Today we relearned something very important.
After breakfast, Michael, Jude, and I went out for a walk around town. Walks have always been one of the best ways for Michael and I to connect. Something great happens when we get out of the house and start moving.
Our minds think clearer and we are able to work through things which only get us frustrated and discouraged while at home.
Today we stumbled, well, maybe slammed head on, into something which has been eluding us for quite a while. The revelation of quantity vs. quality.
You see, over the past 6 months, we have made our relationship a much higher priority than we have in years past. We now have scheduled date nights and have more time together through the day since becoming self-employed.
It all sounds great and lovely, right? More time spent together automatically equals a better relationship, right?
Well, yes and no. Time spent together does not automatically equal a better relationship.
One of the best times in our marriage was when I was pregnant with Jude and Michael and I walked together every morning. It was only about 45 minutes or so, but it was a wonderful time of truly connecting at a heart to heart level.
At that point in our lives, we didn’t even do a date night like we do now. (We thought we didn’t have time!) So what gives? Why do both of us look back on that time with such fond memories? Even though we spent less intentional time together?
Quality within the quantity is the key.
Quality within quantity
You see, you can drink all the water you want, but it will never sustain you as food does. It will make your belly full with liquid, but not with sustenance. We all need sustenance. Every marriage needs it too.
We realized we have been spending time together, yes, but it is not time which truly connects our hearts at the level we want, or need it to.
It was a strange realization when it dawned on us what was happening. Oh, we declared, no wonder!
For instance. We have been doing date night. But since we have a one and a half year old, instead of going away from home (which are often our best times connecting), we have gotten into the habit of doing date night at home.
And, to top it off many times have used our date night to get stuff done! It sounds even worse when I write it here! Ah, horrors! We thought because we were doing something together it would still be effective in connecting us.
We were wrong.
Quality within quantity.
So, we identified our challenges and came up with solutions. For us it looks like the following.
Our game plan
- date nights away from home as often as possible
- quarterly weekend get away times (we just signed up for a conference in April which we are so excited about!)
- morning walks 3 times a week
- continued learning together through reading and podcasts
- being careful not to overload our schedule with projects we both love, but which have the tendency to steal precious relationship time
We truly have a great marriage, but we want an extraordinary marriage! So, we are willing to do whatever it takes to get there. We realize all other things will flow out of this core component of our lives. Without it we cannot expect to be truly effective or successful.
Question: How do you pursue quality within quantity?