I am confused about whether or not I should move forward with marrying my fiancé. He works very long hours and does not like to miss opportunities to make money. He is a good guy, a great provider and protector, but he does not meet my emotional needs. When we are together he showers me with gifts, but I do not feel like our time together is quality. I am not sure what quality time looks or feels like. How can I determine if I am getting quality time?
Thanks in advance, Tina
As a life coach and psychotherapist, I talk and listen to women daily and find out more about you all in one hour than your significant other does in five or ten years of dating or marriage. I am capable of establishing this connection with women like you because I offer quality time, not quantity. A man can buy you expensive gifts, take you out to dinner, to the movies and on a first-class trip around the world and never get to know you because he does not listen to you.
You can determine if are getting quality time by paying attention to the following:
A man should be able and willing to sit down and listen to what is on your mind. A man who offers quality time has a genuine interest in trying to understand what motivates and drives you. However, he can only do these things if he takes the time to ask: “How are you feeling? How was your day? How are you doing? How can I help you? Is there something I can do to make your life and our relationship better?
You should be having conversations with meaning. If you are not having interactions with meaning, then you are not necessarily getting quality time. Quality time involves a certain level of attentiveness. You know what you need and want from a man and he should be willing to explore and entertain your needs. I am not suggesting that a man has to devote all of his time and energy to you, but I am suggesting that he should be able to hear you out when you are in need. Believe it or not, a man who gives his time is probably more into you than a man who gives his money and material things. After all, material things and money are nothing to a man who is doing well. As Lil Wayne says, “It’s not tricking if you got it.”
The most precious gift a man can offer you is quality time. Over the course of my career as a therapist I have heard thousands of engaged and married women complain and become extremely frustrated because their fiancés or husbands do not spend time with them or listen to them. As I processed what they were saying to me, I learned that most women want to be heard and want attention. It is without question that we all feel better when we are heard and attended to. Therefore, I believe quality time has to do with a man’s willingness and ability to devote time to listen to you and to address your emotional needs.
A man can give you material things, but material items do not develop emotional intimacy in relationships. As a matter of fact, love and possession of material items has little impact on how individuals behave, especially if nothing is done to stimulate or nurture the love in their hearts.
How many times have you heard the saying, “Money cannot buy love?” Do you agree with this saying? I do! Unfortunately, wealthy couples experience just as much hardship and tension in their relationships as do middle class and poor couples because true companionship requires emotional bonding that occurs through meaningful interactions—quality time, not by giving or receiving material items. If a man cannot offer you quality time, do not waste your time.
Some relationship experts have recommended that women should set some standards and men will fall in line and give you what you want—the ring. While it is important to get the ring, it is as equally important to get some quality time. In my line of work, I interact with thousands of women who have received their rings; however, a large percentage of them are not happy because they do not get quality time.
Quality interactions enable both women and men to influence each others’ thinking and behavior because greater understanding occurs when individuals can relate to and empathize with each other. Being a great provider and protector are great qualities, but if your fiance feels that he does not have to spend time with you, I recommend that you seriously explore his motives and willingness to change before moving forward.
Be Blessed, Dr. Buckingham
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post