If you are a fan of personality tests, it’s likely that you have heard of the Five Love Languages. Incredibly popular among relationship experts and couples alike, the love languages — acts of service, gifts, physical touch, quality time, and words of affirmation — were created in 1992 by pastor and marriage counselor Gary Chapman, who used them as a framework for couples to understand the ways they prefer to give and receive love. The idea is that people could use this knowledge to figure out the best ways to strengthen their relationships.
While the concept of love languages has existed for a few decades, the term is still incredibly popular. With 2.2 billion views under the phrase “love languages” on TikTok, it’s clear that millennials and Gen Zers alike have embraced the framework. If quality time and gifts are the love languages in your partnership, there are some unique elements to each that you might want to consider. Although the names are relatively self-explanatory, understanding the compatibility between quality time and gifts is a helpful step in enhancing the connection you have with your partner.
Below, relationship therapist Jaime Bronstein, LCSW shares everything you need to know about the compatibility between quality time and gift-receiving love languages.
Sexual Compatibility Between Quality Time & Gifts
In a pairing of quality time and gift-receiving, Bronstein explains that clear communication is key to ensure optimal sexual compatibility. “Some quality time people view sex as quality time, which would make sexual compatibility [between the two] higher,” she says. “However, others might view it as surface level and not really connecting emotionally.”
Someone with a gifts love language usually values a sexual connection more and isn’t as concerned about an emotional connection, adds Bernstein. “They look at sex as a gift to each other and the relationship.” As long as you and your S.O. can be direct and open about how you prefer to engage with each other sexually as well as the significance that sex holds for each of you, a mutually fulfilling sex life is possible.
Emotional Compatibility Between Quality Time & Gifts
As Bronstein mentioned, quality time and gifts love languages can often experience a gap in their emotional connection. “The quality time people are typically more emotional than the gift-givers,” she explains. “They are more invested in having a deep connection and connecting on an emotional level versus a more surface level.” She notes that gift-receiving types can also be thoughtful and “emotionally charged,” but that they also tend to be less expressive about their emotions. Because of this, you and your S.O. may need to be more intentional about fostering a strong emotional connection.
Communication Between Quality Time & Gifts
A couple having quality time and gifts love languages might come across some issues with communication. “Communication between quality time and gifts can be tricky,” Bronstein says. “This couple needs to be very intentional about expressing their feelings and not holding back things that bother them about how the other operates.” Her tip? Be sure to express your needs and what makes you happy in order to be the most aligned with your partner. She also notes that the partner who prefers gift giving and receiving may not be as adept at sharing their feelings, so the quality time partner might need to facilitate open conversations to encourage the other to express their emotions.
Dating Compatibility Between Quality Time & Gifts
Embracing your partner fully and honoring the ways they prefer to be loved can help build a solid foundation in any romantic partnership. According to Bronstein, a relationship between quality time and gifts can be fun — as long as both parties are willing to work with each other’s love languages. “The quality time person will encourage the gifts person to spend more time together, get to know each other on a deeper level, and have more meaningful experiences,” she tells Bustle. “It's fun to have a gifts person in the relationship because they will want to give gifts and receive them, so it will be important for the quality time person to pick up on their desire to receive gifts.” A surprise shopping trip together, for example, can be a way to get some quality time in while also honoring the gifts' love language.
Friendship Compatibility Between Quality Time & Gifts
In a platonic pairing, quality time and gifts also require communication and a sense of mutual understanding. “This friendship can work as long as the gifts person understands that they might have to spend more time with their friend than they would typically like, and the quality time person needs to understand that the gifts person doesn't value time as much as gifts to sustain a friendship,” Bronstein says.
Potential Problems Between Quality Time & Gifts
The quality time and gifts love languages aren’t necessarily a match made in heaven, so Bronstein explains that extra effort may be needed to establish ways to ensure each other’s needs are met and respected. “Since the quality time person needs more time together than the gifts person, it can potentially cause a problem because the gifts person may feel claustrophobic or like the quality time person is overbearing or controlling,” she says. “Another problem is the quality time person might not understand the importance of gift giving, so the gift person will need to express their desire to give and receive gifts.” In order to feel connected, she says, both parties will need to be clear about how important their particular expression of love is.
Are Quality Time & Gifts A Good Match?
Bronstein shares that quality time and gifts are not the most ideal pairing, but can certainly build a strong and healthy connection. “Overall, I think other love languages work together more easily,” she says. “However, with good communication, a willingness to make it work, and a deep love connection and bond, this couple could be long-lasting.”
Jaime Bronstein, LCSW, relationship therapist