My wife and my desire is to spend time together. But not just time, quality time. It is the quest of all relationships. To spend time together, and to make it worthwhile, to make it memorable.
We went on dates, but not as often as we’d like. There was something missing on our dates though. Our dates weren’t all that great. Now, since we’ve been dating more regularly, I understand. I know what was missing. I know how to get the quality time we desire. If you are in the same boat, what I learned can help you too.
We know we can do better
Let me admit, when I say we went on dates. Our dates were few and far between. We were not very diligent in making them a priority. Honestly, there was a period of time where we may be lucky to have one date every six months! Not the best way to keep your marriage healthy and vibrant.
However, this year we have been very intentional. We have made date nights out of nothing. In the past, it didn’t take much to cancel date night. Now although we are not dating every single week like we plan, we get more date nights each month then any time in our marriage.
Now this is what I’m talking about
During this time I have noticed even the most basic of date nights are more enjoyable. They are more fun. More memorable. And more stimulating (grown/married folks go ahead and read more into that). Why the difference?
We haven’t done anything extravagant. In fact, we have probably spent less money, and even less time on may of the dates we’ve had this year. But I am really enjoying this time with my wife. She is too (well, at least I think).
QUANTITY must come before QUALITY
We came in to marriage already with the baby carriage. So when we said I do, we had to make sure there was childcare so we could have our first night as a married couple together, and go on our honeymoon (which, btw, we could use a do over with that…future post, I promise).
So our time was already split between one another, our daughter, and work. Over the years we added two more kiddos to our family. We didn’t get much time together.
So, when we went on dates or spent time together we expected it to be all that and a bag of chips. It wasn’t always. Because we neglected, unknowingly, the most important step before quality time…quantity time.
“Practice, you talking about practice??”
Those are the words of Allen Iverson, made immortal first by ESPN, and now YouTube. That video is so popular, and so comical, to many because most of us understand, you have to practice to get better.
We took the Allen Iverson mentality toward practice to dating and spending quality time. Had you asked us then, we probably would have acted like practice was foreign. We expected to show up and show out on our dates. It didn’t happen.
More time equals better time
Malcolm Gladwell says in his book, Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours to become world class at something. I don’t know if that number is 100% dead on, but I do know the more time we spend doing something the better, the more quality, we get at it.
When my wife and I began to get more quantity time, we also got better quality time together. It is a direct correlation. We’ve talked more. We’ve laughed more. We cried more. We prayed more. We’ve did what married folks do more. And it all has been better! Yes, I will say that again…it all has been better!
Quantity time is sometimes bad at first
If you have been missing quantity time, it may be awkward at first. My kids are in the early years of playing sports. Their jump shots, sprinting form, and baseball swings aren’t all that pretty. And they aren’t always pleased with it. But over time the quality will improve.
The same is true with your relationships. If you are not getting quantity time with your spouse, or your kids, then spend more time with them. Be diligent about practice, about quantity time. The time will get better, and you will begin to get the quality time you have been missing.
Question: How much alone time do you spend with your spouse each week? Your kids? How can you increase the quantity time to improve your quality time? Please share in the comment section below.