Small ways to connect with your partner


Jess Ferguson

4/20/20241 min read

Bids. It's what the Gottman's refer to as "the fundamental unit of emotional communication". They can be big, small, verbal, non-verbal, but regardless of their form, it's a desire to connect with your partner.

Often it's the little every day things, "look at this funny video", or a touch/pat on the leg, it can even be responding to your partners frustrated exhale with a "how can I be helpful in this moment?". Responding to bids is an opportunity to build trust and intimacy with your partner.

There are a few ways people generally respond to bids;
1. Turn towards (acknowledge and engage with the bid)
2. Turn away (ignore or miss the bid)
3. Turning against (rejecting the bid in an argumentative or belligerent way).

When you tend to turn towards your partner's bids, it builds a foundation of trust, emotional connection, and passion. However, when you miss, disregard or ignore your partner's bids, it takes a toll over time. The Gottman's found that when couples break up, it usually wasn't due to 'typical issues' like big fights or infidelity, but more often as a result of resentment and distance that built up over time when partners continually turned away from each other.

So tune into your partner's needs today! Look out for their bids, respond and make your own often!