Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year! Where would we be if it weren’t for science? The Gottman Institute has spent more than forty years studying relationships. They have had many very important findings. One is we are all needy. What does this mean we all need a relationship, whether you’d like to believe it or not, you do. Another important finding is, bids for emotional connection. This is also known as your need to connect with your partner. It’s important that the bid be done out of love and that your partner gets it. Here are five tips to help you connect with your partner.
  1. Turn towards. This is also known as building the emotional bank account. It’s important to build awareness of one another’s bids. The choices you make about small bids, hugely impacts your relationship.
  2. The positive sentiment override. This is also about contributing to your emotional back account. This is kind of like the tone for the relationship. Ask yourself, does your relationship have more of the positive sentiment override (PSO) or negative sentiment override (NSO)?
  3. Don’t keep score. The emotional bank account is not about keeping score in the relationship. It is about making deposits to the account that each of you get. This will have a huge payoff for your relationship.
  4. Bids can be nonverbal. Affectionate touching goes a long way in a relationship. Hold hands, kiss, hug; give a neck rub to your partner. Facial expressions such as smiling or making playful gestures add up. Be kind, open the door for your partner or offer to carry in the groceries for your partner.
  5. Respond to bids. How you respond to your partners bids has a huge impact on the health and future of the relationship. When happy couples make a bid for connection it is rewarded by their partner with a response that affirms the bid. This is not the case for unhappy couples, their partner responds to the bid in an unsatisfying or painful way.
The take home message is, that both partners have a tremendous amount of power to create happiness and satisfaction in the relationship. Making bids to connect doesn’t have to be elaborate, expensive or time consuming. For example, when your partner hugs you, hug back. For more help, please call us for a consultation at (650) 892-0357.

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