Quality Time

This is the last of my five Love Languages posts. If you missed the other ones, here they are:

And now it’s time for my favorite of the five — quality time!

Quality time has always been high on my priority list, but the past couple of years it’s really been bumped to the top. Doing a deployment with someone you love is one of the hardest things I can think of. There are so many reasons I find it difficult, but a big one is that you don’t get to spend very much quality time with them — for like, almost an entire year. This has given me a great appreciation for the time I get to spend with Robert now.

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Robert and I both have quality time as our #1 LL. We went to my first Red Sox game recently and it was one of the best days!

Make sure you are fully present when you are spending quality time with your partner. This means putting your phone away, not running through a checklist in your mind of things you need to do, and temporarily pushing aside any worries or concerns you might have in your life to live in the present with them. When you are using quality time as a love language with someone, the emphasis should be on the word qualityTime is something that you sometimes have to give to things you do and do not care about. You go to the doctors office because you have to make sure you stay healthy, and you give your time to your employers in return for a paycheck. Giving time to a loved one needs to be different. It should be offered as a caring gesture and given because you want to bond and grow closer to someone.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate quality time into your love life:

  • Run errands together. This is a big one, guys! Errands are an inevitable part of life, and they are something every single person will have to do, likely several times a week. Going on outings to get groceries together or running to the post office as a team are so important for your growth as a couple. You get quality time in the car together and time to chat and bond while you pick out what you want to have for dinner that week. Do not split up when you go shopping just to make things faster; stick together and find each item as a team so that you can experience life together. It may not be as fast that way, but it’s a whole lot more valuable.
  • Make time for regular date nights. No, ordering takeout and watching football doesn’t count unless that’s something you both genuinely enjoy doing. Go out into the world and try a new restaurant or explore a new town together. Quality time doesn’t usually care where you are, rather it focuses more on enjoying each other’s company fully. Exploring new places is an awesome way to learn new things about each other — no matter how long you’ve been together — and it forces you to keep up with your plans of having a set date night.
  • Don’t always choose television. I know it’s so easy to get sucked into the tube, especially after a long day at work. TV is a great way to relax, but it isn’t always going to fulfill the quality time aspect of your partner’s life. Make dinner together while singing along to Taylor Swift, or take your dog for a nice, long walk.
  • On the other hand, having a weekly TV show you tune into together is a great way to bond. That way you have something fun to talk about together and can giggle or scream at the TV when something unexpected happens. I love watching The Bachelor with Robert, and he likes watching football or basketball with me. We started watching Big Brother this season, which has been a really fun topic of conversation for both of us. We’ve loved cheering the same people on, and debating who would be a more exciting winner — Josh or Paul. Now that the season is over we are going to start watching The Office because Robert has never seen it and doesn’t think he likes it… That was a dealbreaker that I suppose I overlooked when we first started dating because of his witty charm and strikingly handsome looks. Now that we’ve been seeing each other for almost two years, I think we have to change this about him. Please leave comments of encouragement and excitement about The Office so that Robert can see that it’s everything you could ever want in a TV show and more.

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Quality time seems like it would be a simple love language to master, however if it’s not something that comes naturally to someone it can be difficult to understand how to use this LL properly. If there isn’t a genuine desire for a connection, being in the same room doesn’t really fill the emotional needs of the person who craves QT. If this isn’t a natural desire of your heart, the more you venture outside your box of usual activities, the more you might get excited about spending time with your significant other.

Figure out what your Love Language is today, and perhaps more important, what your partner’s Love Language is. It is absolutely a game changer in a relationship and can make your bond just that much closer.

Let’s Get Physical!

Physical touch is my second greatest love language.

There is something in this world that I call “magic hands.” It’s essentially someone who has a gentle, healing touch. I think that this can often come from someone you really care about transmitting love through their hands, but I also think certain people are just gifted with healing hands. Using physical touch as a love language seems super obvious; kissing, hugging, massages, and intimacy seem to be pretty simple concepts to grasp. Someone with physical touch as a top LL, though, will tell you that it’s even more than that. Here are a few ways you can make your partner feel loved through the gift of touch:

