Even the masters of relationships occasionally have one partner who is sad or even excited to connect, and for whatever reason, their partner isn’t tuned in. In these instances, it’s important to assume positive intent and assume your partner may be tired, annoyed, or distracted.
Many couples don’t seem to think a partner’s negative response or a lack of one to trivial bid matters that much. It’s accurate to say that turning away from a minor bid is not going to send a relationship into the abyss of dysfunction, but recurring unhappy endings to bids without dialogue about what happened will erode the relationship. Over time, you and your partner will start to wonder, “am I a priority in their life?” “Is my partner selfish?” “Can I risk trusting this person with my heart?”
As this happens, partners will flip the switch of their love story into a negative perspective. Research shows that when this happens, partners miss 50% of each other’s bids because our minds are designed to focus on what we believe.
That’s why it’s vital to discuss missed bids, both big and small, so your partner is aware of what they missed. Every bid is a moment you can use to truly connect. As you do this, you’ll keep your relationship in a positive perspective and build intimate trust and passion in your relationship.
You Will Miss Bids And You Will Protest
No matter how hard you try, you are going to miss an enormous amount of bids from your partner. Emotional connection in a relationship is a dance of connection and disconnection.
As a result, conflict is inevitable in a loving relationship. Instead of seeing conflict as a “bad sign,” you now have the knowledge of its purpose: reconnection. So instead of taking conflict personally, you can now see conflict as a catalyst for connection and closeness.
This isn’t always easy. Even I struggle every time I lose connection with a loved one. I have to sit in the micro-moment of choice and decide to blame, to control, and to get revenge (typical anxious behaviors), or to dismiss, to shut down, and shut out (typical avoidant behaviors), or to slow down and tune into my own emotions and needs and express them while attuning to my loved one’s emotions as well.
Both your partner or you will protest connection at times. We do this unconsciously. In past relationships when I protested a lot, I remember thinking to myself, I don’t know why I called them 23 times in 15 minutes.
This is normal. Our protests are driven by a primal panic of being unattached to our lover. Our evolutionary instincts tell us that disconnection is equivalent to death, so it’s very easy to get swept up in these feelings and protest from time to time. The more aware you are of your protests, the less you will, and the more you will vulnerably express your needs so your partner can meet them.
The Profound Passion of Emotional Connection
In a healthy relationship, secure attachment, sexuality, and supportiveness all come together in a dance of beauty. Partners create a positive loop of closeness, responsiveness, and desire.
During their first couple’s coaching session, Evalin announced that she had hired a divorce lawyer. Now, three months later she says, “we are actually close. A closeness like we’ve never had. In fact, I don’t get so jealous anymore. I trust him, and I can say when I need his help. I feel that he can turn to me too. Sex is so much easier because we both feel desired and we can ask for what we want. It’s like a brand new relationship.”
Emotional connection is the baseline of our attachment needs and the foundation of an amazing relationship. In fact, sex is mind-blowing when there is a safe connection to explore our wild side. The risk of profound eroticism does not come from superficial novelty such as new lingerie or new positions. Those can be fun, but it comes more from our ability to stay emotionally connected in the moment of being truly naked: of being emotionally and physically vulnerable.
Couples often highlight the honeymoon phase of a relationship, but that is the overture of passion. An emotionally connected relationship is a symphony.
If you want to transform conflict into the material to build a stronger and more connected relationship then read Kyle Benson’s conflict blueprints here.