Great Morning Beloved!
“The 5 Languages of Love” – “Quality Time”
We’re back to part 2 of the book by Gary Chapman. “The 5 Love Languages, the Secret that makes love last”
According to Dr. Chapman, there are five emotional love languages—five ways that people speak and understand emotional love. They are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.
We’ve established that these suggestions can be used in many types of relationships, not just marriages. So, please apply the ideas and suggestions to your spouse or partner, your family, friends, co-workers; any relationship where you wish a better understanding of the person you are relating to and they to you.
And we also established that what makes one person feel loved emotionally is not always the thing that makes another person feel loved emotionally.
Dr. Chapman’s 5 Love Languages can aid us in finding our language as well as the love language of the important people in our lives. This in turn, aids our relationships and helps to make us all feel loved, which is what we are here to experience.
We were reminded that, “The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love.”
The first love language, Words of Affirmation, may have resonated with some of you.
If words of affirmation are the language of love for someone important to you, or yourself, you may wish to work on that language.
Now we look at the second language, Quality Time.
By “quality time,” we are talking about giving someone your undivided attention. Not she’s playing Words with Friends while you are cruising through Facebook. In this example, Words with Friends and FB have the attention. That is not Quality Time…it’s spending time in the same space but not having any idea what the other person is thinking or feeling; unless she blurts out an angry word because the other person has beaten her at the game.
What it means, actually is talking….and listening!
It could be while taking a walk, or sitting across each other while eating dinner, or sitting on the couch and looking at each other as you tell about your day. It’s undivided attention to each other.
Chapman reminds us, “Time is a precious commodity. We all have multiple demands on our time, yet each of us has the exact same hours in a day. We can make the most of those hours by committing some of them to our relationships.”
A key ingredient in giving quality time is focused attention, especially in this era of many distractions.
A father sitting on the floor, rolling a ball to his two-year-old, his attention is not focused on the ball but on his child. For that brief moment, however long it lasts, they are together.
If, however, the father is talking on the phone while he rolls the ball, his attention is diluted. Some people think they are spending time together when they are only in close proximity. They may be in the same house at the same time, but they are not together.
Quality time means that we are doing something together and that we are giving our full attention to the other person. The activity in which we are both engaged is incidental.
The important thing emotionally is that we are spending focused time with each other.
“The activity is a vehicle that creates the sense of togetherness.”
The important thing about the father rolling the ball to the two-year-old is not the activity itself but the emotions that are created between the father and his child.
Similarly, a husband and wife going running together, if it is genuine quality time, will focus not on the run but on the fact that they are spending time together. What happens on the emotional level is what matters.
Maybe some of us can recall a time when we shared quality time with someone important, whether a parent, spouse or close friend. Emotions that return when we remember that time spent together are the love that was shared.
Our spending time together in a common pursuit communicates that we care about each other, that we enjoy being with each other, that we like to do things together.
A part of the Quality Time Love Language is QUALITY CONVERSATION
Dr. Chapman’s definition of Quality Conversation is “sympathetic dialogue where two individuals are sharing their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context.”
Dr. Chapman says, “If I am sharing my love for you by means of quality time and we are going to spend that time in conversation, it means I will focus on drawing you out, listening sympathetically to what you have to say. I will ask questions, not in a badgering manner but with a genuine desire to understand your thoughts, feelings, and desires.”
Listening is as much a part of conversation as talking and may sometimes be more important.
Being a good listener is a way for us to be loving to others. By listening, we allow others to share their feelings and thoughts. We can be there for people when they need someone to listen.
Every person, even a child, has something to offer that could enrich our lives. So, we listen with love to all who are a part of our life today and every day.
Hearing is improved by a willingness to listen. We may be missing a great deal in life if we do not or will not listen. An opinionated person may not try to listen; he may be so bound by his own thoughts that he can hardly wait to express them. He may have no ears for the things that are being said by others. He may even reject another person without hearing what he has to say.
And any important relationship calls for sympathetic listening with a view to understanding the other person’s thoughts, feelings, and desires.
We must be willing to give advice but only when it is requested and never in a condescending manner. Most of us have little training in listening. We are far more efficient in thinking and speaking.
Chapman tells us, “Learning to listen may be as difficult as learning a foreign language.”
To develop the art of listening.
1. Maintain eye contact when the person is talking. That keeps your mind from wandering and communicates that he/she has your full attention.
2. Don’t try to listen and do something else at the same time. Remember, quality time is giving someone your undivided attention. If you are doing something you cannot turn from immediately, tell them the truth, and ask for some time to clear your
3. Listen for feelings. Ask yourself, “What emotions are being experienced?” When you think you have the answer, confirm it. For example, “It sounds to me like you are feeling disappointed because I forgot.” That gives him the chance to clarify his feelings. It also communicates that you are listening intently to what he is saying.
4. Observe body language. Clenched fists, trembling hands, tears, furrowed brows, and eye movements may give you clues as to what the other is feeling. Sometimes body language speaks one message while words speak another. Ask for clarification to make sure you know what she is really thinking and feeling.
5. Refuse to interrupt. Research has indicated that the average individual listens for only seventeen seconds before interrupting and interjecting his own ideas. If I give you my undivided attention while you are talking, I will refrain from defending myself or hurling accusations at you or dogmatically stating my position. My goal is to discover your thoughts and feelings. My objective is not to defend myself or to set you straight. It is to understand you.
Quality conversation requires not only sympathetic listening but also self-revelation.
When a wife says, “I wish my husband would talk. I never know what he’s thinking or feeling,” she is pleading for intimacy. Her emotional love tank will never be filled until he tells her his thoughts and feelings.
Self-revelation does not come easy for some of us. We may have grown up in homes where the expression of thoughts and feelings was not encouraged, maybe even squelched.
To request a toy was to receive a lecture on the sad state of family finances. The child went away feeling guilty for having the desire, and he quickly learned not to express his desires.
When he expressed anger, the parents responded with harsh and condemning words. Thus, the child learned that expressing angry feelings is not appropriate.
If the child was made to feel guilty for expressing disappointment at not being able to go to the store with his father, he learned to hold his disappointment inside.
By the time we reach adulthood, many of us have learned to deny our feelings. We are no longer in touch with our emotional selves.
If a wife says to her husband, “How did you feel about what Steve did?” And the husband responds, “I think he was wrong. He should have done —”, he is not telling her his feelings. He is voicing his thoughts.
The place to begin is by getting in touch with our feelings, becoming aware that we are emotional creatures in spite of the fact that we have denied that part of ourselves.
Try this – Three times each day, ask yourself, “What emotions have I felt in the last three hours?
The Greek word for disciple is learner. A person who is truly anchored in Christ is not afraid of what he may hear or learn. He is not bound by a closed mind nor by biased ideas.
In each of life’s events, we have emotions, thoughts, desires, and eventually actions. The expression of that process is called self-revelation
So, for the Love Language of Quality Time/Conversations, Choose quality activities. Being together, doing things together, giving each other undivided attention; that is what you wish to do to contribute to quality relationships.
Remember, it is not on what you are doing but on why you are doing it. The purpose is to experience something together:
(1) at least one of you wants to do it, (2) the other is willing to do it, (3) both of you know why you are doing it—to express love by being together.
Let us cultivate the ability to listen, to hear, to learn