Part TWO of the Love Languages series! Today we’re chatting all about quality time. I know that it can look different for a lot of people, so I’m genuinely curious – what does quality time look like for you? If you don’t want to read the rest of the article, I promise I won’t take it TOO personally, but I’d love for you to leave a comment at the end telling me what you consider quality time.
But enough about us…let’s circle back around with our main man, Dr. Gary Chapman! If you missed the article about the first Love Language, Words of Affirmation, you can catch up here. Oddly enough, this is Jordan’s other top Love Language, which looking back at the last almost 5 years of marriage, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest! Today we’re going to figure out what Quality Time REALLY looks like & the different dialects of this Love Language.
Time is something so many people take for granted & something you will NEVER get back. I know I’ve said it before, “I REALLY need to spend more time with my grandparents” & then I don’t do anything about it. Or “I really should catch up with that friend I haven’t seen in months” & then 6 more months go by & I still haven’t seen that person. Time is a precious gift from God & when it comes to relationships, time spent with one another creates closeness, memories & builds a stronger foundation.
I want to stress that when I’m talking about Quality Time, I mean legitimate QUALITY time. I’m not talking about sitting on the couch with your spouse ignoring the Netflix series you just spent 45 minutes picking out because you’re both scrolling on your phones. I know it’s such an archaic concept but for a minute let’s talk about giving each other undivided attention. Like no phones, no TVs, no technology – just good ol’ fashion conversation, and a board game. Or a card game. Or a puzzle. Or a devotional, going on a walk, eating at your favorite restaurant, visiting a museum. Literally, the options are endless.
Quality Time does not include Netflix & Chill. Unless it’s more chill than Netflix if you know what I mean (wink, wink). If you’re reading mom, sorry – you can just ignore that last part!
Moral of the story, giving your spouse undivided attention will fill help fill up that love tank of theirs & isn’t that why we’re all here?!
Not to be confused with the first Love Language we talked about, Words of Affirmation.
“Words of affirmation focus on what we are saying, whereas quality conversation focuses on what we are hearing.” – the man, the myth, the legend, Dr. Gary Chapman.
Who knew that such a huge part of having a conversation was LISTENING to what the other person has to say. We have become so self-involved as a society that we’ve all become pretty crappy listeners. Next time you’re having a conversation with your spouse, or with anyone in general, really try to actively listen to them. I know it’s so hard to tune out the million other thoughts swirling around in your brain, but give it a shot & see what happens. This is a learned skill for most, so don’t beat yourself up if it takes time to develop this trait. I still struggle with it all the time!
Learning to Talk
The flipside of being a great listener is being able to articulate your emotions & thoughts. I was lucky enough to grow up in a home where expressing my thoughts & feelings was something my parents encouraged, not a thing to be ashamed of. I realize though, that not everyone was taught that as a child. For some people, it is incredibly hard to speak their true thoughts & emotions because either they’re embarrassed or they don’t feel as if they have the right to feel the way they do.
No matter the situation, being able to share your deepest thoughts, feelings, and emotions with your spouse, well that will only bring you closer & strengthen your bond. Learning to listen & learning to talk will make great strides in this Love Language.
Dead Seas & Babbling Brooks
In the book, Dr. Chapman talks about how there are two different kinds of people: 1) Dead Sea & 2) Babbling Brook. I actually started laughing when I read this because it explains my husband and me to a T! I’ll let you guess which one I am…
The Dead Sea personality will experience all kinds of emotions & situations in a given day, but be perfectly happy to never talk about it. They are genuinely content to NOT talk. In the situation of a road trip, this person could drive 8 hours & be perfectly happy to ride in utter silence.
On the other hand, the Babbling Brook…well I feel like that name speaks for itself! Anything they hear, they see, whatever they experience, they’re wanting to share it with someone else almost immediately. Which is why it’s so common for a Babbling Brook to date and /or marry a Dead Sea. It’s that whole opposites attract thing.
In all reality, I definitely lean more towards the Babbling Brook, but I do believe I have a few Dead Sea tendencies.
You know where you can practice some of the dialects we’ve already discussed (such as Quality Conversation, Learning to Talk, etc.)? When you & your spouse make plans to do something TOGETHER. Think of something you and/or your spouse are interested in & then make plans to do that, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try something totally new. But the key is doing it TOGETHER. It’s not so much what you’re doing, but that you’re experiencing it with each other. Quality activities will become a way for you to express to your spouse how much you love & care for them. Bonus points, if you do something you know they love, but you’re not super hyped about.
Tidbits if Your Spouse’s Love Language is Quality Time*
*For the most part, I’m summarizing what they say in the book. If you want more in-depth examples, get yourself a copy!
- If you & your spouse already spend a significant amount of time together (i.e. working together), you don’t need to make ALL of your time quality. Rather, set aside certain times and/or activities for that.
- Have your spouse write down 5 activities they would enjoy doing with you. Once a month for the next 5 months, do one of those activities together. Scheduling & sticking to that is key!
- If your lives require you to spend a lot of time apart, try to find ways to include your spouse in your daily activities. Send them a photo of you hanging out with your kiddos or talking the dog for a walk. It will help them feel less disconnected from you.
- Broaden your horizons! What kinds of things does your spouse really enjoy, that you’re not so hot about? Make a point to do things you know they love & give it the ol’ college try.
- A weekend trip is just what the doctor ordered – Dr. Chapman that is! Make sure to focus on relaxing together & make try a new restaurant or new activity together.
- Talk to each other, like REALLY talk to each other each day. Even if you can only find 10-15 minute a day catching up, take those precious moments & connect with each other.
- Who likes to do chores? No one! Well, do them together & talk & the time will just fly by!
- Dr. Chapman suggests reading the travel section in the Sunday paper, but if reading the paper isn’t your thing. Start a Travel Pinterest board together & dream of the places you hope to someday visit! Even if it never happens, it’s still fun to imagine.
I’ll end on this note – if you’re in the area, Jordan and I took a quick impromptu trip to Kansas City back in December & we stayed at the CUTEST hotel, not too far from the infamous Power & Lights District. When I say the cutest, I mean it too – every detail was so thought out, the decor was on point & every part of the hotel felt luxurious. If you’re looking for a quick getaway, check out Hotel Indigo in Kansas City!