How Being More Attentive Drives Deeper Connections

We sometimes think that sharing our secrets and vulnerabilities with someone drives closeness. 

This idea is actually not the case. In The Relationship Cure, Dr. John Gottman, the man who started the Love Lab, discovered something else.

He conducted an experiment observing 60 couples in this comfy place, monitoring heart, breathing, and everything inside the body.

He found out that it’s not the secrets we share with our partners.

How we handle ‘bids’ sets apart a relationship’s success from a disaster. 

A bid is a signal for attention. They can be small or big, verbal or non-verbal. And bids can come in many forms— funny, serious, or sexual.

For example:

I’m feeling sick.

I’m having a bad day.

Kiss me.

Successful couples are attentive. They have the superpower of listening without distraction. After relistening to our episode with Maiqui and Robi, I realized they were a couple that understood each other’s bids.

Now, applying it to your life, what ways can you get better at bids?

Be clear with your bids—experiment whether they are non-verbal or verbal, playful or serious. Sometimes, it’s about mixing it up and seeing which one gets the best outcome.

One cute story from our episode is when Robi shared that every time he calls Maiqui, he immediately says the words “love, love, love.” So in a way, this sets a positive mood for their phone call.

Acknowledge other people’s bids. Learn to be more caring and empathetic.

You’ve seen those typical airport scenes in movies, where the boyfriend or girlfriend is waiting with a welcome sign. In Robi and Maiqui’s relationship, Maiqui has done this every time they meet at a destination. She even sends a daily morning greeting to Robi. And these are the moments that Robi treasures.

Have a growth mindset. Pick an accountability partner, whether it be someone you’re flirting with, dating seriously, a friend, or a relative. Help them with their insecurities and vice versa.

Face your fears together.

In every person, there’s always hidden or open insecurity. But, in a way, insecurity is a bid for help and attention. With Maiqui, Robi has helped her face her fears through diving and doing activities she wouldn’t usually do.

For Robi, Maiqui has helped him grow his career by helping him with his YouTube channel. 

The ultimate lesson here is that being close is not about what you share. 

It’s about how we react to our partner’s needs, whether it’s emotional support or a simple cup of coffee. Consistent kindness is underrated.

I leave you with this quote from Francis Kong on an ideal partner. Given the many 0’s, consider that whoever you choose to be with, make sure they accept and acknowledge your bids. Vice versa.

Asking For A Friend 

One of our followers inspired us when she used the hashtag #askingforafriend. We all have some questions that maybe we’re too shy to ask. For this week, someone sent us this email. We’ll be replying this week. But before that, we want to know what you think! Reply to this email.


Real advice from your virtual best friends. 

I love the complicated boys, from emotionally unavailable to bad ones. I’ve been on a string of toxic relationships since I was 18. Every boy is like a new COVID variant. They come with different symptoms from heartaches, rudeness, anger, infidelity, vices, etc. I’m tired of dating them, but I can’t seem to make the switch. Now that I’m in my 30’s and 2022, I aspire for a healthy love life. I saw your love audit, and it just hit me that I need to shake this off. How do I change my type? How do I date better potential men?

Journal Prompts: 

  • Do I make clear bids?
  • Do I know how to acknowledge and accept bids?
  • How can I be better at reacting to someone’s bids?

Every week, Ciari and I set a goal to improve our relationships. This newsletter is for anyone who wants to fall in love again.

Share Smarter Love by Thirsty & Thirty


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