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Are You Turning Towards or Away from Your Partner?

Bids for connection are those small, everyday gestures or expressions where our partners reach out for our attention, affection, or support. These bids can be as simple as a question, a comment, a smile, or a gentle touch.

These Show Notes are a ChatGPT summary of the episode transcript (with brief additional editing)

In our 50th podcast episode, we delve into the essential and an often cited pain point of relationships: communication, specifically through ‘bids for connection’, a concept highlighted by renowned relationship expert Dr. John Gottman. Our discussion aims not just to inform but to provide practical guidance for couples seeking to enhance their connection.

Understanding Bids for Connection

Bids for connection are those small, everyday gestures or expressions where our partners reach out for our attention, affection, or support. These bids can be as simple as a question, a comment, a smile, or a gentle touch. The essence of these bids lies in the desire for connection and acknowledgment from the partner.

Understanding and positively responding to these bids is essential for cultivating trust, intimacy, and happiness in a relationship. Studies show that neglecting these bids can lead to feelings of loneliness and disconnect and can be fatal for a relationship in the long-term, but recognizing and valuing them can transform the relationship dynamic.

Real-Life Examples & Personal Insights

We share candid anecdotes from our own relationship, revealing how we’ve learned to better recognize and respond to each other’s bids. From a spontaneous hug to discussing plans for a weekend hike, we found these moments as simple opportunities for deeper connection.

What’s particularly important isn’t just identifying these bids but more specifically how we respond.

The Impact of Responding to Bids

The manner in which we respond to our partner’s bids has a profound effect on the health and direction of the relationship. Dr. Gottman’s research categorizes responses into three types: turning towards, turning away, and turning against.

  • Turning towards means engaging with the bid in a positive, supportive manner.
  • Turning away involves ignoring or not acknowledging the bid, which can breed resentment or feelings of neglect.
  • Turning against is a negative, often hostile reaction to the bid, damaging the relationship further.

Understanding these response types helps in consciously choosing to nurture the relationship, even in mundane moments.

Personal Takeaways

As we conclude the episode, we reflect on the transformative power of understanding and responding to bids for connection. Implementing this concept has been a pivotal element in strengthening our bond, bringing more joy, satisfaction, and resilience to our relationship.

We encourage our listeners to be mindful of their partner’s bids and to respond with love and attention. A simple rule can be – if you are not turning towards your partners bid to connect with you, you are turning away from it. This simple yet powerful practice can profoundly impact the health and happiness of a relationship.

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To learn more about Kim & Rog's story and what inspired them to start their podcast.