Do you notice that when we let a few days go by without spending quality time together, walls begin to go up between us?”
During one of our recent heart to hearts after a busy week of not seeing each other, my boyfriend asked me that question. Lately, we’ve been learning the importance of quality time and its implications on a relationship. We’ve discovered that when we go more than a few days without spending purposeful time together, issues become magnified—and walls start to go up between us—because we haven’t spent time to address them right away. Then we have to work harder to tear them down. This has happened a few times and the conversation goes something like this:
“I can tell that you’re thinking about something. What’s going on? Let’s talk about it.” He says. Then I look at him for a little bit and mull over what he just said.
“I don’t know what to say or where to start.” Knowing very well that he’s right. There’s something that has been eating away at me that I know I need to share with him.
“It’s important that we talk about what is on our minds. If we suppress it, then it won’t go away. If we share, it will help us to understand each other.” (What a guy, huh?)
Knees up to my chest, curled up on a chair beside him, eyes wide looking back at him, I say, “Okay, there are a few things that have been bugging me: I feel convicted about… I feel hurt about… What did you mean by…”
Then he asks me a few questions and we often find out that the culprit is miscommunication or lack of communication. He holds my hand and hugs me and, if needed, we offer apologies to one another. Brick by brick the wall that was built up in our time away from one another starts to crumble. The conversation would have been simpler had we intentionally spent quality time together consistently.
To make sure we spend time together each week, we decided to make a few changes in our relationship. My hope is that they will help you in your relationship, too.
- Intentionally carve out time to connect in person during the week. For example, we take walks, cook and eat a meal together, or spend time at a park and share the issues or feelings that God put on our hearts. We also make it a point to eliminate distractions—no phones, computers or other gadgets
- Talk about issues as they come up, rather than letting them fester.
- Be good stewards of your time every week by not jam-packing schedules with other people, events or tasks. This way the two of you are not overwhelmed or exhausted when hanging out together. (This one is mostly for me).
- When you do talk, tell each other what you two are grateful for. We tell each other three things we are grateful for every day. This keeps the focus on God’s blessings rather than our issues.
- Spend sufficient time in prayer and reading the Scriptures individually. We also make it a point to do this together so God can lead the way in our relationship.