This year, as Hindsight is our theme, in some of our posts this year, we will be revisiting, updating, and republishing posts which have received a significant amount of shares and/or interactions. We previously published a post called How to Love Your Quality Time Partner (Love Language Practical Tips, Part 6) (you are here ~smile~) and it became one of our most viewed and shared posts to date. Once again, a love language post has proven to be one of our most frequently visited over the years, and so we bring you another hindsight reboot! Please enjoy and share!
Quality-timers… what can I say? We despise the distraction and drain of technology, we enjoy conversations with our significant others, and we love hearing the phrase, “I decided to stop playing my game because I want to spend time with you!” We feel worthwhile to those who hang out with us without coercion. ~smile~
Two people I write about every now and then are my Granny Jones and my mentor, Miss Betty. Both these ladies had a profound effect on my life and I am so thankful God placed me under their tutelage. Perhaps what made them shine so brightly in my heart was their ability to tune out the rest of the world when I needed to talk to them.
Granny loved company. She watched TV for the noise, but if a visitor came by she offered her full attention to her guest. She was so affirming. Her face lit up when I came in the door, she laughed at my jokes, and she had a way of making me feel like the most important person in the world. When I was at her house, I knew I was home. I dearly miss that precious lady.
Miss Betty has the gift of hospitality. Her home is always so warm and inviting, and over the past twenty-five years or so, she has spent many hours listening to me. Even though she had real, adult problems to tend to, she made time to focus on me when I was a kid, which is probably why I spent so much time visiting (read: bothering) her. ~smile~ Even today, she grins, swings open her door, and invites me in for a good conversation. (Update: Miss Betty went home to be with the Lord on May 7, 2016; she is dearly missed.)
Recommendations for Showing Love to Your Quality Timer
Your quality timer may not want to be the life of the party, but he or she does want to be the life of your party. When you are spending purposeful time together, be sure to concentrate and focus on him or her. Avoid distractions as much as possible on dates.
Plan Dates which involve a lot of Quality Time
You may love to go the movies, but does that spell quality time to your sweetheart? If not, don’t stop going to the movies, but plan pre- or post- activities where you can focus your time and attention on each other. If your honey likes spontaneity, plan a few picnics or other “out of the ordinary” dates where there are few distractions (though some distractions, such as other people being nearby, is a good thing if you aren’t married. ~wink~).
Schedule Regular Quality Time into your Week
Date night is like dessert for quality timers. Just knowing the date is coming is something special to look forward to. “Sure, work was rough today, but I got through it just knowing I was going on a date with my sweetheart tonight!” We can get through a disappointing meal with a smile on our faces by knowing a yummy dessert is coming next!
Quality Time when Your Sweetheart is Insecure
If your sweetheart is experiencing some self-doubt, or going through a rough transition, spending quality time with him or her offers a significant emotional boost. In the case of her parents going through a divorce and she is devastated by it, you won’t be able to take all the pain away; but, your presence and availability to her will be priceless.
If your boyfriend was the recipient of backstabbing by those he thought were his friends, you cannot fill the void of the lost friendships; however, you can offer him support as he heals. Even if he does not want to talk about it, he will appreciate your being there with him.
Don’t Complain about the Time Spent with Your Sweetie
Don’t throw your “time sacrifices” in your sweetie’s face. If he or she asks to hang out with you but you would rather do something else, resist the urge to say, “I’ve spent all this time with you! What more do you want from me?!” Though it is not feasible to spend every waking hour together, there are less hurtful ways to communicate your point.
Gently let your partner know what you need or want to do (e.g., homework, time with a friend, working on the car, etc.) and then plan your next date. A date can be as simple as a walk around the block or as elegant as a night on the town. We are generally happy to wait for our quality time if we know it is coming soon. Mostly, we want to know that you want to be with us. Avoid treating your special someone like a bother, especially if he or she speaks the love language of quality time.
