Healthy Relationship 101: Quality vs. Quantity

Dec 19 2017, 2:58 pm

It’s obvious isn’t it? The key to a healthy relationship is spending quality time together. Everyone on planet Earth knows this, and has probably heard this phrase a million times since the words – quality and time – came together to create an overused cliché. A lot of people are rolling their eyes at this advice, thinking Yeah, yeah, we spend every waking moment together! Time is in abundance!

But what we often forget is that the cliché of Quality Time has solid and truthful meaning behind it. Quality time does not mean spending a lot of time together. Quality has never and will never have any assumed correlation with quantity; quite often the two actually reside on opposite ends of the spectrum. Quite often in life, quantity has very little quality, and quality has very little quantity.

So the advice and prescription of Quality Time does not simply mean to spend more time with your partner. As couples, you will undoubtedly and unavoidably spend a lot of your time together. The key to a healthy relationship, however, is to create time together that resembles quality. Quality time is very crucial to the discovery and maintenance of a healthy relationship.

In the beginning of a relationship, quality time comes naturally. We’re so thrilled and consumed by the new relationship that we couldn’t be distracted even if we wanted to be. But as time in the relationship goes on, life begins to get in the way, and all kinds of distractions start to eat away at the quality of ‘together time.’ Often quality and quantity are like children playing on a teeter-totter, carelessly bouncing up and down. But sadly, Quantity is often a ten year old bully and Quality is a small, six year old girl; Quantity has his way of beating poor little Quality.

Time spent with our other half – no matter how exciting it was in the beginning – can be at risk of becoming monotonous as the quantity wins out over the quality. Therefore, we must be the guardians of these children, and punish Quantity from time to time in order to keep sweet little Quality safe.

Yes, this means monitoring how much time you’re spending with your partner, and how much of that time you actually spend with your partner. If you’re together in the same room, barely speaking, and just going on about your individual business, that is not quality. That is big, fat, mean old Quantity. You need to actually have a conversation with your companion, and be companions. Forget about your cell phone and give your partner your undivided attention. Go out and do something together, or stay in and cook dinner together. It doesn’t matter what it is, but do something that allows you to enjoy life while also enjoying getting to know your other half a little bit more.

And if you find that you’re having difficulty fully enjoying the time you spend with your partner – if things are getting boring and you feel as if the romance has left your life for good – you can bet that Quantity is in dire need of a time-out and Quality is in even greater need of a counselling session.

Ie. Give Quantity Time a break, take some time for yourself, and resume with quality and a healthy relationship in sight!



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Photo Credit: Cari Thompson



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