The impact of quality time on our relationships can be tremendous. Studies have shown that quality time can lead to greater levels of happiness, increased intimacy, and lower levels of stress and anxiety.

Quality Time: Understanding the Love Language for Healthy Relationships

love language, quality time, couple rituals

Have you ever heard of the love language of quality time? If not, it's one of the five love languages. Now, we’re sure you already know a bit about what love languages are- thanks Instagram. But just in case you didn’t, love languages are ​​general ways that romantic partners express and experience love. Here’s a piece in case you want to learn of what this is!

Early on in our relationships, it’s possibly easy for us to feel like quality time is the easiest- duh it’s all about planning a couple of trips- to the mall or a new restaurant. Over time though, we realise, it is more than just being in the same room as your partner, it's about connecting. When we act with quality time as our love language, we strive for focused attention from our partners, we even extend it as far as to our friends or online social circle. Quality time is all about creating special moments together, whether it's through deep conversations, fun activities, or simply snuggling up together and enjoying each other's company. 

Factually, we all have 24 hours in a day, but it can often feel like there's never enough time to do everything we want, especially when it comes to spending quality time with our loved ones. 

The impact of quality time on our mental health and relationships can be tremendous, as it allows us to feel seen, heard, and valued by our partners. Studies have shown that quality time can lead to greater levels of happiness, increased intimacy, and lower levels of stress and anxiety.

When we prioritize quality time in our relationships, we're able to build trust and emotional connection with our partners, which can lead to a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.

While one of the best things about quality time is that it can be anything you want it to be (going on adventurous hikes, trying out new activities together, watching a movie on the couch or cooking a scrumptious dinner), but it’s also something that’s instantly influenced by external factors. 

For instance, our jobs can often take up a significant chunk of our time and energy, leaving us with little room for quality time with our partners. Long hours, demanding bosses, and work-related stress can all contribute to a lack of quality time in our relationships. Plus, social media, email, and constant notifications can all take away from the quality time we spend with our partners. Let’s not forget family commitments, such as caring for children or elderly relatives, can also largely impact our ability to spend quality time with our partners. This is why, as we mentioned before, quality time becomes the trickiest to navigate if you or your partner view it as your type of love language.  

Those are not the only challenges, sometimes our partners and we could literally be speaking different languages- one might resonate more with physical affection or words of affirmation while the other partner could be very inclined towards quality time. Well, guess what? That's totally normal!

Couples don't have to share the same love language or preferences to have a happy and healthy relationship. In fact, embracing those differences can actually make your relationship even stronger.

So here’s me, a psychotherapist, dissecting what quality time as a love language could mean for your relationship. 

What does it mean when your love language is quality time?

Do you love spending time together and feel most loved when they give you their undivided attention? If so, your love language might just be quality time! Whether it's going on a romantic getaway or simply having a movie night at home, what matters most is that you're fully present and engaged with each other and that fills you up with happiness.

This could also look like you feel the most loved and appreciated when your partner takes the time to prioritize spending quality time with you. It also means that you value experiences over material possessions. While gifts and other gestures of affection are nice, what really matters to you is creating memories and sharing special moments together.

Sometimes though it feels like a lot to ask but not expressing your needs with respect to quality time most likely leads to a lot of pent-up resentment, affecting your relationship negatively. So feel free to voice out your love language fluently! 

What does it mean when your partner’s love language is quality time? 

If you feel like you have a demanding partner who asks for your time and attention, rather than acknowledging the big plans and surprises you have for them- your partner most likely values quality time as their love language! Do have a conversation about it- that could look like discussing with them, what they like and what they need. You can decide what your intentions for quality time could look like and then try and set aside dedicated time for just the two of you. 

Reflecting on what these first steps could look like can help us understand what our partners truly need from us. For instance, sometimes when our love language is different from our partner, we tend to look at the cons a bit more deeply. Spending time can come off as an expensive activity (shopping and movies- duh!). But as we mentioned before quality time doesn't have to mean spending a lot of money. Simple activities like going for a walk or cooking dinner together can be just as meaningful as a fancy dinner out.

Embracing your partner's love language of quality time and make sure to show them how much you value and appreciate their need for connection and togetherness. And if your own love language is different, then worry not- this just means that you may need to work a little harder to find a balance that works for both of you. Try to make an effort to prioritize quality time with your partner, even if it doesn't come naturally to you.

Now that we’ve captured what, preferring, quality time in relationships looks like- how do we get there?

Here is a non-exhaustive list of ideas that could help you with planning quality time!

  1. Go through old photos together: Take a trip down memory lanes together, laugh and think back to everything that was and now is. 
  2. Plan dates keeping memories in mind: exploring new places is always fun but remembering or connecting stories and turning them into real-time dates is more meaningful, don’t you think?
  3. Co-create hobbies: Yes, this is definitely not an easy tip, but painting to playing board games are all new hobbies that you could consider initiating with your partner- then just sit back and watch time doing its magic. 
  4. Doing things together: Now of course you may have activities like movies and shopping etched in your mind, but love exists in other unconventional and mundane things too. Naps! Running errands! Doing laundry! The list can be catastrophically boring but also ritualistic and connecting- try some, perhaps?
  5. As a psychotherapist, this had to be included- decrease screen times. Put away your phones, turn off the TV, and focus on each other. Ask questions, share stories, and listen attentively to what your partner has to say. Play games that make you share vulnerable stories and in essence, connect like you possibly never have! 
  6. Some other random ideas are simply scheduling spa days, attending a wine tasting, planning a day trip, taking remote work for a month so you can stay in a new place with your partner, creating a memory box together and so much more! The key, we’d like to emphasise, is togetherness. 

Click here to discover more ideas for activities that you can plan with your partner. You can also setup a ritual and we will send your timely reminder and support along the way to help you stay on track.

Lastly, let's not forget about the fun factor! Quality time can be playful, too. Plan a date night where you both dress up and go out to a never-before dinner or sit together at home and browse memes! The possibilities to ensure quality time are truly endless. To summarise, think of shared activities, shared conversations, and shared emotions- it’s all the magical words we need to create and sustain quality time. While we’ve given you some ideas on planning for better quality time, often one of the best plans is to brainstorm together! Use our ideas to personalise what your quality time experiences look like. 

At the end of the day, this love language is all about strengthening your connection with your partner and making sure that they feel loved and valued. So, make sure to prioritize this love language in your relationship and watch your bond grow stronger with each passing day.

So, there you have it, folks. Quality time may not be the most conventional love language, but it's certainly one of the most powerful. Give it a try and see for yourself just how much it can enhance your relationship. Who knows, it might just become your new favourite way of expressing your love for one another!

Here’s to a happy quality time with your loved ones.

About the Interviewer
About the Author
Archana Raghavan (She/Her)
Archana Raghavan is a psychotherapist, researcher, and writer. She works, learns, and writes about relationships, communities, and individual personalities.
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