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What does being fulfilled in a relationship mean to you? How do you envision quality time with your loved ones? More often than not, people set up unrealistic expectations when it comes to spending quality time together. We sometimes burden our relationships with the idea that we need to exchange material gifts or participate in pricey activities to prove our love and care.

This, however, is a huge bias that goes against the essence of what relationships are truly about. Determined to promote a positive outlook on life, we are here to break the stereotypes that work against well-being, enlightenment, and positivity. We want to offer solutions that will help you build meaningful relationships based on mutual trust, love, and intimacy––and that doesn’t require massive financial investments, rather your time and commitment.

Why is quality time important?

Quality time is vital in any type of relationship, but when we’re talking about couples, it’s also considered one of the five love languages. According to the revolutionary book by Gary Chapman, love languages are the ways we love and want to be loved. And while some people speak the language of physical touch or words of affirmation, others speak the language of quality time.

If quality time is the primary love language of your partner, you’ll need to make an effort to spend time with them. But even more important than that is putting thought into how you spend that time together, which experiences you share, and how it nurtures your connection.

When it comes to family relationships and friendships, spending quality time together is more self-explanatory. You probably already have some favorite routines or fun activities that you like to do with your friends or kids, like board games, movie nights, late-night talks and special celebrations, spending time in nature, or other special activities that you share together.

But if ideas for quality time together don’t come easily for you, or if you feel like they require a lot of effort and a budget, we’re here to help.

How to spend quality time with people you care about

There are many accessible ways to spend meaningful time with the people you care about. The key is to create a welcoming and inspiring space to share personal stories, open up to each other, feel connected, and simply enjoy each other’s presence. Here are some of the most important things to be mindful of when it comes to spending quality time with your partner:

Positive Language

When someone asks you how you are, is your response somewhere along the lines of: “Not bad,” or do you sound more like: “Things are going well, thank you for asking”? If yes, then maybe your first step can be a subtle change in how you use language.

Using positive language with your loved ones is a way of shaping the nature of your relationship. “Don’t give up” sounds far less encouraging than “Keep going, you’re doing great,” despite the best intentions behind both statements.

If you’re wondering how to improve the time spent with the people you care about, consider being more mindful about the way you speak and make a conscious effort to replace negative statements with positive ones.

Active Listening

Active listening is the cornerstone of mutual understanding and connectedness in a relationship. The majority of information we are exposed to gets lost due to our limited perceptive capacities.

However, it takes just a bit of effort to improve your listening abilities and reach a new level of depth in your interpersonal relationships. Here are the pillars of active listening:

  • Pay attention;
  • Establish eye contact;
  • Lean in towards the person;
  • Use facial expressions to show engagement;
  • Ask questions thoughtfully;
  • Give feedback;
  • Try to empathize by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes: How would you feel in their situation?
  • Provide an appropriate response.

Try to avoid giving advice unless explicitly asked. Being a good listener isn’t necessarily the same as being a problem solver. Allowing people to open up about their feelings by just being there for them to listen can be nurturing.

Presence and Attention

Being present is the key to spending quality time with people you like. This means showing active interest in each other, cherishing the moments you share, and making sure that the other person knows you are enjoying your time with them.

Positive Mindset

A positive mindset is all about a positive outlook on life. It’s about seeing setbacks as opportunities that provide you with learnings and giving maximum effort to see the best in the people around you. Having a positive mindset while spending time with the people you care about can help create a safe, nurturing environment that encourages open and honest communication.

When you’re touching upon sensitive topics, a positive mindset can help facilitate the atmosphere of trust, as this kind of attitude sends the message of mutual acceptance.

How to integrate all of these into quality time rituals?

The answer is––have meaningful conversations. Enter the Let’s Get Closer conversational game.

Intelligent Change’s original Let’s Get Closer game was designed to help facilitate those deeper connections, with a series of mindful questions and conversation prompts, backed by the power of positive language, that can kickstart deep, insightful conversations. Designed as an easy-to-play card game that can transcend age, gender, or background, the concept is to simply encourage family members, partners, friends, and even strangers to engage with each other in more authentic ways.

When gathered around the table, in between meals, or while on your coffee––or wine––break, you can add an extra element to your dinner experience by opting for the Let's Get Closer: Table Talk game. This compact conversational game combines simpler, yet still meaningful questions that create opportunities for more fun and engaging conversations with your guests. The questions on the cards tackle topics like gratitude, fears, desires, and dreams in life. Listen mindfully and ask second questions if you feel like it will help the person open up and go deeper. Sometimes, the most interesting conversations come after the initial answer.

Without honest conversations in a romantic relationship, it's easy to make up scenarios about why your partner is acting a certain way, get lost in misunderstandings, and let the relationship erode over time. That's why we created a dedicated Couples Edition of Let's Get Closer game: to get those meaningful and sometimes uncomfortable conversations started between romantic partners. With a series of questions focused on romance, intimacy, and relationships, the game is designed for couples to open up, share love and life experiences, and deepen their connection and closeness.

These–and other–conversational games are one of the mindful ways to spend quality time with the people you care about, as they provide you with the communication resources and context you need to open up and share your deepest thoughts. The most important thing about using them as a game successfully is to be honest and attentive, and to actively listen to your partner, ask questions, show support, and learn more about each other.

Seeing and hearing people and letting them see and hear the true, genuine us can be intimidating but also immensely rewarding. We all seek intimacy, and spending time with the people we like is the most important part of forming healthy and strong relationships. There are so many simple things you can do with your loved ones that are budget-friendly and intimacy-enhancing. Just remember to stay present in the moment and actively pay attention to the people you love.

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