Back when we were stationed in Alaska (I was pregnant with Finn at the time), the Bible study group I was going to did a 3 week thing on marriage. I only made it to the first one before morning sickness really started kicking my butt, but I learned something that morning that I'm going to share here.
A local pastor and his wife came in to talk to us about marriage. They had a lot of good things to say, but the one thing that has stuck with me 3 years later is the notion of "shoulder time". Basically, they said how for most women (and some men) quality time is hanging out, talking, face to face, etc. For most men (and some women) quality time is simply just being there. For example, if Josh was sitting on the couch playing video games, he would be perfectly content if I were to sit next to him on the couch and knit. We don't have to interact much, but sitting shoulder to shoulder (hence "shoulder time") is enough to make him happy.
Having 3 sons, I've noticed this in them as well. Many times they've wanted me to sit on the floor with them while they play. They do NOT want me playing too, or interfering in any way, they just want me to be right there with them. Here's a picture I took this morning to illustrate:
Finn and I had spent a good half hour or so building castles together with our giant "LEGOs". I got up to take the banana bread out of the oven, and when I came back Finn had moved on to something else. As I sat down on the couch, he looked up at me from across the floor and asked me for help. So, I got up, sat on the floor next to him to help, whereupon he promptly turned and ignored me. I tried once or twice to get up, each time resulted in him asking me for help that he didn't need. Therefore I got my current crochet project and sat on the floor working on that while Finn sat 3 inches away playing and doing his own thing. Shoulder time. All of them have wanted it, all of them will continue to want it, and I am happy that I know about it, as it makes so many things make so much more sense.