What’s your love language?
If you’ve ever read any of Gary Chapman’s Love Languages books 1, or read either of my blog posts about them, you know what I’m referring to. If you haven’t yet, you can head over and read my previous love language posts here and here, where I covered the languages of ‘Words of Affirmation’ and ‘Physical Touch’, respectively.
For a recap, the five love languages (ways different people prefer to receive love) are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Today, I have the privilege of sharing a guest post with you, from friend and talented author, S. J. Wunderlin! Quality Time is Sierra’s primary love language, and I was thrilled when she agreed to write a post talking about how ‘Quality Time’ affects her life, and ways that she appreciates it being shown.
If you share that love language with her, I hope you might be encouraged by knowing you’re not alone, and I’d love to hear how it manifests in your life, as well. And if that’s not your primary love language, I hope you find some insight for loving the people in your life that do especially appreciate ‘Quality Time’.
And now, turning it over to Sierra . . .
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”Ben Franklin
For some people, including me, time is not only the stuff life is made of, but also the stuff love is made of.
Like the other love languages, ‘Quality Time’ is pretty much what it sounds like. A person with this love language values your time above all else. They truly don’t care what you are doing as long as you are together. If someone takes time out of their busy schedule and gives it to me, it makes me feel loved and cared for. This could be going for lunch, a long walk, a movie, or even a phone call.
The gift of time says, “I care for you. You are special to me. Even though I have a lot going on, you are more important to me than all of that.”
Sometimes ‘Quality Time’ people can be misunderstood. You may feel like you aren’t really doing anything, or that you should do something to make me feel special. Often that has the opposite effect. If we sit on a bench or go for a run, whether we talk or not, whether we spend any money or “do anything”, I will feel loved.
If you ask your ‘Quality Time’ loved one what they want to do together, they may respond with “I don’t care, you can pick something.” Don’t read too much into this. They truly don’t care. They just want to be with you. If they respond this way, feel free to pick something you would both enjoy. But don’t pick too many things. Slow down.
Don’t keep hopping from one thing to the next, filling the time completely. Then it feels like you are enjoying the activities rather than the person. Of course this is not intended, but it can come across that way and your ‘Quality Time’ friend may just feel overwhelmed.
A few other tips: stay off your phone and other electronics! If you are doing something on electronics together there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you’re doing something else, stay off your phone except if you need to. If we are having coffee together and you keep checking your phone and texting other people that sends the message, “You are important to me, but not quite as important as this.” I know people don’t mean this, but be aware of hurting others through your distractions.
Here are a few ways special people in my life have demonstrated their affection to me through ‘Quality Time’:
My brother figured out long ago that I am hard to buy gifts for. So we usually go get ice cream and see a movie together for my birthday. He does pay, so it is like a gift in that way. We both enjoy ice cream and movies, but if he had simply given me twenty bucks or a gift card, I wouldn’t have felt loved in quite the same way. Yes, I would have been thankful and appreciative, but that is not quite the same thing. My brother captured the essence of ‘Quality Time’ and gave me that special gift.
My dad is really good about spending time with each of his seven kids individually. For me, this is especially meaningful. As a pastor, my dad has a lot of people who demand his time, but when he takes time to read something I’ve written, talk, pray, or go on a “daddy date,” it makes my day.
My mom shares the ‘Quality Time’ love language with me. As I am the oldest of seven children, neither she or I have much time to spare! We don’t often go places just the two of us. However, we can make dinner together. We can ride in the car together. We can sit and talk (or stand and talk loudly above the chaos while doing other things). But that still makes us both feel loved. We are both willing to give up our time to show love for the other.
My boyfriend and I take long walks together or sometimes just sit in the woods listening to the sounds of nature. Even though he has a busy schedule, he is willing to take time to not accomplish anything and just be with me. Other times we sit together while I write and he does his work, not exchanging words because we still must accomplish our tasks, yet enjoying the time together. Because I value time, this makes me feel cared for and special.
Something interesting I noticed about the ‘Quality Time’ love language is that it is often a dual love language. Dual love languages are two love languages that are both very close at the top of a person’s love language list. ‘Quality time’ could be your first or close second, but it pairs really well with the other languages. Knowing a person’s other main love language is helpful in knowing the best ways to spend ‘Quality Time’ with them.
For ‘Words of Affirmation’ and ‘Quality Time’, sitting and talking is really special.
For ‘Acts of Service’ and ‘Quality Time’, helping someone with a project will make them feel loved.
For ‘Gifts’, try going to pick out a special gift together, or giving a gift like a fun trip of some sort.
And for ‘Physical Touch’, putting your arm around someone or holding hands (as appropriate to the relationship) while walking, sitting, or conversing, is really meaningful.
If someone you love and care about has the love language ‘Quality Time’, the gift of time is the most beautiful thing you can give them. Find little ways you can spend time with them, and slow down to show them how much you love them.
Sierra is a nineteen year old homeschool graduate from rural Wisconsin. She is a Christian, big sister to 6, and a novice writer. She mainly blogs with the themes of joy, thankfulness, and contentment, and she is also working on a teen action-adventure series and a book on women of the Bible. Besides writing, she loves reading, going for long walks and runs, playing with small children, music, and ice cream!
You can find her at https://sjwunderlinwriting.wordpress.com/.
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born
for a time of adversity.
(Proverbs 17:17 NIV)
Is ‘Quality Time’ your primary love language, or the primary love language of someone close to you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!
1. Love Languages books, resources, and quizzes can be found here.