The Search for Spiritual Friendship (3): Quality Time vs. Quantity Time

One of my love languages is quality time. 

I very much need to spend time with someone to feel connected to them. And hopefully, that time will be high quality.

But quality time is actually a myth. There is no such thing as quality time, there’s only time.

This myth plays out a lot but it’s not hard to see why it’s false. For whatever reason, people have come to believe that you can schedule in time with people and it can be of good quality. It’s like by doing certain things, you can make your time equal “quality time”. But quality time isn’t so easily obtained.

Quality time can’t be planned. The only way to fix that is with quantity time. Some of my best quality time moments with my best friend from college came when we were taking the trip to late-meal or chilling in each other’s rooms. It wasn’t planned or purposeful, it just happened because we spent so much time with each other. We weren’t looking for quality time, but we often go it.

The article I linked to up top, as well as some other bits and pieces of knowledge over the months, helped me deal with the guilt I felt at desiring time as a prerequisite for a close friendship. Time is that ever-elusive thing that, if you get it, you have to take advantage of before you can’t anymore. It’s the thing that has made my friendship with my hometown friend much more fun. It’s the thing that makes me jealous that my brother gets to see my parents every day. It’s the thing that initially grew my freshman year friendships and has made them last as long as they have.

It’s hard to be close without quantity time, in any form. And who would even want to be?

I don’t mean this as a knock on how other people formulate their friendships. I hope it doesn’t read that way. I’m just trying to reconstruct my idea of what friendship is and, hopefully, put in some necessary tweaks. One of those tweaks is time. I don’t quite know how to do it yet, but I know that I should. I generally value the time I spend alone so I’m trying to get back to a place where I value the time I spend with others.

In any case, I’m doing away with any guilt I’ve felt in the past for wanting quantity time. 

DJP

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