It’s important for your partner to feel that they have your full attention and that they are your priority. Setting aside time for talking to them can be an easy way to show this.

The goal of the conversation can be anything from voicing your concerns to reaching a resolution on a tough topic.

1. Set a specific time

The more clarity you have about what you want, the easier it will be for your partner to understand. So, before you sit down to talk with your partner about alone time, think about what it is that would make you feel happy and fulfilled.

People whose primary love language is quality time will benefit from small acts of kindness and commitment that show them they are loved. For example, they may appreciate that you set aside a special time to cuddle together when you wake up in the morning or reading the Sunday funnies together each week.

If you have to have a tough conversation with your partner, choose a time when both of you are in good moods and can focus on the topic at hand. Avoid trying to discuss an issue when one of you is tired or stressed out, as this will only lead to more frustration and arguments.

2. Ask for their input

It can be helpful to know your partner’s love language. For instance, if their primary way of showing love is quality time, don’t try to show your appreciation by giving them your attention all the time. That can become exhausting and expensive.

You can also ask your partner for their input about a specific situation or topic. This can be a great way to let them feel heard and that their opinion matters. It can also help you avoid an argument over who’s right or wrong. Some couples dread discussions about sensitive topics, like parenting techniques or how much services for their children cost. But it’s important to talk about these issues so that you can find solutions that are healthy for your relationship.

3. Be present

During tough conversations, you want your partner to feel like they have your full attention. This means putting down the phone, avoiding distractions, and really listening to what they have to say.

Avoid long, wordy explanations – these can sound defensive and lead to your partner feeling shut down. You also want to resist the urge to turn discussions into a rehash of every problem you’ve ever had with your partner in the past.

While this may not seem easy at first, with time and practice, it will become second-nature for you to truly focus on your partner during quality time conversations. It’s one of the most important ways to show them that you care. This is what makes a relationship healthy.

4. Stay focused

Nothing hurts a quality time partner more than to be sharing something important to them and then look up and see that their significant other is answering an email or texting on their phone. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, put the phone away and focus on your partner.

If you find yourself talking over your partner or interrupting them while they’re talking, it’s time to take a good look at yourself. These aren’t healthy communication habits, and they can really damage your relationship.

Try retraining your brain to listen instead of jumping in with your own opinion and thoughts all the time. This will help you understand your partner more and improve your overall relationship. It’s not easy, but it is possible.

5. Listen

Nothing can kill a conversation faster than feeling unheard. I’ve worked with countless couples who stopped sharing important information about their stress levels or their feelings with each other because they felt like they were never heard.

There are a few ways to ensure you’re truly listening to your partner. Try to eliminate distractions, take notes if you need to and resist the urge to strategize your next comment while they’re talking.

If you can’t agree on the best solution, at least you know you both had your views voiced and that your feelings were respected. It’s also a good idea to avoid “kitchen sinking,” or bringing up every problem at once, which can be hard for anyone to absorb. Lastly, make sure to ask them if it’s a good time for them to talk and respect their answer.