With the Quality Time Love Language, individuals tend to feel loved when give them your undivided attention. Quality Time looks like looking into your partner’s eyes when talking, giving them your full attention, and wholeheartedly doing things they enjoy with them. These are actions that are all about giving your partner your life and attention, and they have a very large impact on making your partner feel loved when their love language is quality time. As with all the love languages, quality time does not have to be huge like a weeklong trip to the Bahamas. It can be smaller actions such spending 15-20 minutes at night talking about your days together, having a weekly date night, or going on a picnic together. In fact, frequency of quality time often makes a bigger impact making your partner feel loved than the big vacations. If this is your partner's love language, try to find moments where you can spend time with them often. (Wondering about the difference between primary and secondary love languages?? Click here to learn more.)
The key is focused attention on your partner. It’s not enough to be in the same room. Your attention needs to be on your partner. This doesn’t mean you have to always be looking into their eyes—you can do an activity together; this would be called quality activities. But the activity doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that you are doing something together without distractions.
Military life can often make quality time extra difficult with the hard work and changing schedules. When life gets busy, this is when quality time will be the most important. If you are the service member, you may come home wanting time to yourself or wanting to go out with friends. For you partner, they are longing for undisturbed time with you. It’s important to note that quality time can’t be stored up. Some individuals want a lot of quality time right before deployment or other type of situation. It is a myth that it can be stored up—however there are some things you can do while deployed to spend quality time together (see tips below).
The second key to quality time is quality conversation. This involves sharing experiences, feelings, and thoughts—all while having focused attention. This may involve asking question and showing interest in and desire to understand the thoughts and feelings of your partner. If this is your partner’s love language but not yours, you may have the desire to tell them how to fix the problem or the situations your partner tells you about. However, you partner is sharing the information with you because they are longing to connect with you through quality conversation—they don’t actually need help figuring out what to do. They need your undivided attention and interest in them. Part of what your partner is longing for is for you to open up about your thoughts and feelings (i.e., emotions like anger, frustrated, sad, disappointed, worried, concerned, etc.)—this makes your partners love tank feel full when they are longing for quality time and quality conversation.
Tips for Speaking the "Quality Time" Love Language
Things to Avoid with the Quality Time Love Language
Since focused attention and quality conversation are so important for the person whose love language is quality time, distractions and multitasking will have a negative impact of causing them to feel emotionally deprived of love. You’ll want to avoid:
We all need love relationships to thrive in life. Part of having love relationships is knowing how to show love to others in a way that they will receive. For someone whose love language is quality time, then your undivided attention and interest in what they have to say will show them you care and helps your partner’s love tank feel full. When the emotional love tank is full, your partner will know they are important to you.
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Elizabeth Polinsky, MSW, LCSW, is a marriage and couple therapist specializing in working with military members, veterans, and their families. Liz is located in Norfolk, Virginia, and provides online counseling services throughout Virginia, South Carolina, and Arkansas. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Virginia (#0904011022), South Carolina (#11302), and Arkansas (#7735-C). She is also licensed as a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy in Virginia (#0730000567) under the supervision of Dr. Victoria Holroyd at The Relationship Center at East Beach.
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In Communicate & Connect For Military Relationships, I provide educational tips for relationships, communication, and navigating military family life.