Quality Time In A Relationship

quality timeQuality time is such a popular term these days and yet, in our busy lives we tend to have less and less time to give our undivided attention to people we love. Today I’m going to tell you what quality time isn’t, explain why it’s important in a relationship and give you some tips on how to spend more quality time together without turning your life into a cheesy romance novel.

The Reason Quality Time So Important

If you don’t spend quality time with your partner, you slowly but surely forget who they are. You basically become more like flatmates than partners. If you don’t talk about things that matter and those that matter a bit less, don’t have fun together and don’t have sex, what’s the point of being together?

The problem with quality time is that the lack of it won’t destroy your relationship overnight. It’s more like cancer that creeps on you slowly, without you noticing any symptoms until it’s quite advanced and just like cancer it’s much easier treated if it’s detected early on.

Quality Time Vs Being In The Same Space

Quality time doesn’t simply mean being in the same space with the person you love. Do you think I’m stating the obvious? Just think about your friends and how many of them settle into Netflix and chill routines in their relationships. It’s great to indulge in an occasional session of binge TV watching while cuddling but it’s not good for your relationship to do just that.

Similarly, eating meals together when one or both of you is on their phone isn’t going to do your relationship any good. The worst, of course, is eating and watching TV at the same time. That’s not only bad for your love life but also for your stomach and general state of mindfulness!

Talk But… About Something Else Than Work (Or Your Dog Or Your Kid)

Because our partner is a part of our daily life, we often talk to them about things that occupy us daily: work, pets, kids… It’s very important to discuss practical matters such as the spending budget but no one ever got wet or a boner from that.

What’s necessary is necessary and sometimes it’s even nice to talk about your dog or your child at length (I have discussed the similarities in my post what getting a puppy taught me abut potentially having children) but talking about any topic all of the time, even if it’s astrophysics, is boring.

Seeing that we all like what’s familiar and to repeat ourselves, you’ll just have to stop yourself. Set artificial time limits or do whatever you need to to change the topic. Mention the article you’ve read, what you’ve heard on the radio or even gossip about what you saw in your Facebook feed. We need to discuss daily things for a relationship to be stable as much as we need to discuss what inspires us to make it interesting.

Improve The Mundane

Let’s be honest, most of us don’t have time for holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes at length daily, while having a conversation about the meaning of life. This is why a good idea to spend more quality time together is by improving the mundane.

Here are some ideas:

– Make a rule of eating meals together without digital distractions
– Prepare meals together when chatting
– Get a dog and take it for a walk or volunteer at a shelter together and walk the dogs
– Don’t get a dog and just go for a walk together (people certainly don’t get enough activity these days)
– If you’re very resistant to activity, drive together to a park and sit on a bench. Or like people here in Cape Town, buy take-away food and drive to the ocean to sit in a car and admire it while chatting.

None of these things cost a lot timewise and moneywise but they’re what can improve your longterm relationship significantly.

Do Something Exciting

I can hear your thoughts: You don’t have time or money. The truth is that we often come up with excuses for not doing things. All it really is about are priorities. If you’re in a relationship, it should be one of them. Doing something exciting together from time to time is important. The lack thereof long term is detrimental.

Sex is a good choice but perhaps try it out on the kitchen table for a change. Go for a day trip to an attraction nearby. Go away for the weekend. Try salsa classes once. Go to an outdoors or a drive-in cinema… Just do something different!

Plan a date night or something nice for the weekend every week or two. We naturally do such things in the beginning of a relationship but forget about it later on. This is really silly because to thrive a relationship needs more attention at its later stages than in the beginning when everything is easy.

That’s All, Folks

Spending quality time together is not always easy. We’re all busy and it’s very convenient to just let laziness win over us. A good relationship is our comfort zone so we have to fight with our natural inclinations to let it naturally progress towards more and more familiarity and less and less excitement. Unless, of course, we don’t mind joining the people complaining about their boring relationships and spouses…

Oi! How have you been Rinsers? Do you make time you get enough quality time with your partner? What other tips do you have for people who struggle? I’m waiting for your comments!

 

2 comments

  1. Nice tips.

    Having once been in a long-distance relationships, once upon a time all I ever wanted was to occupy the same space as a significant other. Sometimes having someone to just be around without necessarily having to make too much effort is kinda what differentiates a relationship from a regular friendship, I suppose. I know you compared that too a flatmate, but I can honestly say I’ve never really chosen to have a flatmate…its been more a financial necessity, something you tolerate. However, I do get what you are saying about things escalating if you become blase about doing nice things. At a minimum, I think people should do something to nice to mark certain milestones, birthdays, etc…no matter how busy or broke you are.

    And its one thing being a netflix and chill couple. Which I’ve seen a lot of. But I think it is more difficult when one or neither of you is much of a home body, in the sense that you both have active social lives and interests. Especially, if your interests are different or you don’t want to drag your significant other to every event that involves your squad talking about the good old days. That said, I think in relationships, as in life in general, the busier we are the more effort we make to accommodate the people that matter in our lives and the less chance there is of letting this escalate into netflix and chill vibes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know some people who choose having flatmates because they can’t be on their own. I also think that even in friendships we don’t make much of an effort, if we’re comfortable with someone. You know that feeling that you’re telling someone a story for a second time but you’ll indulge in it, anyway, because it’s a trusted friend? Comfort is a natural tendency and it’s good to have it but too much of it isn’t good.
      Yeah, some people don’t even celebrate the special occasions… I just find it sad because life is kind of boring if we don’t make an effort. Maybe it’s a personality thing, though. Maybe some people are really okay with boring…

      So I’m not sure how many couples with very different interests and personalities survive that long. They have to have some things in common at least eg being homebodies or being socialites. I mean sure, you can have your own interests but if you want to be out all the time doing A and he/she wants to be out all of the time doing B than I think after pretending that A or B interests you when it doesn’t in the beginning, eventually you’ll give up. And perhaps find someone who likes C but also A from time to time, if that makes sense?

      Like

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