How to Spend Quality Time with Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Three Methods:Making Room in Your ScheduleFocusing on the Other PersonPlanning Fun Dates

Having a boyfriend or girlfriend can be incredibly fun since it involves plenty of opportunities to spend time with someone you like. However, sometimes the relationship can lag, especially if you have been together a long time. Whether you’re looking to rekindle ebbing flames or for tips about using quality time to your advantage, these steps will get you there.

Method 1
Making Room in Your Schedule

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    Prioritize your relationship. The first step toward spending quality time with your significant other is to make your relationship a top priority. A feeling of closeness is one of the most important “ingredients” for a healthy relationship, which you can only find if you spend quality time together.[1]
    • If your girlfriend or boyfriend is, say, number 5 on your list of daily activities, that relationship probably won’t go very far.
    • If you do find that your relationship is a low priority to you, simply apologize to your girlfriend or boyfriend and start making changes.
    • If you feel like your relationship is a low priority to your boyfriend or girlfriend, you need to discuss this.
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    Make positive changes. If your relationship has not been a high priority, it’s time to make positive changes. Adopt a mindset like the one we all get about New Year’s resolutions. Make sure that you start small and choose only one behavior to change at a time.[2]
    • Choosing only one behavior makes it manageable and prevents you from getting overwhelmed.
    • Once you have made one positive behavior a habit, you can move on to the next one. Your relationship will slowly but surely rise to the top of your priorities.
    • Apologize for not making the relationship a priority if it's your fault.
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    Make spending time a weekly goal. One positive change that shows your girlfriend or boyfriend that you are starting to prioritize your relationship is making it a weekly goal to spend time with him or her. One way to do this is to choose one night per week as date night.
    • Pick a night that rarely has other commitments so that you aren’t tempted to cancel plans with your partner, or a night that your partner isn’t usually busy.
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    Stick to your new schedule. Once you make a plan to spend one night (or day) a week with your boyfriend or girlfriend, stick to it. Don’t ever make plans on that night. Sticking to your promise each week will build trust in your partner.
    • You will probably find that spending consistent time with your boyfriend or girlfriend makes the relationship a priority in your mind without you even realizing it.
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    Clear it with your parents. If you’re a teenager still living at home, you need to inform them of your relationship and your intention to spend quality time with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Ask their permission to spend this time with him or her.
    • They may say no sometimes because they want you to focus on schoolwork. Tell them that this is understandable but that you would like a balance between school work and your relationship.
    • If they don’t agree with your relationship, this is another issue and you need to tell your boyfriend or girlfriend. If your parents won’t let you, you will either have to break up or wait until there is no school to spend time together.

Method 2
Focusing on the Other Person

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    Make sure your time is "quality." In the method below this one, we talk about doing activities that make it easier to spend quality time. But in order to do that, you need to know what makes a date a "quality" one. Quality time is defined as "time spent giving all of one's attention to someone who is close."[3]
    • You know you're spending quality time with your boyfriend or girlfriend when you give them all of your attention.
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    Look at your partner when talking. Making eye contact does a lot of things for human beings, including showing that you are listening. If you want to spend quality time with your partner—not just time, but quality time—then look them in the eyes.
    • Eye contact makes people feel like you are more “believable and earnest.”[4]
    • Looking at someone for long periods of time, also known as gazing, communicates that you value the other person and that the relationship more than the words you are saying to each other.[5]
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    Avoid staring at the TV. One way to make sure your partner feels that they are more important to you than anything else is to spend time talking with them rather than staring at a screen.
    • That’s not to say that you can’t watch a movie or TV together. But screen-watching has its place, and if you are trying to spend quality time with someone, a movie or show is not the time to do it.
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    Give undivided attention. If you don’t spend quality time together, your bond will eventually fade away. Quality time is a way to strengthen this bond.[6] When you’re spending time together, show you care by giving your undivided attention.
    • That means doing things like putting away your phone, turning off the TV, and doing something together that forces you to look at the other person without distractions.
    • Giving undivided attention shows that the relationship is important to you.[7]
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    Listen attentively. Listening also shows that a relationship is important to you. If you aren’t a good listener, learn to be a good listener by doing things like fully focusing on your partner, avoiding interruptions, and showing interest in the conversation.[8]
    • Show your desire to make the relationship stronger by listening well all the time, not just when you feel like it.
    • Show that you are listening by offering feedback after your partner is done talking.
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    Take turns. Another way to make your quality time have meaning is allowing the other person to talk just as much as you do. Or if you’re the quiet one, learn how to share your thoughts and feelings even it’s not something you like to do.

