Five Love Language for Singles – Quality Time
The fourth love language is quality time.
Aaah now we’re talking my language. Quality time is all about being together. It’s focused attention. No distractions. It is true connection as you engage in quality conversation or activities.
When quality time is used as a means of expressing love it is a powerful, authentic connection. It isn’t about the activity, the focus is on what is happening between the people involved. This is all about emotional availibility and connection.
God made us for community. We need each other. We were not meant to do life alone. Yet it’s amazing how fragmented our relationships are and how lonely we feel. We hunger for this expression of love. Yet our lives are too busy, we don’t have the time to invest this way very often with many people.
Chapman identifies three main expressions of quality time: quality conversation, quality listening and quality activities.
Quality conversation is about “sympathetic dialogue where two individuals are sharing their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context.”
A couple of weeks ago I spent the day with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. We did many activities but never got the chance to sit down and really talk. I left feeling a little sad. I didn’t feel connected to her. While we had fun it wasn’t completely satisfying for me. I wanted to hear about her life, interact with her about mine and discuss what we were thinking and feeling about those things that mattered to us. We didn’t have a chance to sit and share life.
An important part of quality conversation is hearing. In order to be a quality conversationalist “I will focus on drawing you out, listening sympatheically to what you have to say. I will ask question, not in a badgering manner but with a genuine desire to understand your thoughts, feelings and desires.”
It isn’t just hearing but listening to truly understand the situation and the person. It means listening for the emotions that underlie what they are saying, body language, giving undivided attention, not interrupting and clarifying what you are hearing from them. You aren’t thinking about what you’ll say next, but you are in the moment with them, emoting, encouraging, and paying attention.
The final quality time dialect is quality activities. It still isn’t really about the activity but the fact that you are doing it with someone you are about. The focus is on building memories, having shared experiences and giving someone else one of the most important things we have so little of, time.
This is why I love my day trips. I get quality, uninterrupted time one-on-one with people I enjoy spending time with. As we engage with our surroundings we’re also engaging with one another. It is sheer bliss for me.
The scary thing about quality time is opening up to another person, showing your feelings and inner most thoughts. You’re trusting them with who you are and what you like to do. Given past experiences in relationships this can be reduced to really shallow and unemotional exchanges.
I’ve been in relationships where we engage in many activities together and yet there is no connection whatsoever. I think this happens alot with co-workers. So when often when you change jobs you never talk to them again. It can also be this way with roommates. Just because you live with someone it doesn’t mean you’re spending quality time together. These relationships are frustrating.
Quality time is deliberate and intentional to build the relationship.
So for me quality time is invigorating, refreshing and life giving. I feel understood, enriched and well … loved. The people I can engage in quality time with are my soul feeders. My batteries get recharged and I leave their presence wanting more time.