According to the best-selling book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts there are five different ways in which people like to give and receive affection towards their loved ones.
Problems arise in relationships when we don’t realize that people have these different ways of giving love. One person may feel unloved if their partner doesn’t tell them explicitly about their feelings every day while another could never hear “I love you” but be totally blissful as long as they spend hours together watching Netflix every week.
If you or your partner’s love language is quality time, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. In 2016, time is the most valuable resource we have.
2. That said, giving someone time is not the same thing as giving them attention. The term is quality time because it should encompass both things. If you’re completely distracted by your phone the entire time, it doesn’t count.
3. You should feel cherished by your partner’s love language. They don’t need gifts or words or you to do absolutely anything other than just to exist near them. They just need you.
4. Your partner wants to feel like your other half. Whatever activity you have to do today, whether it’s relaxing with a book or driving around town getting errands done they want to do it with you. Before you head out the door or start your day, invite them to come along. Your plans may seem boring to you — but they’d be delighted to hang out all day.
5. Avoid having distracted conversation with them at all costs. While they love vegging out with you and watching TV, there is nothing worse for a “quality time” person than when they are trying to have a real conversation with you and you have half your mind somewhere else.
6. People who feel fulfilled by quality time also feel fulfilled by quality conversation. In order to feel loved by and connected to you, they need to know what’s on your mind. Spend time every day filling them in about what’s going on in your life.
7. One of the best gifts you can give a quality time person is to ask them how their day was and then do nothing but listen and give them your full attention.
8. Think about how annoying it is when you’re watching Game of Thrones or an important sporting event and someone is trying to talk to you about something in the background. This is how your partner feels when they are talking to you and you’re looking at your phone. Your relationship needs to be the main event.
9. When you’re very busy, consider small ways you can sneak time together like exercising together or doing evening work together at a coffee shop.
10. Not spending time actively listening to your partner will kill your relationship. It’s very important to understand this because everyone goes through periods where life gets busy. But, without this every day maintenance, there is no sustenance for your partner to survive on. Think about your own preferred method of receiving love and imagine not being able to receive it often, and then make time a priority.
11. Make your partner feel loved by planning special hangouts just the two of you. At least one night a week where no one is invited over and you spend time playing board games, making a special meal, playing question games, or just having a simple fire outside to enjoy each other’s company.