A small bid may be asking your partner to watch a TV show with you. A more significant bid may be moving your family across the country to be closer to family. When your partner offers a bid, you have the choice to turn toward your partner or turn away. In Gottman’s research, most arguments between couples were not about sex or money, but about failed bids of connection. These seemingly small moments build trust within your relationship and keep your emotional connection and romance flowing. Let’s consider the following example:
You’re at home with your partner. You are sitting at the kitchen table working on a crossword puzzle, and you notice that your spouse is looking out the window. Your spouse comments that there are a lot of neighbors outside walking. How do you respond? Do you ignore your partner and continue with your crossword puzzle? Do you recognize your partner’s bid to connect and respond? Do you offer your own bid to your partner and ask them to take a walk with you?
Recognizing when your partner is making a bid for connection is the first step in choosing to turn toward them. When partners start to realize the significance of these small everyday interactions, partner’s can turn toward each other more frequently, which strengthens the relationship.