You’re doing the dishes and your husband walks up behind you, wraps his arms around your waist, and kisses your neck. Do you lean into him or pull away?
How you react means more to him than you think. The health of your relationship is directly connected to these bids for affection. No matter how tired, stressed, or distracted we are, when our man shoots off the bedroom eyes and says, “Let’s get wild tonight,” he’s seeking attention.
These bids are direct attempts to elicit a response from us, and if they’re met with a yawn or a sigh, he will feel rejected. Healthy relationships thrive when couples respond well to each other’s bids – for attention, emotional connection, help, affection, or physical intimacy. Intimacy can get tricky between work, family, and other obligations, but physical communication is a man’s specialty and if you miss these subtle moves you might hurt him or push him away.
A Negative Response Begets Negativity
Being perceptive is key. When your husband slides his hand under your shirt he’s directly saying, “I need some love.” Whether you’re in the mood or not, this action requires a response – and a positive one if you want to keep the passion alive.
Negative responses aren’t just turning him down, it’s the way it’s done. If a man’s advances are met with sighs or grumbles, or are outright ignored, then he’s liable to feel lonely or defensive.
Grouching at a man for being romantic or drawing you away from other things builds walls. Routines grow old. And life can get REAL. The more a woman pushes her man away, literally and figuratively, the less likely he is to keep trying or even want to try. Resentment and interest in others who offer more are easily turned to instead.
The more a woman pushes her man away, the less likely he is to keep trying or even want to try.
Couples with successful relationships reach out to each other 20 times more often than couples in distress. The divorce rate is much higher for people who don’t emotionally bid as well, so it’s not just about the physical cues.
Instead of huffing or acting out like a grumpy cat, we can take a deep breath and work to clear our minds, then really look at our husband and see how things go. What may have seemed more important when he put in his bid may be swept away by just looking deep into his eyes and focusing on your marriage.
Accepting the Bid Is Rewarding
Dr. John Gottman wrote the book on relationship bids. His book The Relationship Cure points out that the response isn’t nearly as important as just paying attention to one another. Acknowledging that your partner has said or done something to elicit a response, and that they’re hoping for a positive interaction, is truly what grants us the ability to build trust and properly communicate.
Men are more likely to seek action in order to deal with what’s going on in their lives. But just like women, they do sometimes come home and slump in their seat and say, “I hate my job” or “I had one hell of a day,” and those are verbal expressions that deserve attention. A physical response to his verbal expression is often welcome. Rubbing his shoulders or kissing him to ease the pressure shows you care.
Women tend to offer verbal bids because we’re more vocal.
Women tend to offer verbal bids because we’re more vocal. We’re more likely to enjoy a deep conversation, but that doesn’t mean men don’t need that sometimes too. Even if you’re just not physically able to commit to some bedroom time, you can positively respond to a bid with a sweet response and revisit it later by doing something special for him.
Think of it as a bid to answer a bid. Maybe it sounds a bit redundant, but in practice, it strengthens bonds and gives both parties what they seek.
How To Improve Your Bid Game
Women are annoyingly passive at times. Even the most independent, most confident, strongest, feminist idealist is subject to this. It’s in our DNA.
When women want their man to help out around the house, we’re more likely to ask, “Do you wanna take out the trash?” or “Do you want to fold laundry?”
No man in his right mind would ever jump up and say, “I sure do, golly gee wiz!” And that’s not what we’re looking for. What we mean is, “Please do this because I can’t,” or “I need you to do it because I’ve already folded a mountain of clothes and if I see one more sock I’m going to kill someone.”
So we need to work on being more direct in general. Men are really good at doing what they’re asked – if you actually act them. Suggestions and hints are too passive. They’re not as easy to respond to as simple questions that get straight to the point.
Suggestions and hints are too passive. If you want or need something, you can just say it.
Bidding is similar. If you want or need something, you can just say it. Sure, there are days where what we need/want seems so obvious that any man – or even a 5-year-old boy – should be able to recognize that, but men have their own thoughts and concerns, and they just don’t get it sometimes unless you say something.
So be expressive. Get to the point. Or if you prefer using physical bids, that’s more palatable to men. If you’re missing romance and need some love, dressing up for a spontaneous night out is eye-catching, and when he asks, “What’s the occasion?” you can enhance the moment or play coy with your response since the gesture was the bid.
Couples bid for each other’s attention all the time, whether they know it or not. It’s how we react and use those experiences to move forward that determine where our relationship is headed.
Marriage is a continuous commitment. It craves growth, connection, and heat. Paying attention to your husband’s bids, and making sure to respond, encourages him to do the same in return while keeping your vows fresh and interesting.
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