh and don’t forget about eye-contact!
I’ve come across the following case many times: the girlfriend or wife comes home from work and is troubled by something that’s going on there. She presents the situation and the boyfriend or husband listens to her for a while and then formulates a solution. He expects her to immediately implement it and thus, resolve the issue. However, the woman does not take into consideration the advice and carries on nagging him on the subject. Consequently, the man soon grows tired of hearing the same story and sooner than later, the situation escalates into a fight. Does it sound familiar?
In this case, the woman is a “Quality Time” speaker and what she needs in fact is to be listened to, and feel emotionally connected to her man. Advice should only be given if it’s a matter of life and death or if it’s asked; and here, it was neither. Therefore, a better approach is to volunteer help, instead of dictating the solution. Go with “Would you like to know what I think?” or “Do you think I can help?”.
Also, the next step is not to expect her to immediately put ideas into action. Maybe it wasn’t her issue to begin with! Maybe it was somebody else’s misfortune and that affected her by proximity. Be genuinely concerned and focus on what they’re experiencing if you really love your partner.
“Quality timers” focus on building trust and intimacy especially through dialogue. What does that mean? Well, such an individual finds it difficult to share confidential information with someone they don’t know. Talking is a journey of knowledge and should be taken very seriously. Take time to discuss needs, wants, dreams, fears and other hot topics with your loved one; get to know their personality and character so that your relationship can grow.
For those out there who are still struggling with opening up and getting fluent about it, a smoother way into it is by doing activities together. Quality activities aim to create new memories and strengthen a couple’s bond. Chapman identifies 3 fundamental attributes that quality activities must possess: (1) “at least one of you wants to do it (2) the other is willing to do it (3) both of you know why you are doing it – to express love by being together.”
Below you have suggestions with things you can do in order to show your significant other you care:
- Plan a date and ask them out.
- Block out time in your calendar (plan it like you do any other activity).
- Cook together.
- Take a walk in your neighborhood or to a nearby local attraction.
- Go play board games, chess, tennis, laser tag, whatever!
- Do a puzzle together and chat it up.
- Have a scavenger hunt.
- Take a day road trip and chat the whole drive.
- Plan a picnic together at the park, whether it’s in an actual forest or on your front yard.
- Go out for a desert and talk about your day; imagine the city is made out of sweets- describe it!
- Find funny videos on Youtube to watch together.
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