Quality time as a Love Language. An image of a family hugging that makes up a heart.

3 Effective Tips to Prioritize Your Partner: Using the Love Language of Quality Time

As we have discussed in a previous post about the 5 Love Languages, love languages can give insight into how you and your partner give and receive love. This time we will specifically discuss quality time, and 3 tips on how to prioritize your partner whose primary love language is quality time. In Chapman’s book, he asserts that the key aspect to quality time is “togetherness” which can “[mean] that we are doing something together and that we are giving our full attention to the other person” (p. 64). For those with quality time as their primary, this concept of giving full attention and togetherness is important for how they prefer to receive love. Let’s dive into our 3 tips!

Tip #1: Try to choose activities that prioritize togetherness.

As a couple, when thinking of things to do together, try to think of how you can maximize your time together. If you choose to go out to dinner, make it a point to put away devices so that the two of you can talk to each other. Or plan a walk together where you are intentionally listening to each other and having conversations. The point is to be present with one another with minimal distractions. If there are other people with you during your “quality time,” make sure that you are intentionally making time to include and engage with your partner. Make sure to check in with them frequently. Try spending time brainstorming and choosing your activities together. This can help, as you are working to prioritize what each of you would like to do when having quality time. 

Tip #2: Remember that quality over quantity is most important. 

Oftentimes when we think of quality time, we may think of doing as many things together as possible. However, this may lead to frustration from your partner because the quality of the time together can be just as important as doing the activity itself. For example, sometimes just watching a show together, but not being fully engaged is not ideal for quality time. It might be difficult at first, but try brainstorming some ideas of activities that you can do where you are focusing on one another and giving each other your full attention. 

Planning time together that is rich in quality can look like being willing and carving out time to do the things your partner likes to do. It can look like supporting your partner in activities or events they find important by attending those activities or events. Let’s say your partner has a performance that they are in. Prioritizing that quality time might look like attending the performance, and then engaging with them about it afterwards. 

To get some other ideas, ask your partner questions about what they like to do. It also can be helpful to ask your partner: “What can I plan for you that would be your ideal for spending time together?” Really take the time to listen to your partner’s response. This will give you an indication of what is meaningful to them

Tip #3: Be fully engaged with one another during togetherness. 

When thinking of quality time, note that it is different from just being in the same room together, while not actually being engaged with one another. Think about watching TV together while you are each scrolling on your phone. Do you seem to be engaging with your partner at that moment? Some of our clients who have attended therapy have spouses who say they just like being in the same room. That spouse probably does not care as much about quality time. The main difference is when we are truly spending quality time together, we are usually fully engaged with each other. 

 The following is an example that clearly shows the difference between good quality time and disengaged time from Dr. Chapman. Imagine a father who is rolling a ball to his child during playtime. If the father is on the phone with someone, he is no longer giving his full attention to the child, even though they are doing an activity together. That child knows! He can see that he is not getting attention. Your spouse can too! What do you think they are thinking? What do you think when someone else is not giving you their full attention?

Conclusion

While it can be difficult to navigate, it is worth taking the time to get to know your partner’s primary love language, and how they best receive love and affection. We are all different, so these tips and skills can be applied in a variety of ways. The most important key is to listen to your partner and work to communicate your needs to one another. If they desire quality time, try implementing these tips to see if they will work for you and your loved one.

Reference

Chapman, G. D. (1995). The five love languages. Moody Publishers.

A picture of Bethany Stanley, LAPC.

Author:

Bethany Stanley is a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor. She provides couples counseling and individual counseling as a therapist at Legacy Marriage Resources, LLC based in Augusta, Georgia. Find out more about her in her Bio.

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