Learn to Speak Quality Time Fluently
Quality time can be easily misunderstood. Because dating couples tend to spend a lot of time together, the non-quality time speaker may think, “This was a great day! We played video games together, watched her favorite movie, and played cards with her best friends. Her love tank must be brimming!” Meanwhile, she is thinking, “We did not have one meaningful conversation today and he did not look me in the eyes at all.” The quality timer may feel just as empty at the end of a “full day together” than he or she did at the beginning.
Quality time is defined by the one who needs it. While one quality timer may feel loved when her boyfriend sits and watches her favorite movies with her, another quality timer may not feel loved unless his girlfriend is talking to him with no distractions. Find out what quality time means to your honey and learn to speak it fluently.
Let’s say you and your quality timer are going on a date to your local pizzeria. Here are a few ways to make the date meaningful for him or her:
- Resist the urge to watch the television behind your sweetie’s head. This is annoying and insulting. It says, “I know you are sitting in front of me, but the TV is far more interesting.” It is frustrating for anyone to attempt a conversation with the TV providing constant competition, but it is especially frustrating and hurtful to a quality time person.
- Keep your phone in your pocket. If you need to occasionally pull it out to look at the time, that is fine; however, for 99.5% of the date, keep it put away. Even if you are talking to your sweetie about what you are doing on your phone, it is still a pesky intruder in our eyes. Your partner is probably thinking, “Can you just just enjoy being with me? Am I that boring?“
- Eye Contact Spells L-O-V-E. Look at him or her when you are having a conversation. Ask questions. Make comments. Be engaged in the discussion. If no conversation is forthcoming (perhaps you have been together all day and you are all talked out), find a game to play while you wait for your pizza. My mother and I used to play Hangman on napkins and I loved it!
- Come Prepared. So you know your girlfriend has been struggling with a friend who is constantly accusing her of being unavailable. This is an ongoing issue and you know it is on her mind. Instead of waiting for her to bring it up, ask her how it is going and listen to her talk about her feelings (Side note: Guys, resist the urge to fix the situation and just listen. If after you have listened you still want to give her some advice, ask her if she wants it; but, don’t be offended if she does not – she might just need to get the words out of her mind. ~smile~).Ladies, you know your man has been going through a lot at work due to a forceful boss with unrealistic expectations. Ask him about how work is going. Unlike the conversation above, your man may appreciate a few suggestions about how to handle the situation (though wait until he is completely done talking – don’t interject your advice giving while he is sharing his circumstances with you). And, the name of this game is respect. Avoid verbally undermining his competence. If you have ideas, offer them respectfully, not forcefully. “Do you think he might back down if you…?” “Maybe if you talk to your supervisor, he can…?” He may not take your advice, but at least you can dialogue about it. If your honey would rather not talk about the topic at hand, have other topics ready to discuss which are specific to him.
Have a Post-date Plan
It may seem like you have done your duty after a date to the pizzeria. After all, you stayed focused, kept your cell phone in your pocket, listened intently, and discussed topics important to your honey. At the end of the date, however, is where you can potentially squash all of your efforts.
Don’t get in the car, take a deep breath, and think, “My work here is done.” If you make a quick switch from caring and attentive to ignoring and preoccupied, it will not end well. ~smile~ Have a plan for after you leave your official date destination. Even if all you have time to do is drive your sweetheart home, continue to make the time together count.
Most people enjoy quality time with those they love, but for the ones who speak quality time it is a need.
In my marriage, I notice a significant increase in my desire to cook, clean, and write after Eric and I spend time together. When we go a significant time without a date or a good conversation, I feel irritable and my desire to please him wanes. Such is a symptom of an empty love tank.
Check on Each Other’s Love Tanks
Whether your sweetie needs quality time or any of the other love languages, it is a good idea to routinely ask, “How full is your love tank?” A full love tank tends to show on a person’s face and definitely in his or her actions… and so does an empty love tank. When you run out of gas in your car, you cannot move forward; and, when you run out of love in your love tank, your relationship stalls. So, keep those tanks full! ~smile~
What are five quality time dates you can plan for your sweetie? (Originally published Aug 16, 2013)