In our last +1, we talked about being Efficient vs. Effective. Efficiency? It’s GREAT for managing our time and completing tasks. Not so great for creating EFFECTIVE relationships with people. We also hammered our “technology is the obstacle to presence!” theme one more time. (I promise to keep coming back to it.) Today I want to chat about another big relationship idea I’ve been meaning to discuss. We’re going to talk about the idea of “bids.” I’m pretty sure I learned about this from Dan Siegel. Enter: Search of my Mac for “bids”… Oh, wait. Actually, I learned about this from THE leading researcher on the science of effective marriages: Jon Gottman! In his GREAT book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Gottman tells us that we need to “Turn Toward” our partners and respond to their “bids.” Here’s how he puts it: “Hollywood has distorted our notions of romance and what makes passion sizzle. Watching Humphrey Bogart gather teary-eyed Ingrid Bergman into his arms may make your heart pound, but real-life romance is fueled by far more humdrum scenes. It is kept alive each time you let your spouse know he or she is valued during the grind of everyday life. In marriage, couples are always making what I call ‘bids’ for each other’s attention, affection, humor, or support. Bids can be as minor as asking for a backrub or as significant as seeking help in carrying the burden when an aging parent is ill. The partner responds to each bid either by turning toward the spouse or turning away. A tendency to turn toward your partner is the basis of trust, emotional connection, passion, and a satisfying sex life. Comical as it may sound, romance is strengthened in the supermarket aisle when your partner asks, ‘Are we out of butter?’ and you answer, ‘I don’t know. Let me go get some just in case,’ instead of shrugging apathetically. It grows when you know your spouse is having a bad day at work and you take a few seconds out of your schedule to send him an encouraging text. In all of these instances, partners are making a choice to turn toward rather than away.” “Turning toward” our partner instead of away from them. Gottman tells us that our partners are always making “bids” for our attention. Whether we accept their invitation to connect or not is one of the greatest predictors of the longevity of our relationship. Get this: Gottman did a 6-year follow-up study of newlyweds. For those who were still married, the partner’s responded to each other’s bids 86% of the time. For those who got divorced? They only responded 33% of the time. So… Today’s +1. How’s YOUR Bid Math? Let’s pay attention and see if we can notice some more bids and, of course, remember to TURN TOWARD our partners a little more TODAY.