The 5 Love Languages: Quality Time

The second Love Language, according to Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, is Quality Time.

“Quality time” is a term we hear a lot these days, often in a joking way. If we’re tired we say, “I need to spend some quality time with my pillow.” If we’re hungry we say, “I need to spend some quality time with a bag of Doritos.” Okay, maybe that’s just me. But what does “quality time” really mean?

It’s pretty simple: it means giving someone your full, undivided attention, with no distractions. This is a lot harder than it sounds, especially these days. We’re always doing twenty things at once: texting, emailing, listening to music, surfing the Web – with one eye on the TV and half a mind on what’s for dinner. I’m as guilty of it as anyone, but if you want to speak this love language, you have to stop the madness. Especially if your husband or boyfriend needs to hear you speak this language in order to feel like you’re engaged and you care.

Some things that count as quality time (just the two of you; no one else): playing a game of Scrabble where the focus is not on the game so much as the fact that you’re spending time together, sitting in a café sipping coffee and talking, or going for a walk. Some things that don’t count: going to the movies (your attention is not on each other), curling up on the couch together and watching your favorite show (again, too much attention is on the entertainment instead of each other), or doing chores together (as helpful as that can be). Your quality time should have healthy doses of eye contact and listening, and no interruptions (this includes not interrupting each other).

You don’t even have to call it “quality time” if you don’t want to, especially if the phrase makes you want to laugh or, worse yet, roll your eyes. Instead, call it Date Night. Or “QT.” Or Joe & Sam’s Super Duper Afternoon Extravaganza. The important thing is to do it.

So put down the iPhone, turn off True Blood, listen to Gaga later, and spend some quality time with your man. The best part about quality time is that you get to enjoy it, too. And you will. Trust me, you will.