This week on Love 101, we’re going to be discussing the 2nd love language that Dr. Gary Chapman talks about in his book The 5 Love Languages. This language is known as Quality Time and just happens to be my primary love language. I’m by no means an expert like Dr. Chapman, but I do feel that I can vouch for the success of most the ideas I’ll be sharing with you today!
For those of you out there who aren’t big in spending time together and would rather give gifts, I must plead with you: don’t. If your partner’s love language is quality time, giving them gifts will be slightly offensive. To us time lovers, a gift means that you would rather spend money on us than actually be with us. And that really hurts our feelings. We’re not asking for a 24/7 experience with you (not all the time at least), but we do want to interact with you. We want to share experiences together and that doesn’t mean the parallel experience where you’re sitting next to us but playing on your phone. We want to be the sole object of your attention.
Sounds needy, right?
So maybe it is, but you know what? If it gives you the long-lost affection that you’ve been craving from your significant, then why not give it a whirl?
Now, Dr. Chapman explains that there are two main dialects within the Quality Time language that your loved one may speak.
If your partner speaks this dialect, they like to have in depth conversations. Don’t confuse this with the actual love language Words of Affirmation. a quality conversationist is looking for someone who will be sympathetic, listen, and engage in a meaningful conversation about thoughts, feelings, hopes, and desires.
If your partner speaks this dialect, they are more interested in sharing activities together. The activity can be something you both share an interest in, or it can be the interest of just one partner. We all know in love and relationships that we won’t agree on everything and should be willing to compromise.
As I cautioned with the Words of Affirmation, Start off SLOW. Don’t overdue it in the first week (or day) and overload your partner with so much. I say this for two reasons.
- If this is totally out of character for you, they may question your sincerity if you go overboard.
- They may LOVE it and expect this same amount of interaction and quality time everyday. So unless you plan on keeping it up to that intensity, it’s better to start slow and not let them down.
Ok….here we go!!!
20 WAYS FOR YOU TO START SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE
- Plan a trip. This is probably the most common people think of when they hear their partner speaks the language of quality time. I am here to banish that thought, hence why I’m bringing it up first. We quality timers just want to spend time together; it could be anytime, anywhere. And it most certainly doesn’t need to be a fancy getaway (although sometimes those are nice). If you do plan a trip for us, make sure that there’s plenty of time to still be together (not a slam-packed schedule of events where we barely have time to sit down).
- Cook a meal together! As someone who loves to cook, I would LOVE for my husband to help me prepare a meal. Not because I want him to be working with me…although there’s a bonus to having an extra set of hands…less time in the kitchen means more time OUT of the kitchen together.
- Plan a date night. It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary or expensive, but it should consist of time for just the two of you. This means getting a sitter for the kids and for heavens sake, no double dates!
- Read to one another. Do you remember when you were little and your parents would read you a bedtime story? Or maybe your teacher in grade school would gather you on the carpet and read aloud from an exciting picture book? You can replicate those feelings by taking turns reading aloud to each other. This is also a fantastic way to spur quality conversations.
- Get outdoors! Every once in awhile, it’s nice to get some fresh air and a little sun on your skin! And did you know that by being outdoors, we are able to soak in extra Vitamin D from the sun rays?! While we can eat and take supplements, the best way to capture this vitamin is by exposing yourself to sunlight for 10-15 minutes a day.
- Start a new hobby together. We often come into relationships with our own interests and hobbies. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, our partner will share one of these with me. For example, my husband is a HUGE music buff and loves to play music throughout the house whenever he’s home. I love music as well (we both happen to be fans of the same music genres) and can be caught from time to time singing or dancing (when no one is watching, of course). But why not take your relationship to the next level and start a brand new hobby together?? This could be cooking, going to the theatre, learning to make pottery, or taking up a new sport! Even if it doesn’t wind up sticking, all that matters is that you did something – you guessed it – together!
- Go for a walk. Sometimes, after a long day at the office, the last thing you want to do is be cooped up in the house. Get dinner started, slip into something more comfortable, and go for a little stroll as the sun sets. This can be extremely relaxing and also allow yourselves some time to share about your day.
- Run errands together. Yes, errands. I know, they’re not at all fun. I mean who wants to honestly go shopping for toilet paper and cleaning supplies? I sure don’t, and I know my husband doesn’t either, so why not save some time (and energy) and tackle the shopping list together? Not only will you cut your errands time in half, you never know where you’ll make some new memories!
- Go on a picnic! This is a great way to get outdoors and have a casual meal out of doors! Scrounge up a picnic basket, pick up your favorite finger foods (or make your own), and put on sunglasses!
- Have a slumber party, complete with PJ’s, your favorite movies, awesome movie snacks, and a pillow fort (or sheet tepee). Who said you have to be under the age of 17 to enjoy these all-night extravaganzas??
- Pick at least one meal a week to share together. If you have an extremely busy schedule, complete with children and pets, I know how difficult it can be to have even one meal together daily. That’s why I say once a week. If it’s just the two of you and your schedules allow it, try to have a meal together each day. For my husband and I, dinner would have to be it. Take that time to share about your day or even just talk about the news, upcoming events, or dreams! Get crazy with it – it doesn’t have to be torturous. But one thing you must do – put the electronics away!! Give each other undivided attention for at least 30 minutes.
- Take part in their favorite hobby with your partner (if they’ll have you). My husband is not a video gamer, but he does love watching shows on the Science Channel. Some Saturdays, he would find a marathon and just watch, enthralled by all the theories they discussed about various planets, their moons, and the Sun. Some weekends I would work on my crafts on the living room floor as he watched; other times I would crawl up on the couch next to him and watch. Did I understand everything? Heck no. But that’s not the reason I was up there. I was up on the couch to engage in quality time with him in a hobby that he loves.
In addition to these planned activities, you can learn to build your linguistic skills in this language by everyday interactions. If possible, try to re-unite after being apart every day. This can be as brief as a hug and kiss or as long as sharing a drink on the back porch. No matter how busy your schedules are try to make this possible so your partner’s love tank can be re-filled. Set up an electronics policy and agree to the terms. Whether it’s no phones as soon as you get home or later in the evening after dinner, establish some time where you won’t be fighting for attention. This will speak volumes! Finally, set a time each week to have a “planning” session. During this time, talk about the upcoming week, discuss any schedule conflicts, and plan out where they two of you might be able to carve out some quality alone time. This last one would make the planner in me so happy!!
I hope you found a few cute ideas to use with your quality time loving partner. Be sure to share with us your favorite ways to express love through quality time!! See you next week!! ❤️