If you are not up to a challenge, don’t read this post.
During the self centered 1990’s we constructed and then believed 11 Great Liies. We told them to ourselves to justify a lack of commitment, a lack of caring, a lack of curiousity. We tried to feel better about ourselves and our decisions.
One Great Lie was/is that you can substitute quality time with quantity time in your relationships. You might get away with this for a short period but without enough time spent together there isn’t enough time for genuine quality to manifest.
With close friends, meeting every second Tuesday, once a month, a Saturday afternoon every quarter turns into , well rarely and then well nearly never. With a partner, two hours at a movie on Friday, a date on the last Wednesday of the month, breakfast in bed on an anniversary turns into well ships passing in the night.
With kids, a day at the park, an afternoon playing, a weekend away twice a year turns into well a strained relationship.
You do need to create/plan quality experiences but you also need to spend enough time together to allow spontaneous conversations to turn into special confiding. Enough time face to face with some intent eases any tension and opens possibilities for difficult subjects to be broached. Children need to know you are there so they can initiate questions and build trust.
Time allows for comfort. Intentional, dedicated time allows curiousity. Quantity and quality time together build the realtionship.
Ensure enough quantity time so that the quality time isn’t a manufactured effort but a natural extension of doing life together.
Arbitrarily I suggest friends require 52 hours a year, partners 750 hours a year, kids at least 1000 intentional quantity hours. Try finding an hour this week for a friend (the one whose name came to mind just now), two unplugged hours with your partner each day for the next 3, and a whole afternoon at a park with your child. It is a great start- they will be better for it, you will be better for it and your relationship will be better for it.
Make Today Remarkable, for someone else,