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Bids and Rituals: How These Small Things Can Keep Your Love Growing

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Maintaining a healthy and lasting relationship involves more than grand gestures; it thrives on the power of small, consistent actions. This article explores the insights shared by certified Gottman Therapist Kimberly Panganiban on the significance of responding to bids in relationships and the positive impact of small rituals. Understanding these dynamics can contribute to building stronger connections and fostering a sense of security and intimacy.

The Concept of Bids

  • Definition: Bids are gestures, whether verbal or non-verbal, that signal a need for connection in a relationship.
  • Dr. John Gottman’s Perspective: Bids are considered the fundamental unit of emotional connection.

Responses to Bids

  1. Turning Toward:
  • Recognizing and responding positively to your partner’s bid.
  • Creates a sense of security and connection.
  • Happy couples turn toward their partners 86% of the time.
  1. Turning Away:
  • Missing or being unresponsive to your partner’s bid.
  • Conveys a sense of rejection or unimportance.
  • Contributes to a decline in bids and a feeling of disconnection.
  1. Turning Against:
  • Noticing the bid but responding negatively.
  • Can lead to a negative impact on the relationship.
  • The Feedback Cycle
  1. Positive Cycle:
  • Turning toward builds security and connection.
  • Partners feel safe making more bids.
  • Increased bids lead to a stronger emotional connection.
  1. Negative Cycle:
  • Turning away or against creates feelings of rejection.
  • Accumulated rejections contribute to a sense of disconnection.
  • Bids decline, causing increased emotional distance.

Strategies for Increasing Small Acts of Connection

  1. Pay Attention:

Tune into your partner’s needs for attention and connection.

  1. See Bids as Opportunities:

Recognize bids as chances to strengthen the relationship.

  1. Turn Toward in Meaningful Ways:

Respond positively and actively engage in your partner’s bids.

  1. Prioritize the Relationship:

Minimize distractions, especially from technology and social media.

  1. Acknowledge and Apologize:

If a bid is missed, acknowledge it and offer an apology.

The Importance of Rituals

Purpose of Rituals:

  1. Create predictable moments of connection.
  2. Establish a foundation for daily bonding.

Suggested Rituals:

  1. Partings and 6-Second Kiss:
  • Share interesting aspects of the day before parting.
  • Embrace a 6-second kiss for a meaningful connection.
  1. Admiration and Appreciation:
  • Cultivate a positive mindset by expressing appreciations.
  1. Affection:
  • Incorporate physical touch like hugs, snuggling, or holding hands.
  1. Reunions and Stress-Reducing Conversation:
  • Create a safe space to discuss external stressors.
  • Practice empathy, reflection, and support.
  1. Date Night:
  • Dedicate time for love maps and creativity.
  • Avoid discussions about kids, work, or household responsibilities.

Understanding the impact of small actions, such as responding to bids and establishing rituals, is crucial for nurturing a thriving relationship. Consistent positive responses and meaningful rituals contribute to building emotional connections, fostering intimacy, and creating a sense of security. Implementing these insights can lead to a healthier, more resilient, and enduring partnership.

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