5 Love Languages is Quality Time, which means that spending meaningful time with your spouse is a way to show love. The problem is we're often in the same place at the same time without being present. Smartphones, iPads, tablets, eBook readers, iPods and laptop computers all make it possible for us to be in the same physical space, but mentally checked out.
Andrea and I had a good moment the other day. We went out to eat and we were sitting in a restaurant talking. She got a text message, checked her phone and started to reply (that's not the good part). I was able to say: "I don't feel very respected when you stop talking to me to check your phone." She was quick to apologize (it's a practices that annoys her when I do it) and we were done with the conflict (that was the good part). We started talking about the appropriateness of using phones when we're together which helped us to understand each other better.
We came up with a few rules that work for us and help us to have better time being present with each other. First, no phones on dates. If we're dating each other, we don't need to check Facebook or respond to text messages. Second, when we're engaged with each other, like being out to eat or talking while in the car, if a text comes in, we just need to say, "Excuse me, I got a text, can I check that?" Similar to the way that we would deal with any other interruption of a conversation. But, when we're both just having some down-time after work in the evening, we'll be on our phones or computers while watching TV (the ultimate zone-out).
How do you deal with keeping your quality time distraction free?