3 min read

Unlocking One Big Secret of Lasting Love

In long-term relationships, there is one key secret to maintaining happy relationships. That secret is "Turning In vs Turning Away." Married couples "Turned In" to one another 86% of the time. Divorced couples only Turned In 33% of the time.
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The Science Behind Successful Relationships

Have you ever wondered what makes some relationships stand the test of time, while others fall apart?

Are you struggling to connect in your long-term relationship?

Love is one of the most profound and sought-after human experiences we can have. It is a powerful force that can ignite deep emotions within us. When we are happy and in love, the sun shines a little bit brighter, the sky is a bit bluer, and the bananas a bit sweeter (Sorry, mom brain). But when we are in an unhappy relationship, everything seems to darken with it.

In long-term relationships, there is one key secret to maintaining happy relationships. That secret is "Turning In vs Turning Away."

Turning In vs Turning Away

Dr. John Gottman conducted research on married couples. He met with newlyweds and followed up with them after six years. After six years, Dr. John Gottman found that some couples remained happily married, while others bitterly divorced.d. His study found that the couples who remained married were much better at one thing than the divorced couples:  Turning In vs Turning away.

At the six-year follow-up, the married couples Turned In to one another 86% of the time. Divorced couples only Turned In 33% of the time.

So, what is Turning In?

With every relationship, platonic and romantic, we make bids for connection. These are our ways of attempting to get attention, affirmation, affection, or any other positive response from our partner.

Bids for connections are the relationship equal of a Facebook poke. It's a "Hey-look-at-me" call that is important to answer. They can be physical, such as a reach out to hold hands or a shared smile across a room. Often, bids are verbal, "Did you see that cool bird?" "Did you hear about the neighbors?" "What did you do today?"

Sometimes bids are requests to spend quality time together. "Let's go for a bike ride tomorrow." "Do you want to do a puzzle with me?"

They can also be invitations for providing acts of service, such as "While you're up, can you get me a glass of water?"

No matter what form they take, bids of connection are ways of checking in: Do you still care about me? Do you value me? They are an essential part of maintaining relationships. However, sometimes we miss this key element.

Missing Bids

If you don't know what bids for connection are, they are easy to overlook. Women generally make more bids than men, while men have more difficulty recognizing them.

By reading this article, you are already one step ahead of the game. You have a better understanding of what they are and what they might look like. But you still have to do the work of responding to them.

The good thing about bids for connection is that you don't need 100% success in responding to them. It would be impossible to respond to every bid positively, as much as you love the person. Sometimes, life and other priorities get in the way.

The goal should be to do as many as we can. The more we positively respond to, the more we are investing in the relationship.

If you and your partner are missing a lot of bids for connection, the first step is to be clear. Understand when you are trying to make a bid and clarify if your partner has missed it.

Example: "Do you want to play cards together?" Your partner shakes their head and continues to read. You might feel a pang of disappointment that your bid for connection was rejected. You could follow up with: "I want to spend some quality time with you. What would you like to do together?"

As you and your partner get better at recognizing these bids, you won't need to clarify them as much. The bids for connection will become more complex and more rewarding.

Moving Forward

Are you ready to take your relationship to the next level?

Long-term relationships need maintenance and hard work to remain happy and healthy. However, the value that happy relationships provide is worth more than its weight in gold.

Bids for connection are a simple way of improving our relationship. It is a straightforward technique to strengthen and maintain that connection. You can instantly add this technique and reap the rewards.

Share this article with your partner. Commit to working on 'Turning In' towards each other. Comment on your results after using this technique with your partner.

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