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Authentic Quality Time

“If you truly want to love someone, learn what love means to them.”

An acquaintance of mine complained to me saying, “I don’t understand my wife, she says, “we don’t spend any time together.” I asked him how he spends his time. He explained to me that he works six days a week and every evening he goes home after work, his wife cooks for him and his two kids and they have dinner together. After dinner he spends an hour or so with the kids before they go to bed. He then sits with his wife and they watch TV till they go to bed. “What do you do on your day off?” I asked.  “Oh, we go to church and then I watch the game.” “After we watch a movie or read together.”

If this sound’s like your relationship don’t be alarmed. If you are mutually happy with this, then this is both your quality time. Knowing how to spend Quality time with your spouse is not an easy affair. And it changes at different time depending on your circumstances. My friend in his mind was spending time with his wife. The problem was her idea of quality time was quite different than his. Loving another person requires knowing what love means to the other person not just to yourself.

Considering the fact that we all grew up in different households, our cultural differences, religious understandings, etc., what love means is different to everyone. Quality time means something different to each one of us. Having a successful relationship is to get to the truth of what your partner requires from you to feel loved.

My friend needed to sit down with his wife, turn off the TV and ask what she felt spending time together meant for her period. Caring about someone means caring about what they think, even though you might not agree, at least you can let them be heard. Many times we can become so wrapped up in ourselves, that we forget that love is a give and receive process, and the giving has to be what the other person involved understands is love. If you or your partner is complaining about time together, maybe it’s time to sit down and exchange opinions on what constitutes authentic quality time to each other. Below are some ways to help bring more quality time into your relationship:

Talk about your problems; Many times TV watching is used as a distraction in relationships when there is a brewing problem that needs to be addressed. Try turning off the TV and giving your full attention to your partner and discuss where your relationship is going.

Spend time playing games together: You might already do this with the kids, but do you and your partner play cards, monopoly or any other games together? This is a great way to get conversation going again when emotions run high and leaves your love dry.

Go shopping together: Even if your girl wants to go clothes shopping, tag along sometimes, it’s amazing what you can learn about her on the way. It’s also a great way to learn what to buy your partner on special occasions.

Listen without taking it personal: This is a tough one for many of us. But realize when someone is complaining it’s their perspective and opinions. It does not mean it is the way things are, it does mean it’s the way it is for them. Allowing them to release their emotions is giving them the quality time of listening. Trust me, listening at home keeps outsiders from hearing about your relationship issues.

Never stop dating one another: Gifts, complements, holding hands and loving hugs, go a long way especially when there are a surprise. Send flowers, put notes on her pillow, get home early and cook a meal. Pretend you are dating all over again and try to win your partner all over again.

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