Some Spell Love T-I-M-E
One of the books that I recommend to every couple I counsel or come in contact with is THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman. It addresses the way we communicate love with one another. More importantly it reveals for us how often we miscommunicate when it comes to saying “I love you” with more than words. As author Gary Chapman says, this type of miscommunication leaves one of the people in the relationship facing an empty “love tank.” For more about this I recommend picking up the book and reading it…I know you will not be disappointed.
For the next several posts I thought I might briefly pick apart these five love languages and how they work in our relationships. We’ll start today with “quality time.”
T is for Together
One of the first things you need to know about quality time is that it is time spent together. It can’t be accomplished via email, text messages, telephone calls, etc. Quality time is together time. If this is the primary love language of your beloved you will often hear requests for your time. Something as simple as grocery shopping together can help feed their love bank and help them feel loved by you. It’s about being together.
I is for Interaction
Quality time is giving someone time that is not divided by other interests or attention grabbers. For example, sitting in front of the television (normally) would not qualify as quality time. Togetherness is about more than being in the same location, it involves interaction. If the television, computer, movie screen, or children are getting your attention you are likely not interacting in a way that leads to quality time. Make sure that you are scheduling some quality time that will be free from distractions and allow for greater interaction.
M is for Meaningful
A key element of this Quality Time is that you engage in meaningful conversation together. In his own BLOG Chapman writes:
Like words of affirmation, the language of quality time also has many dialects. One of the most common dialects is that of quality conversation. By quality conversation, I mean sympathetic dialogue where two people are sharing their experiences, their thoughts, their feelings, and their desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. If your spouse’s primary love languages is quality time, such dialogue is crucial to his or her emotional sense of being loved. Sit down. Ask questions, and listen. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/2009/01/speaking-the-love-language-of-quality-time/
One of the things my wife and I strive to do is get together and have coffee and play cribbage in the morning. It allows us some time, before the demands of the day flood in, to talk and enjoy time together. Another way of doing this is by maintaining a regular date-night together where you spend time talking with each other.
At a Loss of what to Talk About? Try these for starters:
- Something you Appreciate
- Some New Information
- Things you wonder about
- Something that’s bugging you
- Wishes, Hopes, and Dreams you have
E is for Engaging
Being engaged means that you are actively participating in the time together. You have to be there when you are there. I admit that I can easily be guilty of being present physically but far removed emotionally and mentally. Your primary love language might not be Quality Time. In fact it might not be your secondary love language either. However, if it is your partner’s love language it is crucial for you to demonstrate your love for them through their love language. So be there and be engaged.
So…Give Time a Try
None of this is going to happen automatically, you will need to make it a priority. However, the more you engage in this practice the more natural it will become. Even if Quality Time is not your primary love language you will begin to enjoy the time you spend filling your sweethearts love tank, and you will learn new things about them that you might not have discovered any other way.
For more information and encouragement I, once again, strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. It’s available at most bookstores, Walmart, and online at numerous locations. I prefer www.cbd.com for my book purchases, but www.amazon.com would have it as well.
Check in later for the next installment on the Love Languages.