Welcome to the final article in the Love Language story series. By know you probably know that the five “languages” are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
- Gift Giving
- Quality Time
One of the biggest challenges in the early years of my marriage was that Spouse and I would butt heads about our social calendar. I was always a “the more the merrier” kind of gal, inviting friends, family, neighbors, and dogs to be a part of every weekend, holiday, or celebration. While he often found himself asking me “Can’t it just be us?” Now obviously a big part of that is the Introvert vs. Extrovert thing but we will save that for another article! 24+ years later, it is so clear to me now that Spouse was simply speaking one of his languages to me: quality time!
As the name implies, this love language means you crave spending “fruitful and attentive time” with your partner and even other loved ones in your family and close friend circle. And just sitting side-by-side staring at your phones doesn’t count! Making time turn into quality time means that it is purposeful and your loved one is actively engaged with you and feels prioritized by you.
“Quality time is giving your undivided attention to your partner,” says Valerie Poppel, PhD, a clinical sexologist and co-founder of The Swann Center, an organization that offers inclusive sexual education and training. “In today’s world, we’re plugged into everything but perhaps our partners.”
Let’s face it; we all want to feel special and loved. Quality time means you appreciate the simplicity of human interaction. You desire feeling seen and understood. Who doesn’t? But the main factor to determining if this is your love language or your partners (or one of them – you’re allowed more than one!) is that you find quality time to be the BIGGEST source of validation in your connections. One major clue is that people with this love language usually go out of their way to make it happen.
It came as no surprise that when Spouse and I began to plan the E.A.A., Epic Anniversary Adventure, and I asked him to give me his three priorities for the trip he said in this exact order:
- Quality time with each other
After 25 years of marriage, I am multilingual enough to read the meaning behind each of those and I am thrilled to say that I agree with all three! Can I still learn more about the languages spoken in our home and continue to grow as a wife? Of course I can, and I hope to by listening better and not assuming how my partner wants to spend time with me.
If you would like to learn more about the Five Love Languages and how your marriage might benefit, I suggest starting with the book that started a movement, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Dr. Gary Chapman. You can also find a fun online quiz here: www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language.
A sincere thank you to my dear friend Keela for asking me to write this series of articles. She doesn’t know it but Keela’s 6th love language is ‘inspiration’ which she gives out in large quantities!