What’s a Love Bid? And How to Respond to One

What’s a Love Bid? And How to Respond to One

I start each day by setting my intention to respond to a love bid.

What's a love bid?

Here's how John Gottman defines it in The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work:

...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.

When a bid is made, are you turning towards or away?

Often times, bids can be obvious, "Hey, can you help me with something?"

When you're asked for help, your love, or your attention... how are you showing up? With excitement and presence? Turn towards the person you love with the best you can offer.

Bids can also be quite subtle. Gottman uses a great example in that same book:

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.

Over time it becomes fun to identify and turn towards the person you love whenever a bid is made.

For example, the other day Andie said quite simply, "We'll [Leon and her] be outside."

I was about to start work at the time but paused, was that a bid? I wasn't sure. It certainly may not have intentionally been a bid, but it could have been. So, I decided work could wait and I joined them outside. We enjoyed a beautiful morning with delicious coffee in hand while being entertained by our ever-energetic dog. It couldn't have been better.

And I could have missed it.

I could have shrugged it off and continued with my plans for that moment, but responding to that bid, and continually looking for bids to respond to, was and is more important.

Who do you love?

Now, how can you respond to a bid from them more fully and more often?

Have fun with it. They and the love you share for each other is worth it.