Method 3
Planning Fun Dates

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    Notice what your partner enjoys. In order to create moments in which you can spend quality time with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you need to plan activities. The best activities are ones that either you or your partner enjoys. If you’re doing the planning, pick something the other person would want to do.
    • If at least one person enjoys an activity, they will feel like you are paying attention to them, which is key for spending quality time together.[9]
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    Decide to plan activities together. Even if you are having a conflict with your boyfriend or girlfriend, a fun activity can keep you from getting so mad that you walk away.[10]
    • If you plan together, you’ll both have a voice about where you go, making each other feel important.
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    Choose inexpensive dates. In order to sustain a weekly dating routine, you should pick activities that are not expensive. There are many things you can do that are free, from walking in the park to attending street festivals to just window shopping at the mall.
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    Enjoy the scenery. Every community has (or is a short drive away from) walking trails, parks, and other forms of beautiful scenery. Taking this in with your boyfriend or girlfriend is an inexpensive and memorable way to spend time together.
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    Look up local activities online. Your city will often put on free festivals, outdoor concerts, or other activities throughout the year. This is a great way to spend quality time together.
    • If there is an admission fee, many times it may be waived if you offer to volunteer at the event. You may have to go to the event coordinators and ask about volunteering.[11]
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    Play a sport. Doing physical activity together helps you to laugh and have fun, which is important for any relationship. Laughing together helps you to see the world as less serious, and difficult situations as less daunting.[12]
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    Work out together. Setting a fitness goal together and then pursuing it side by side will actually help you stay together. Studies show that working out as a couple has many benefits to the relationship.[13]
    • Couples who work out in tandem experience something called “nonverbal mimicry” if they exercise side by side, which creates a closer bond and more emotional intimacy.[14]
    • Working out together enhances physical attraction, improving your physical relationship.[15]
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    Volunteer to serve. Find a homeless shelter, animal shelter, or even go online and look at a volunteer agency in your community. Volunteering together improves the connection between couples.[16]
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    Cook a meal. Cooking together can be one of the most intimate and rewarding activities a couple can experience.[17] You can even make a dish with aphrodisiac properties to help enhance your physical relationship.[18]
    • Such foods include honey, chocolate, saffron, avocado, and almonds.[19]


  • Don't do the same thing over and over again. It can make your relationship dull and boring.
  • Go into everything with a positive attitude. You will have more fun if you already think something will be fun.
  • Be willing to try new things. You'll never know how much fun something can be until you try it!
  • Often, couples have very different interests. What might be fun for you may not be fun for your partner. Compromise. It can be great fun to get to know the other’s interests.
  • Most importantly, remember that you are spending time with this person because of who they are. What you do together doesn't matter as much as paying attention to them, enjoying their company, and being their friend. Quality time comes from the attitude you have toward the person you're with.


  • If your boyfriend or girlfriend is constantly displeased when you aren't doing something that costs a lot of money, you may want to have a conversation about this. They shouldn't be dating you for what your money can buy.
  • If you are constantly arguing, there may be bigger problems in the relationship. Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into finding activities to do together, a relationship just isn't meant to work out.
  • If your boyfriend or girlfriend is unwilling to have fun trying new things, you may want to talk about this. A negative attitude can bring down everyone involved.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Going Steady | Long Term Dating