The Love Language of Quality Time
Our lives are filled with so many day to day obligations and events, that we can be left longing for some downtime to connect with our loved ones. But even when we find ourselves with time, we’re often still connected to our phones or electronic devices as a way to stay connected to work and friends or even disconnect in person. Finding time for that special connection can be as simple as reprioritising what you use that downtime for, putting away those devices and prioritising the importance of Quality Time, one of the five love languages we’re exploring in this series.
As one of the five love languages developed by Gary Chapman, quality time is all about finding space in your schedule to be together with your loved one. It’s not about demanding attention or distracting someone special from their responsibilities. Instead, it’s about working together with your partner to find the space to connect, to share, and to ultimately show that you’re never too busy to make someone feel loved.
What makes for quality time?
Quality time looks different for each and every couple – as we all have different definitions of what makes time together ‘quality’. A common truth sits at its core, though – and that’s a clear intent to make your loved one your focus, for however long you decide. Beyond the actual passing of time, signs of quality time include things like eye contact, active listening and communication, and a clear disconnect from the devices that can capture our attention (unless, of course, long distance means you can’t be in the same room). Quality time is usually less spontaneous, too – it’s about deliberately making a plan, even if the plan is just to sit and chat over a coffee.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that it’s not called ‘Quantity time’. This is all about how you spend the moments – not how long these moments are.
How do I know if this is my primary love language?
If your primary love language is quality time, then there’s every chance you value those experiences that are shared with intent with your loved one. While you might be just as fulfilled by spur-of-the-moment adventures or unwinding on the couch, it’s having time planned out beforehand that really leaves you feeling seen and cared for. Date nights, day trips, workouts and eating out – they’re all hallmarks of quality time.
You’ll be touched by those gestures and cues that show that your partner or friend is well and truly in the moment and enjoying their time with you. They’re not glued to their phone. They’re listening and sharing – so that you can listen in return. And they’re letting you know just how much they’ve enjoyed whatever you’ve both planned together. Similarly, if this is your primary love language then you’re likely to show love by giving someone your undivided attention. And you’ll give extra thought to how you’re going to spend this time together too.
How can I make someone who speaks this language feel loved?
Quality time doesn’t need to be extravagant. You don’t need to fill up the hours you’re spending with a special someone with all kinds of activities. For people who speak this love language most strongly, it’s simply the act of devoting those hours to them – and to the connection you share – that makes them feel most loved and valued. That said, there are all kinds of great ideas out there that you can embrace when planning quality time, or that you can give a partner or friend as inspiration if they’re planning something for you.
Sharing in self-care is a wonderful way to relax into the moment together. You could enjoy a couples treatment and embrace the time shared nourishing your mind and body. You might choose to team up and try out a new recipe, then share the finished product during a date night – or pack it up and take it to a nearby park for a sunset picnic. If staying active is something you and your partner or friend both enjoy, you could head into nature for a walk or a run, or even try out an at-home yoga or pilates class, so the two of you are present together in a comfortable space. The beauty of quality time is that the potential for how you spend it is entirely unbounded. It’s all about what’s going to leave you both feeling the most attentive, connected and loved.
Quality time as a form of self-love
It might seem like quality time is best shared with someone else – but the truth is it makes for a revitalising, rewarding form of self-love too. And if this is your primary love language, the possibilities are just as endless in your own time as they might be with someone special.
As always, intent is essential. Setting aside time in your day or week to be fully present with yourself – untethered from technology or those day-to-day routines and entirely in the moment. Even an hour of quality time spent doing something that replenishes you (or doing next to nothing, if a moment of meditation or relaxation is on the cards) can make a huge difference for the relationship you have with yourself. In fact, it’s the quality time spent on self-love that can help paint a clearer picture of what you value most when it’s time to share in that love with someone else.
Curious to find out more about the other Love Languages? We introduced them here.