Are you missing the 'relationship bids' your partner is putting out?

Appreciating the little things in life is often cited as a way to feel grateful, and more connected, to the world you live in.

And the same can be said for your romantic relationships.

It’s easy to only offer a fleeting glance to that meme your partner shows you, or perhaps you’re too busy with the washing up to return that quick kitchen cuddle.

But responding to these moments of connection can be pretty powerful.

Speaking on the podcast, I Married Your Therapist, Price and his wife, Ash – who is also a therapist – discussed ‘relationship bids.’

‘Something that people often miss in their relationship is the opportunity to respond to bids,’ said Ash. ‘Or they don’t know what a bid is, so they ignore when it happens.’

Do you know what a bid is? If you don’t know what a bid is, there’s a good chance you’re missing them in your relationship or feeling frustrated that your partner is missing yours (did you know you’re making bids too?). Join us this week as we talk about relationships on the podcast! It’s one of our favorite episodes yet. #mentalhealthpodcast #relationships #relationshipadvice #gottman #bids #dating #datingadvice #marriage #marriagegoals #therapy

Using the example of how Ash shows Price a picture of their cat every day, she added, ‘That’s a bid.’

She continued: ‘A bid about wanting to make a moment of connection.

‘So I had a moment of joy seeing [our cat] and I want to share that moment of joy with you, and now connect with you over it.

‘So when I bring in the picture, I don’t need you to care about the cat as much as I do, I need you to tell me that you’re seeing it, because it’s about sharing perception.

‘It’s about sharing experiences together.’

And there can’t be lots of little relationship bids.

Dating expert for Match, Hayley Quinn, tells ‘Relationship bids can be physical, such as asking for a hug, or verbal, such as sharing information about your day, or wanting to do a chore or an activity together. They could also be as subtle as smiling at your partner.’

But even though these mini moments don’t seem like much, they indicate something deeper.

‘The surface level of a bid can seem simple, underneath is a deeper request for a real connection and intimacy,’ says Hayley.

‘When this request is responded to positively, the couple strengthens their relationship. In fact, The Gottman Institute calls this way of responding, “turning towards your partner”. 

‘Turning towards your partner, and responding to a bid within the relationship, can also take many forms.

‘For example, it might be returning someone’s embrace, putting your phone away and listening, or joining in the conversation when your partner shares an observation,’ says Hayley.

‘Again, at surface level, this may seem simple, but by continually tuning into your partners deeper needs for affection, quality time, and to be heard, it helps to maintain a happy and real relationship and shows it’s value.’

In fact, recent research from Match also shows that the qualities people often find attractive in a partner are to do with connection: 60% of people valued kindness, 28% chattiness, and 27% enthusiasm.

Whilst in the early stages of dating people might be tempted to ‘play it cool’, when it comes to relationships, Hayley says that, ‘being engaged, communicative and affectionate towards your partner, is what helps couples to stay together.’

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