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Photo: OlegRi (Shutterstock) Connection is key in every relationship, but day-to-day life—from work, kids, and chores to our attachment to our phones—can make it difficult to regularly communicate and sync up with our partner. When a relationship hits a snag, it’s not always clear what we need to do to cultivate a healthier and closer connection. But maybe all it takes is paying a bit more attention to what the Gottman Institute calls “bids for connection.” The phrase “bids for connection” was coined by Drs. John and Julie Gottman of the Gottman Institute, which takes a science- and research-based approach to relationship counseling. In his book, The Relationship Cure , John Gottman writes that he’s found that the most successful couples he studied were the ones who simply were more attentive to each other—and he refers to “bids” as “the fundamental unit of emotional communication.” Essentially, they are requests to connect and can be communicated verbally, physically, or sexually. They can be significant small, or funny or serious, but essentially, they all ask the same question: “Can you pay attention to me?” “Bids for connection are foundational to the emotional health of a relationship,” says Rebecca Phillips, a Gottman-trained licensed professional counselor and operator of Mend Modern Therapy . “Bids strengthen the relationship by adding value that builds over time. As the relationship gets stronger, the better you and your partner can withstand challenges that will inevitably arise in the relationship.” Each time you turn toward your partner’s bid, […]