• Darrell & Robin MacLearn

A Day at the Lake With My Best Friend

Even now as we write this article we are sitting at the edge of Fenton Lake in northern New Mexico, a short drive from home, spending quality time working on our core. Quality time isn’t about just being together. It’s about connecting with each other on purpose. I know in this setting I have my husband’s undivided attention and he has mine.

The only exception to that was the adorable 3-year-old girl catching her first fish with her Barbie fishing pole at the bank of the lake right next to us. Super cute and quite distracting. However, even that is part of our connecting as we shared memories of our own daughter, Bre, catching a huge fish with her Barbie pole.

One of the values of leaving the house for quality time is we were each other’s captive in the truck as we drove for an hour and a half. Don’t short change the value of a road trip but be intentional and use it to build your core, to go deeper in your relationship. For us, on this getaway, we listened to podcasts, pausing them to share our thoughts and ideas with one another.

We arrived at the lake and we found ourselves in an environment that lends itself to building our relationship. Our cell phones have no service. The only distractions are nature and the other people enjoying this beautiful lake. We were intentional in what we brought with us and we were intentional in why we were taking this time away together. Our intention was to be together, talk with one another sharing on a deeper level. We love to discuss ideas and our future. We brought our computer so we could talk and write.  It’s one of the ways we connect.

One of the things we love to do together is kayaking. It provides us with an opportunity to get away, to talk, and get some exercise in a peaceful environment. We both love the great outdoors and appreciate the natural beauty around us. We could’ve stayed home, watched tv, or worked around the house.

We chose to take this Saturday, with XtraO intentionality, to work on our core, deepening our core friendship.

This is simply one way that we enjoy quality time. This works for us. There are many other ways you could connect with your partner. Some ways might include the following:

  • Go out to dinner and sit across the table so you can talk to each other while looking into one another’s eyes.

  • Go for a long walk or hike together with the intention of talking on a deeper level.

  • Go for a “Sunday drive” or choose any other day of the week. Again, in a car, you are a captive audience. Listening to music can be fun but spend some time with the music off so you can really talk. Or listen to a podcast and discuss it while you drive.

  • Try reading a book together and discussing it or read aloud to one another and share your thoughts.

A couple of things to keep in mind: quality time requires both words to be activated. Quality AND time. For it to be quality, it’s more than just being in the same space together. Quality requires engagement and connection.

There has been a lot of discussion over the years about quality versus quantity when it comes to time. The general consensus was that quality carried more weight than quantity. It seems that it was better to spend less time as long as it was of good quality. We think that is not entirely true. We believe it is not an either/or situation but a both/and situation. It is important to have both quantity and quality time. 

Sometimes, it takes the quantity time to get to the quality time as some things cannot be forced or rushed.

In your marriage, are you spending quality time with your spouse? Are you carving out time for quantity as well? What activities are you intentionally doing together to deepen your friendship? Choose from the list above of ways to connect with your partner to try something new. Pick a day this week to make it happen. Be intentional and make it a point to connect and interact with one another. You will love the outcome!

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