Post # 1
I’m sure this is a common topic that has been brought up before at some point on the bee, but right now I feel like I’m going through a patch with DH where he and I don’t see eye to eye on quality time. Therefore, I’m just curious how other bees view quality time together.
To me, quality time together is spending time doing something together that involves attention on each other or doing an activity together. I mean giving each other attention in the sense that you are giving your significant other your attention while they are talking, for example. In the sense of activites, it doesn’t have to be something where you are talking to one another constantly during the activity, but you are both focused on the activity at hand. For example – my husband and I both like to ride our horses, so going out for a ride together would be considered quality time to me. OR even messing around in the barn together.
Now, DH and I often have the evenings where we sit in the living room and are on our phones while the TV is on. Tycially we are also on *our* couches too, so not cuddling together and we usually don’t talk. Now…. DH views this as quality time because he is in the same room with me therefore that equals spending time together. While technically, yes he is correct, I still think quality time is when we are both focused on each other and/or a shared activity.
As for timing and amount of quality time… I think out of the 5 day work week (Monday-Friday) we try to do something together 2-3 nights. It might be cooking dinner, doing stuff outside around the house, or catching up on our TV recordings. I personally think this is a pretty fair amount of time together, it gives us a day or so during the week plus weekends to have our separate time and do our individual things. While we may still be at home together, I tend to clean house or read in the bedroom and DH may play his video games.
How do you define quality time? What do you do for quality time with your SO? What do you consider to NOT be quality time together? How much quality time is enough?
Post # 2
I guess I’ve never really thought of quality time together vs time together. My fiance and I spend almost all of our time together but it’s definitely not all quality now that I think about it.
We work together so we commute 45 min to an hour each way, we go to the gym together after work, then typically either grab dinner on our way home or one of us will cook while the other does some other chores (laundry or something). We eat dinner, then usually watch TV and I’m pretty bad about being on my phone because I have a hard time paying attention to the TV.
I think for us, because we spend so much time together we don’t really focus on quality time as much as perhaps we should. We’ll chat throughout the day or email each other, so when we get home it’s not like the first time we’re able to have a real conversation for the first time that day so we kind of use our evening time as time for ourselves to unwind and do something mindless (shitty TV, looking at our phones).
I think where our real quality time is spent, is on the weekends when we can plan something and go out and just have a good time together and not have to worry about getting to bed early, or waking up early, or doing typical week day type stuff.
Post # 3
My fi and I noticed that we weren’t feeling as connected when we ate dinner together at the TV so now we eat dinner at the table together after we cook and chit chat about whatever.
It takes all the distractions away and I feel more connected with him.
Post # 4
It can be hard for us to get quality time in because his kids live with us 50% of the time, so we make a conscious effort to prioritize it. We make time to either cook dinner or go out to eat together a couple times a week, watch a movie, visit another close by city for the day, or go on an overnight trip somewhere. If we take his kids somewhere, whether it’s to the water park or the grocery store, I don’t really consider that quality time because the focus is more on them.
Post # 5
I’m sure everyone’s needs and definitions are different, but for me just being in the same vicinity without interacting isn’t “quality time.”
I think of quality time as doing something one-on-one where the point is to just spend time together and connect, so usually they’re the kind of activities that you might do on a date — going for a hike, eating out, cooking together, playing a board game, snuggling together while you watch a movie.
They have to be recreational activities for it to count as quality time, so I wouldn’t consider commuting together or doing taxes together “quality time” (unless you’ve learned how to make those things enjoyable).
I would say most of my quality time with my husband happens on the weekends, when we have time to go out and do activities together, whether that’s reading in the park together, visiting a museum, or seeing a show. On weeknights, we tend to cuddle up and watch TV together while eating dinner, but beyond that we don’t necessarily do too many shared activities since we’re usually tired. It’s not uncommon for us to have downtime in the evenings where we are both reading or on our phones separately.
Post # 6
My husband and I work and commute together so distinguishing between time together and quality time together has been important for us. We technically see each other at least every few hours, every day, all the time.
BUT we also make an effort to carve out ‘quality time.’ For us that’s usually going out for a meal or some activity where we get to have focused conversations – not just end of day work vents. But it can really be anything outside of the daily grind.
I think the main purpose of it is time spent focused on each other as individuals, and focused on your relationship with each other. In day to day life you can start to take the other person for granted as part of the permanent backdrop of your life. It’s important to take a step back and remember your relationship is a thing you have to look after and cultivate, and that you’re lucky as hell to have each other.
Post # 7
This post sort of reminds me of one of my college relationships. We spent a LOT of time silently studying at the same table in the same room, and then when we’d take study breaks he would want to spend that time looking at espn.com or playing a video game instead of talking to me. I always complained that he didn’t spend enough time with me, and he argued that we were spending time together by virtue of being in the same room. I felt very lonely and isolated in that situation though, because yes, we were in the same vicinity, but we weren’t ENGAGING with each other. Time together and QUALITY time together aren’t necessarily the same thing.
