The song, A River Flows In You, by Artist Yiruma is a perfect example of the desire to connect. Think about the lyrics and your desire to connect, do they resonate with you?

If you have the time
Come share the world with me
If you can’t imagine
We can both be free

What I learned to do
Is give my heart to you
So that you can always hold it close to you

Holding you, holding you
It’s in you, the river flows in you
Slowly now, oh slowly now
It’s in you, the river flows in you
It’s in you, the river flows in you


This song often reminds me of the importance for couples to make and receive “Bids of Connection” on a daily basis. The first words of this song are a beautiful example of a bid for connection:

“If you have the time
Come share the world with me”

That is exactly what “bids” are about, they are an invitation to share in each other’s world. Sometimes those bids are not as clear as in the song, they might be more subtle, such as, sitting next to the other person when there are other seats available, a gentle touch on the shoulder or hand, a sigh, or sending a text in the middle of the day to say, “I just saw the funniest thing.”

Dr John Gottman, explained in his book, What Makes Love Last, that these are “sliding door” opportunities that we can either walk through or not. In his 40-plus-years of relationship research, Gottman discovered that the masters of marriage made and received bids for connection 86% of the time compared to the disasters of marriage who made and received bids for 33% of the time.

When a bid for connection is made an opportunity arises to do one of 3 things:

Turn towards: → ❤← (responding, listening, engaging, connecting)

Turn away: → 💔⤻ (ignoring,dismissing, minimizing, )

Turn against: → 💔←😡 (Not now!! Can’t you see I am busy?)

Bid: “Wow! Did you see the moon tonight?”
Turning Towards: “No, I haven’t, lets go look at it together.”
Turning Away: “No, I have been preparing dinner.”
Turning Against: “Can’t you see, I am busy cooking? I have no time to look at anything, especially not the moon!”

Jacqueline Ilana Bradford

Oregon Board of Licensed Professional
Counselors & Therapists C5272

Westlake Counseling
14523 Westlake Drive Suite 5 Lake Oswego, OR 97035

verified by Psychology Today

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