I heard Gary Chapman recently on a podcast, and it put me in the mood to re-discover the five love languages.
They are: quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts (and those are also in order from most important to least important for me, personally).
I decided to do a little series where I talk about a love language each Wednesday. Today I'm starting with quality time because it's obviously the one I'm most familiar with, being that it's my primary love language.
Luke and I couldn't be more different when it comes to our love languages. Where I crave quality time spent with him, I seriously think he could go weeks without even going on a date with me, and he'd be fine. And there's nothing wrong with that -- it just means we're different, and we receive love in different ways! For example, Luke loves to sneak up behind me and grab me around the waist when I'm washing dishes, and he loves to tickle me, etc...whereas I don't naturally think to do those things to him because physical touch isn't as high on my list as it is on his. All that to say that we need to learn how to love our spouses through their native love language because it is certainly not something that we automatically do.
So let's delve more deeply into the topic of the day: quality time.
What exactly is quality time?
It's one on one time spent together with no distractions. It's undivided attention. It's a shared activity or conversation.
What things do not qualify as quality time?
It's not sitting together and watching TV. It's not being together while one or both of you are on your cell phones or computers. It's not one-sided conversation.
How can I better love my spouse whose love language is quality time?
- Put the cell phone or computer away during a date night
- Give them your undivided attention when they are talking to you
- Be the one to suggest a date night every once in awhile. There isn't much I like better than when Luke does this.
- Go on dates that include a shared activity like hiking, biking, playing a game together, going to an amusement park, etc.
- Avoid going on too many movie dates. Movies are fun every once in awhile, but they don't fill that need for your spouse to spend quality time with you.
What can I do if my love language is quality time, and my spouse's is not?
- Know that if your spouse's primary love language differs from yours (and it probably does) that they truly don't understand your need for quality time. You need to clearly communicate to them that that's what you need. You also need to make sure they understand the difference between spending quality time together, and just spending time together.
- Start taking interest in your spouse's interests. When Luke and I first started dating, I had no interest in sports whatsoever. However, now that we're married, I love going to Indians games and Ohio State games with him. It may not be my first choice of an activity, but it is always a chance to spend hours of quality time with him. Another example is that Luke loves tractor pulls. He goes to at least one every year. And while I don't understand the fascination, when I had the chance to go to one with him this weekend, I was very excited and enjoyed it very much! It helped that a few of my girl friends were there to talk to as well, but I really enjoyed it! So again, be proactive about spending quality time with your spouse if you're the one who needs it.
Even if neither you nor your spouse have the love language of quality time, certainly someone in your life does. A sister, friend, or a co-worker? Planning to spend some quality time with them is a great way to reach out!
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