  • Hold their hand when you’re out and about. Showing affection in public is actually a really special thing to most people with this as a primary love language. Whether it’s putting your arm around them or grabbing their hand, these are both ways to make someone feel really taken care of while you’re running errands or having a date night.
  • Another reason some people love physical touch in public is because it connects with the affirmation part of a LL, and makes your partner feel like you are proud to be out with them. By gently holding hands with your significant other you are showing that you are connected to them in a romantic way, and that you have given up pursuing anyone else for the joy of being with them.
  • Putting your arm around your partners shoulder or waist while you’re watching a movie is a subtly sweet way to show love. Being together is the most important thing about physical touch — it doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing, as long as you are close.
  • Massage is a form of physical touch that can bond a couple, but it can even be healing in a platonic relationship. A massage from a romantic partner, however, is a great way to show your other half that you love them and are able to be selfless in your relationship.
  • Kissing is a great way to show someone you love them. Different spots make you feel a different kind of love, though. A kiss on the lips is passionate and romantic, while a kiss on the forehead is sweet and tender. Kissing someone on the hand is more submissive and adoring, and a kiss on the cheek is a friendly way to show love.

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Everyone has different ways they feel especially loved through physical touch. Some people really enjoy hand holding, others want hugs and kisses. Regardless of your physical touch style, it is a very important part of a romantic relationship, as it isn’t as common in other relationships in your life.  It’s a way that can make people feel safe and taken care of. By implementing these practices in your everyday life, your romance will blossom even more and both of you will reap the benefits of this love language.

Acts Of Service

Acts of service is one of the more difficult Love Languages for me to write about, as it’s the lowest on my list. This is interesting, though, because I speculate that a lot of people who are incredibly close to me have this as one of their top LL’s. Ever since I realized this I’ve tried to be really cognizant about the things other people do for me, as well as amp up my acts of service in their lives, too.

Did you know that sometimes when you speak the wrong love language to someone that they don’t necessarily register it as being something coming from the heart? I learned this when I began to realize that one of my favorite ways to show love — through little gifts and letters — wasn’t necessarily what was making everyone in my life feel loved. After paying closer attention to what others need I have tweaked the way I love, which in turn has changed my heart to receive all 5 love languages a little better. I used to brush off acts of service as things people felt they had to do for me, but now I take note of even the smallest actions people do from their heart.

One act of service Robert thanked me for today was getting up early to take Jax outside and keep him in the living room to let him sleep in. I actually didn’t think Robert would have even really noticed, but it made my heart warm this morning just knowing he would get the rest he’s needed.

Ideas to implement this LL:

  • Run an errand for your loved one.
  • Play chauffeur and drive your loved one somewhere they need to be, but can’t get to on their own. Lots of my friends and family do this for me often, as I can’t drive much longer than 10-15 minutes at a time, so I’m very familiar with this act of service.
  • Do some of the chores your significant other hates so (s)he doesn’t have to. This is difficult because fine motor skills (ie: loading and unloading the dishwasher) can add to the pain in my arms, and so my parents have taken a bigger burden with chores in the house. I’m so thankful and try to help out in other ways, since I’m currently trying to work to get stronger so that I will hopefully be able to serve others with this again one day.
  • Fill up their car with gas. This is such a tiny act of service, but it’s one I’ve grown to really appreciate. I can’t pump gas with my arm pain, but even before I got sick my dad always tried to fill up the girls’ tanks to keep our cars in tip top running shape.
  • Cook them a meal. I know I mentioned cooking in the “gift giving” Love Language, but it can also be categorized as an act of service. This is a great way to show someone you care about them and want to spend time with them. Even sending a packed lunch to work is a really sweet gesture.
  • Don’t complain when someone asks you to do them a favor. I cannot emphasize this enough, as I have had to swallow my pride the past 4 years and learn to ask for help. I already have a really hard time asking for the things I need, but it’s really made it harder when someone tells me how difficult the favor was to do. For the most part everyone has been so incredible about pitching in, though, and I remember so many of the sweet things people have done to help make things a little easier on me. I couldn’t feel more grateful, and I hope to be able to love with some of the acts of service that are hard on me in the future.

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Acts of service can be difficult to spot, and easy to take for granted. People who love this way, though, will show it in everyday life. Whether it’s doing home improvement projects, cooking a meal, or simply doing the laundry, acts of service are often the little pieces of love woven into the little pieces of your day. They are often even combined with other Love Languages, such as physical touch through a massage, or gift giving with a homecooked meal. What kind of acts of service do you notice in your life?