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Recognize Bids of Your Partner

Couple Relationship

Bids are the attempts a person make to connect with their partner. Bids are the fundamental unit of emotional communication.

Bids can be small or big, some bids are easy to see and interpret, others are nearly indecipherable. It’s up to you, you can choose to turn towards – respond – your partner or turn away – ignore – from them when they make those “bid” for connection/ attention.

The man once said to me at night, “Look at the full moon outside. It is breathtaking.” It is indeed. I said. At that moment, it was his bid for connection. If I had continued to stare and scroll at my mobile, I would have unintentionally ended up ignoring his bid for connection.

Well it would have been much easier if our partners made their bids for connection in the form of written invitations, all expectations and feelings would be spelled out in clear detail,” and there wouldn’t be any more “tension or guesswork. But most people rarely are so direct when it comes to asking their partner’s attention.

Bids are purposely subtle because people are afraid to be vulnerable and put themselves in the spotlight. It’s scary to say, “Hey! Pay attention to me!” so instead, we ask a question or share in the hope of connection because it’s less scary than pleading, “Connect with me, please!”

Yet, we unintentionally ignore bids of connection of our partner.

Under the pressure of the daily grind, overcome by personal challenges, we may be too stressed to notice the subtle cues of connection of our partner. Our partner on the other hand may feel that we do not care enough about their feelings and thoughts! Our blindness can make our partner feel very lonely, and make them think that we does not care about them.

Hence “Why don’t you get it” is the most common complaint.

Luckily, this blindness is totally avoidable. We can start practicing consciousness of our partners and their attempts to connect, to be heard by learning to recognize bids.

Bids could be expression, thoughts, question, feelings, observations, opinions, or invitations. Bids can be verbal or nonverbal, physical, sexual, intellectual, funny, serious, in the form of a question or a statement or comment. Verbal bids may sound like this:

“Rahul! How does this dish taste?”
“Vipin, I have been missing you ever since I came home.”
“Sweta, would you like to have lunch now?”

Nonverbal bids include:

  • Affectionate touching, such as a handshake, a pat on the back, a squeeze, a kiss, a hug, or a back or shoulder rub.
  • Facial expressions, such as a smile, blowing a kiss, rolling your eyes, or sticking out your tongue.
  • Playful touching, such as tickling, wrestling, dancing, patting affectionately on head or a gentle shove.
  • Affiliating gestures, such as opening a door, offering a place to sit, handing over a utensil, or pointing to a shared interest.
  • Vocalizing, such as laughing, grunting, sighing, or groaning in a way that invites interaction or interest.

You can respond to their bids in following 3 ways

  1. Turning towards (acknowledging the bid)
  2. Turning away (ignoring or missing the bid)
  3. Turning against (rejecting the bid)

I encountered a real life situation when I told him, I want to meet him soon. He listened to it but did not respond. That is akin to ignoring or missing the bid. If he had said, I understand you are coping up with this separation and let me see, how I can get you back here, this is called turning towards the bid. Thankfully he did not lash out on me saying you only are obsessed with this thought of meeting me, that would unfortunately be rejecting my bid.

What will be your pick? : )

Why bids are important

A tendency to turn towards your partner forms the basis of trust, emotional connection, and passionate sex life. Some people think they can put their relationship on backburner and then thaw it out with the occasional romantic dates. But relationships are built with daily attention, not grand gestures.

How often should I make bids?

Bid as often. Master the art of the tiny moment. Reach out to show your partner that you care. Send a good luck message for his project. Hug your partner when they walk in the door. Bids can be super short and simple, but they hold great power. The key is to make many bids per day to show your partner you want to connect. In fact, happy couples bid all the time. This is what is the difference between a happy couple and an unhappy couple. Happy couples show that they care, genuinely.

What happens when bids are ignored?

When our partner denies our bids, we internalize the experience. Our brains subconsciously keep track of how many bids are accepted or rejected by our partners. When our partner constantly turns away or against our bids, we start feeling frustrated. We become inclined to criticize/ suspect our partners intentions, which pushes them to be defensive and may result in fights or heated arguments.

I hope that these examples will help you identify moments in which you partner reaches out to you and you can respond to their bids (and give you some ideas for recognizing bids of your own) leading to satisfying, long-lasting relationships!

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