The quality time love language is very important for relationships. Whether it's your top need or not, your relationship will not survive without it. When you were dating, you probably spent a lot of quality time with your partner. Think of all the dates together, all the phone calls, all the texting. All of that quality time together was how you fell in love. However, the longer couples are together, the more scarce their quality time becomes. Life gets busy; you have kids, you have a mortgage, you have careers, you have 401ks, you have chores. All these things eat away and limit quality time with your partner, and when that happens, all other forms of intimacy break down.
What is the quality time love language?
The quality time love language is providing undivided attention to your partner without any distractions. This includes shutting down all tech so that your partner has your full attention. The quality time may include an activity or talking to nurture closeness.
4 Steps For More Quality Time Love Language
Step One: Stop micromanaging your partner and share your tender underbelly.
The first step is to stop micromanaging your partner. If you're the partner who feels like you're not having enough quality time with your spouse, it's easy to start micromanaging everything they're spending time on. You may start bickering with them and picking away at how they spend their time. Doing that, however, creates a lot of tension, and makes them feel like you're controlling them. Underneath the micromanaging is wanting your partner to prioritize you, to connect with you. Often, we don't express how we're lonely or how we want to connect more. Instead, we micromanage and criticize but underneath the criticism is feeling lonely and sad. Criticizing and micromanaging will make your partner want to spend even less time with you. So, instead of criticizing how your partner spends their time, express your tender underbelly how you're feeling lonely and sad from the lack of quality time together.
Step Two: Define your ideal amount of time.
Both you and your partner need to think of the ideal amount of time you would like to spend together during the work week and during the weekends. Spend some time reflecting on this. How much quality time with your partner would you love to have during the work week? What about on the weekend? Quality time may include time with your children, but you need quality time alone with your partner too. For the purposes of this exercise, only be thinking about quality time with your partner. How much quality time would you need to feel close, to feel connected, and to feel like a team? It's hard to feel like a team with someone you don't spend any time with. Instead, you're going to feel like two ships passing in the night or like business partners. You're definitely not going to feel like lovers, since regular sexual intimacy only happens when couples feel close through regular quality time together. If you're complaining that you don't have enough emotional intimacy or sexual intimacy, think about how much quality time you have spent with your partner over the past week. Probably not very much. Now, pull out your phone and look at how much time you spent surfing the internet over the past week. Often, we have the time, but we’re choosing to spend it elsewhere and it damages our relationship because relationships are alive. Because your relationship is alive, it needs oxygen and the oxygen is quality time.
Step Three: Compromise on the amount of time and the activities
Now that both you and your partner have decided on what your ideal amount of quality time is, you need to strike a compromise. Your ideal amount of quality time is probably different than your partner's. That's because you're different people and you have different needs around quality time. That's OK. The main thing is to share power to strike a compromise. For example, let's say Partner A’s ideal is one hour and 30 minutes of quality time every night and Partner B's ideal amount of quality time every night is 30 minutes. A compromise would be one hour because that will be a little less than what Partner A wants and a little more than what Partner B wants. You know it's a compromise when both partners aren't getting exactly what they want. You have to strike a compromise so you both have an equal voice. The partner who wants more time can't dictate how much quality time you'll spend together. Likewise, the partner who wants less time can't dictate how much quality time you'll spend together. It needs to be a compromise, somewhere in the middle.
Also, you must compromise on what you do during your quality time together. Partner A may want to spend the whole time talking. Partner B may want to spend the whole time doing an activity. Compromise by doing a little bit of both.
Step Four: Consider the fishbowl analogy.
The fishbowl analogy says we all have a certain amount of time in our week represented by the fishbowl. What most couples do is start the week by putting in big boulders that seem essential. Work, kids, hobbies, friends, social media, chores, Netflix, etc. Before long, the fishbowl is filled and there's no time for your marriage. This is why a lot of marriages get crumbs because marriage is put in last and there's no room. Instead, dump out the fishbowl and think about what it would look like to put in your marriage first with quality time? Then, after your marriage is put in add in everything else around it. Now there won't be enough room for everything else so some it will have to be reduced. This is how you can make your marriage number one in your life. This is a marriage-centric way to live.
Those are the four steps to develop better quality time with your partner. The more quality time love language you have together, the more emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy you're going to have. The four steps include; 1-Stop micromanaging your partner's activities and express your tender underbelly, 2-Decide on an ideal amount of quality time you want to have with your partner, 3-Share power on the amount of quality time by reaching a compromise, and 4-Practice the fishbowl analogy by putting your marriage in first.
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