Quality time is my primarily love language, which means I love spending time with the people I love.
I do not care what the quality time looks like; I just want to be with the other person.
In college, I was really good friends with a girl who ran cross country and track, and who also worked at the school’s math lab.
Needless to say, she didn’t have much time for socializing. But we still found time to hang out. Whenever I could, I’d go to the grocery store with her; that was our time. I have fond memories of bugging her whilst she shopped for food and other essentials.
That’s when I learned the extent of my standards for quality time. I can literally do anything with the people I love, and I’ll be perfectly content. The trips to the grocery store with my friend were 100% unproductive for me. I never got anything accomplished, but I didn’t—and still don’t—care because she is hilarious and we always laughed until our abs hurt.
Similarly, when my brother still lived with my parents, I spent hours watching him play video games, and I loved every minute of it. It’s hard to fathom someone being worse at video games than me, so you’d think that’d be a horrible way to spend my time.
It was great, and it’s another example of how easy it is to please me in regards to quality time.
The flip side of this coin is how poorly I handle not being able to hang out with my closest friends. I get grumpy and despondent about those friendships. It feels like rejection when I consistently try to hang out with someone and they always say they can’t.
But this post isn’t about a frustrating story; it’s about one of my favorite memories with one of my favorite people.
This past winter I coached basketball. There were so many teams in the league, the games were played all day on Saturdays. My team had a lot of late afternoon games. This meant I couldn’t hang out much with one of my good friends because she lives forty minutes away, and our preferred mode of hanging out is to do so at her house.
One Saturday my game was at 1:00 which was a nice change. I had told my friend several weeks prior I could hang out that day, but then I rescinded the idea a few weeks afterwards because I’m a butthead and was miffed at her because I felt ignored and passed over.
By the time that Saturday came around, though, we’d had a serious conversation, and I felt much better. We still hadn’t made solid plans, but she said I could come over when I asked at the last minute.
I went straight to her house from the game. I got there and her and her husband were doing some decorating. They had the ladder and a bunch of tools out. I got put to work right away, which was perfectly fine with me. I don’t like sitting around while other people are working. That’s just weird to me.
Well, her husband got done with his part, but she still wanted to hang pictures and other decorations in their front entry hallway. I offered to help. Her husband was watching basketball, and my friend said, “You don’t have to help, you can go watch basketball.”
“I didn’t come here to hang out with your husband,” I said. “I came to hang out with you, and I’d like to help if I can.”
She put me to work, and I think I was helpful. I’m not one for decorating, but I can handle gofer work pretty easily. I am also good at showing initiative and setting things up so processes go faster. She got to do what she loved, and I was able to support her nicely. We make a good team.
We used to work at the same company, and I always loved doing tasks for her there. She wasn’t my boss, but I could tell then that she is a good manager. She’s good at training and explaining things in ways that people unfamiliar with the process can understand.
Plus, she’s really fun to work with. She’s fun to talk to, for one, and she is also genuine. She doesn’t talk just to talk and she never BSs anything. We are comfortable being in silence together, which is incredibly refreshing and meaningful.
Another thing I like about working with her is she shows her appreciation frequently. I don’t know how many times she thanked me while we were working together. I was getting my quality time, and she was getting acts of service—another love language—from me. She also thanked me over text the next day.
She is well organized, and that combined with having two people working on it made it go significantly faster. It was so fun, and it’s one of my favorite memories with her. I think she might’ve been slightly baffled that I had such a good time, but when I’m hanging out with someone I really like, it doesn’t matter what we do.
In many things I’m hard to please and somewhat high-maintenance; but in this, in how quality time is spent, I am decidedly low-maintenance.
Quality time is as necessary as food to me, and I’m not picky about how my time is spent (as long as I don’t have to skydive or do anything else adrenaline-inducing).
I am highly introspective, and once I figured this out about myself, I’ve been more able to communicate my needs to my best friends.