If Your Spouse’s Love Language is Quality Time 

Gary Chapman revolutionised how couples do relationships with his bestselling book The Five Love Languages. In it, he outlines the five main ways that people express and “receive” love. The 5 love languages include words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and touch. 

For example, I’m one of those people who have quality time as one of the main ways I feel loved. That’s why one of my favourite things is when Joy asks to go on a walk with me. We set out, just the two of us, leaving the rest of our loud and boisterous 10-person household, and walk a few blocks away. 

Afterwards, we may sit down for a cup of tea at whatever hawker center we end up in, talking about our dreams, frustrations, triumphs, whatever strikes our fancy at the moment. After that we would walk the whole way back, but there would be a new spring in my step, because having Joy listen to my heart would have refilled my love tank!

It may not always be sunshine and roses, because Joy and I are each individuals with our own nuances and preferences. The important thing is that, because we both know each other’s love languages, we can make an effort to meet the other person at her need.

(If you want to know your and your spouse’s love language, feel free to take the quiz here.)

    
 Decide to put your phone away or on silent mode during your meal or time together. If you can’t stay off your phone for a whole hour, you can start by devoting ten minutes. Set your timer, and dedicate those ten minutes to heart-to-heart conversation.
    
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Practical Steps to Say I Love You through Quality Time 

If your spouse is like me, with quality time as one of his or her main love languages, here are some practical steps you can take to make him or her feel loved: 

1. Set aside a regular date time.

People with quality time as one of their top love languages crave one-on-one time. This is why it’s crucial that you set a regular date time. One way would be to pick a day and time each week that you can both commit as your date time; alternatively, you can adjust a day and time each week. However, having it set ahead of time on the calendar week after week can help assure your partner that he or she already has guaranteed time with you. 

2. Choose a date option that meets your partner’s need for connection.

Date time doesn’t have to be expensive: you can get creative and say, take a walk in the park, or drive to a local cafe or hawker center. (Check out our post for creative date time ideas.)

The important thing is that the date time can help meet your spouse’s desire for connection. Ask them what kind of activities help them feel most loved. Some people feel loved by spending time watching movies together, while others want to have dedicated time for deep conversation. This depends on the person, and we encourage you to understand your partner’s needs better by asking questions!

3. Try to find something that you like in what your partner enjoys doing.

Understandably, as couples, we won’t always love to do the same things. But when our partner’s love language is quality time, chances are, it will make him or her feel loved to have you join in the activites they love the most. That’s why our suggestion is, try to find an area that you enjoy in whatever it is your spouse loves doing. 

How does this look in a practical sense? In the past, I used to love going to Borders to browse books. Joy doesn’t like to do that, but she still goes along and tries to find what she enjoys in my world: because she loves cooking, she would go and look at cookbooks and things like that. That’s how she gives me quality time. After the bookstore, we would go for a drink. But the fact that she came along with me to be involved in what I enjoy makes me feel loved—even though she may not have enjoyed it as much, her taking the step to find a way to be there with me speaks volumes to me. It’s a bit like give and take. 

Why is this important? If we don’t enjoy something, it’s very hard for us to give it. What we try to do is to find something we enjoy within that love language in a way that also meets our own needs. Some people go for walks, even if they’re not quality-time people, but going for walks is a form of exercise. Find that thing that will be mutually beneficial.

4. Make sure you give your undivided attention.

Most people whose top love language is quality time share a pet peeve: sitting across someone who’s fiddling with his or her phone and zoning out of a conversation!

So how can you give your spouse your whole focus? Decide to put your phone away or on silent mode during your meal or time together. You can also help your partner feel secure in having your attention by verbalising that commitment.

If you can’t stay off your phone for a whole hour, you can start by devoting ten minutes. Set your timer, and dedicate those ten minutes to heart-to-heart conversation. Then try working your way up five minutes more at a time.

5. Initiate conversation with open-ended questions..

Maximise your time together with meaningful conversation. Start by asking open-ended questions. They can be something as simple as “How was your day?” or “Tell me about…”

If you need help to get a conversation going, you can download our free e-book, 101 Questions.

6. Seek feedback.

In order to get better at making your spouse feel loved, try to end each date with an honest question to know how it made him or her feel. You can ask simply if he or she felt loved, and if not, what you can do in the future to help meet her need to feel loved.

(But, if they aren’t comfortable expressing feedback, don’t force it either! You don’t want to “demand” satisfaction!)

Practicing Spending Quality Time

In this age where distraction seems to be the norm, it may take some time for us to practice spending quality time with our spouses! Although it may seem awkward at first (anyone else here experience withdrawal-like symptoms when our phone is away?), press on, because the rewards will be worth it.

We look forward to helping you form deeper connections with each other. Also, check out our free e-book on 10 Days to Improve Your Marriage.

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