It’s a bit of a fine line, though. To me, watching tv while sitting apart from each other and focusing on our own phones or computers does not constitute quality time. But I think watching tv while cuddling and both actively focusing on the show would qualify as quality time for me. And I consider going out to the movie theater to be quality time.
I guess for me, if we’re engaging with each other or actively sharing an experience, such as focusing on the same activity or conversation, that counts as quality time.
Post # 8
I think everyone’s needs when it comes to quality time together are different.
I’ve never really needed a whole lot of quality time together – I more just like to know that someone is there, and for me, having memorable experiences is better than having lots of time together.
I’m quite happy if my SO and I are just in the same room, each doing our own thing, or if we check in with each other every day, catch up on what’s happened in our day. For me, physical affection is my primary love language by a mile, so I’d be happy with little to no talking, as long as hugs and cuddles and kisses were involved.
I think you need to work out exactly what quality time means for you. Realise that your DH may have a different definition. It’s ok that you each see it differently – there is no right or wrong answer. But work out what you need to feel satisfied and happy in the relationship, and ask for it specifically. Do it in a calm, patient and kind way, without making him *wrong*. Phrase it in terms of “I” statements, “I’d love for us to….” or “It makes me happy when we….” or “I need more of ….” or “I feel as if we haven’t …. enough recently.”
See if you can compromise and meet somewhere in the middle. In a relationship, we rarely get all of what we want, so it’s a case of getting enough that you can feel satisfied and that you can both feel supported and content in the relationship.
One of the biggest problems in relationships is unmet expectations: So for me, if I was looking forward to quality time with my SO and we were both just watching TV on different couches and on our phones and not even talking to each other, this would make me disappointed. But if I had texts I needed to reply to and had already spent a lot of time with him that day, this would be fine. It’s all about communicating your expectations clearly but gently and kindly.
Post # 9
I can TOTALLY relate to your first point, about it being like a college relationship. DH and I actually started dating my 2nd year of college, so I get exactly what you are saying. However, nowadays I think post-wedding life has just gotten hectic with a bunch of separate obligations for both of us, family events, etc that there is a lack of that quality time. I immediately thought of us writing our thank you notes to guests for wedding gifts when you mentioned the college studying routine. While we were writing the notes together, it felt more like a chore and we were just in the same room, that wasn’t a quality activity for us.
Good perspectives – I agree the needs for each relationship will depend on the individuals! DH and I’s quality time needs change quite a bit too. On a much lighter note, I do know when its that time of the month i tend to be more needy and just want DH all to myself, haha.
Post # 10
I am def guilty of going on my phone while we are “watching” tv together. But I don’t really consider that super duper quality time anyway…after all the attention is not on each other but the TV, so who cares if my attn strays to my phone sometimes? Dh has never said anything about it so I don’t think he cares. I know other people have issues with this type of behavior though (my friend got in a big fight with her boyfriend over it once cause he would always be on his phone when they were watching tv).
To me quality time is really more about doing something interactive. Like going on a walk together, sharing a meal where we’re interacting with each other rather than our phones, etc. But if tv is involved it’s not really what I’d consider quality time because our attention isn’t on each other anyway.
In terms of time, I’d say we spend quality time together every day. Sometimes it might be several hours, others it might be 30 min but there’s never a day that goes by where we don’t have any quality time at all, I don’t think.
Post # 11
This definitely varies by the couple. I also think you can refer to the whole “Love Languages” thing here. Quality time is my primary love language, followed by acts of service. My SO is wonderful about acts of service, he is so generous and thoughtful. But I don’t get anywhere near the quality time I need, and that’s the biggest source of trouble in our relationship.
I’m actually one who’s ok with just cooking dinner and eating together, watching a movie together, etc. Yes I like to go out and go on dates or do other things together, but with our current life circumstances I am happy to just be able to live life next to each other. We do not yet live together and he has a daughter full time, and I have a disabled son 50% of the time. So, we both have a lot of responsibilities that tie us down and keep us busy. My SO is strapped for time and says he gives me all he can, but I can’t help that I don’t feel fulfilled.
Anyway, back to the love languages…not everyone prioritizes quality time and needs it to feel loved. But I can totally empathize with anyone who needs it.
Post # 12
- Wedding: December 2021 - Hopetoun House, UK
I count quality time as when we are interacting with each other, so I don’t count watching TV side by side as interacting.
Most of our quality time is spent on weekends where we normally do something active together like hiking or more recently wedding planning!!
But during the week we always have dinner at the table together and then take the dogs for a 45 minute walk too clear our heads and relax.
I think every couple values quality time differently, as a PP said some need it more than others to feel loved. Which I’m guilty for, so when we have had long or busy weeks we would try and do something special to make up for lost time.