My husband sent me a text message recently. It read, “237 glubs for you.” I have no idea what a glub is. But I smiled anyway! I sent him a message back: “237 x 4.5 glubs back to you.” We’ve been sending each other silly glub messages ever since.
Bidding for connection
My husband’s glub message was a bid for connection. I could have ignored his message, or been less positive in my response. I confess that often I do ignore or lightly pass over my husband’s connection bids. After all I’m a busy person.
Ignoring a connection bid or responding to a connection bid by changing the subject isn’t always intentional. Given the demands of work, family, exercise goals, commutes, community activities and kids games, a positive response to a partner’s glub is understandably overlooked.
What research says about connection bids
Marital researcher John Gottman has found that the masters of marriage don’t ignore bids for connection. Marriage masters frequently turn to their partners with a bid for connection and their partners respond positively to those connection bids.
Another possible response to a bid for connection is a hostile response. Naturally a plethora of hostile responses to connection bids are poison for a relationship.
But the most surprising finding in Dr. Gottman’s research is the effect of neutral responses to connection bids. A pattern of consistently bland or neutral responses to connection bids pointed to a marriage disaster in the making.
Send a glub back
So the next time your partner sends a glub your way don’t respond by asking about the laundry. Send a glub back. Better yet, send a glub x 4.5 back.