February 20, 2015

Let Me Be Loved: Quality Time

Today is the last day of the blog series! I hope you have enjoyed reading all the wonderful insights these lovely people have shared, and that it has helped you figure out your own love language and learn more about the rest! We are going last to Quality Time, a love language that has certainly become overlooked in this age of technology where everyone seems to be on their phones all the time and not giving their time to the people they are with. Andy, Rachel Rastelli and Jansina have joined me today to share their love language.

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back.” – Rick Warren

As a Quality Time person, what makes you feel loved?

Rachel Rattistelli: I feel loved when people spend time with me. It doesn’t have to be a time when we are both physically present. Letters, texts, emails and messages over facebook do the trick too, although not quite in the same way. It warms the cockles of my heart to know people are thinking of me and want to spend their irreplaceable time with me in some way.

Jansina: To me, every interaction counts as quality time. A text, a Facebook message, a request to hang out—I value all of it. Gifts, especially handmade or thoughtful ones, mean the giver thought of me, specifically, and took time out of their day to make me smile. Acts of service, words of affirmation, touch—those don’t happen without investing quality time. Through the lens of my love language, I can appreciate each one.

What are some challenges to feeling loved?

Rachel: Because Quality Time is my love language, I am very conscious of other people’s time. I find myself feeling surprised and/or guilty when they choose to spend their time with/on me. It is the only thing I want and I am not about to inconvenience other people with my needs. I see time as a precious resource and I will be the last person to tell you how you should spend yours. I will only hint at wanting you to spend it on me and sometimes, not even do that. For that reason, it is also very easy for me to feel forgotten or passed over. I have a hard time coming out and just telling people what I want because I don’t want to be a bother.

Jansina: People fade out of touch. Messages are read but not responded to. Invitations to spend time together aren’t followed through. People are busy, messages are easy to forget when you can’t reply right away, and good intentions don’t always end in results. None of it is a reflection of the person’s love for me. In my head, I understand this. But it can still hurt.

Andy: Quality time runs into the challenge of scheduling, which is an amusingly mundane problem for it to have. You can't really reliably use quality time as a love language if you rely on improvised hanging-out. Valuing quality time means that you have to plan ahead, block out time in your day to do things with people, and learn how to prioritize activities

What do you do to show love through Quality Time?

Rachel: I. Will. Do. Anything. For. You. Time to me is so slippery, so easily lost and wasted on meaningless pastimes. If I am taking the time to talk to you or offering to give you a ride/meet up with you somewhere or just hang out...you mean something to me. You mean time well spent. If I start texting you a lot or trying to hang out with you, congratulations. You are worth my time. And I love spending it on you.

Jansina: I regularly send notes to people I care about and pursue spending time with them. If seeing each other in person isn't feasible, I’ll spend time chatting, emailing, texting, or calling them. The gifts I give are often handmade and are always chosen specifically for each person. I’ll help with tasks I don’t enjoy (painting, cleaning, cooking) since it means seeing friends. Although I like my phone a little more than I probably should, when I’m with others I make a point to keep it out of sight. My time with them is more important than texts and emails I may be missing.

Andy: I use quality time as a more passive love language. Spending time with people, doing things that both interest us, means a lot to me. While it's true that it works best when I'm doing something mutually enjoyed with others, like gaming or watching a favorite movie, I'm also willing to spend time with someone while doing something I'm far less-invested in.

What advice do you have to give for loving someone who speaks Quality Time? 

Rachel: Ooo, this is where it gets tough. I am not a huge fan of that love language that’s all about being touched. My boyfriend is the only person I actually LIKE that from. (And it took me a few months to warm up to him!) Hugs or handshakes or what have you from anyone else are tolerated. Come too close and I will bite without barking first. My problem? Most people read ‘Quality Time’ as “Cuddle Time” and then I’m stuck trying to explain myself and fend off hugs at the same time. Take the time to text me. Take the time to like my status on Facebook or my picture on Instagram. Take the time to talk to me. Don’t act rushed or I will end the conversation convinced there is someone/something more important for you to be spending your time on. Since your time is more sacred to me than my own, I will be the last person to waste it for you. Make plans to do something with me. We don’t have to be doing anything for me to enjoy my time with you. We could be doing nothing. It’s not about what we are doing for me, it is who I am with. I love going places and doing things, but the great thing about me is that I don’t need to be entertained. You wanting to spend time with me is enough. I won’t ask for more.

Jansina: Let them know you’re thinking of them. Even just a quick note is enough. Even better: initiate specific times to hang out (and follow through). It’s not what you’re doing that matters but that you’re doing it together. If you’re busy packing, cleaning, or cooking, ask if they’d like to help. You might be surprised at their response, and even if they can’t (or, okay, just don’t want to), they’ll be thrilled you wanted them there.

We are all given only 24 hours each day. Choosing to spend some of it with another person is the greatest gift I can think of.
Read the whole series:
Let Me Be Loved: Introduction
Let Me Be Loved: Acts of Service
Let Me Be Loved: Words of Affirmation
Let Me Be Loved: Physical Touch
Let Me Be Loved: Gift Giving

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