The Importance of Bids for Attention!

The Importance of the “Mundane”

Often when people think of spiritual growth they want to focus on developing their intuition, but being grounded in the present moment is just as important. The seemingly “mundane” parts of everyday living can have large ripple effects in our lives.

After the baby shower of our first child this Saturday, it felt like a long but great day. The actual party was only from 1pm to technically 4pm. Several people stayed longer to catch up. I don’t know how long we were actually there. Seeing all of our family and friends support us in this transition of life was heart-warming. We had a great party for all the ladies who came to the baby shower. Since we had heard a few men would be coming to the shower too, we created a room for the men and labeled the sign on the door, “Men’s Lounge.” After the party, a couple families from our out of town guests came back to our house to visit and see the nursery. The weather was extremely pleasant for late August and we all chose to sit outside while we talked.

I am used to spending a lot of the weekend with my husband. On the way back home, I talked to him and rested my hand on the top of his leg as he drove. Nathan knows touch is my love language. He is always receptive to my constant but gentle affection. While we were talking in the car, I told him how I probably had not drank enough water during the baby shower and should have some when we got home. When we arrived home we sat in a circle of chairs under the shade of our patio’s umbrella. Though the act sounds simple enough it actually took a lot of work on Nathan’s part. He had to get two folding chairs from our garage and two folding chairs from his parents’ car then adjust the angle on the umbrella.

Part of being in a successful loving relationship is love like no one is watching. We often ask for our partner’s attention with what scholar John Gottman calls bids. With these “bids” we are asking for our partner’s attentions. When our partner is responsive, bidding continues. When bids are ignored, the partner tends to bid less for their partner’s attention overtime and the relationship deteriorates.

For bids to be successful we must ask for our partner’s attention and then be open to receiving. The love language Nathan naturally gives love through is acts of service. Two of us after the baby shower where already sitting on the patio but more people needed chairs. I asked Nathan to get these chairs and he did. Though this action may seem small enough, the little “mundane” things in life really do add up. By fulfilling my simple request, he was showing me he values what I say and is willing to help. Relationships suffer when either partner feels ignored. I would have loved to get the chairs myself, but I am very pregnant and felt physically tired. Asking for help really was the best way to meet the needs of our guests.

After sitting and talking for a while, I quietly asked Nathan if he would bring me a glass of water. I asked for help since getting out of an Adirondack chair at this point of the pregnancy is not as easiest and fast as it once was. He already knew from the car ride I probably had not drank enough earlier. With a quick nod, he hopped up to go to the kitchen. Before he was out of ear shot, I asked if anyone else would like something to drink. Again, such a small and mundane task might seem unimportant. By fulfilling my request, Nathan was helping to care for me, our unborn baby, and our guests. The way he fulfilled the request was just as important as actually doing it. Some partners might give their significant other a hard time signified with an eye roll or a huff of aspiration. When partners do this, making requests can become more difficult for the asking party. Even when intended as a joke, an eye roll or a huff, can make the other partner feel like their requests are inconvenient or don’t matter.

While bids for attention have been studied in relation to romantic relationships, you can see the importance of bids in any relationship. Be mindful you are answering the bids of your loved ones whether they are romantic partners, children, or close friends. Bidding for another’s attention and being responded to is an important factor of successful relationships!


30 weeks + 5 days!
Here is a picture of me with baby Gavin at 30 weeks + 5 days!

Eva Borho, M.A., L.M.T., Intuitive Author, Spiritual Teacher, and Holy Fire Reiki Master

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