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The Subtle (But Powerful) Way Partners Ask For Love & Attention — And How To Respond
Susan Allan -- The Marriage Forum Susan Allan -- The Marriage Forum
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Santa Barbara, CA
Monday, August 21, 2023


Creating a loving and intimate relationship over many decades can be extremely complicated unless you learn how to do it!

With most happy couples, at least one partner has communication skills that create more trust and intimacy over decades. This practice makes a big difference and facilitates a long-term marriage.

If you are the only partner with these skills, then you may find yourself making what are called “bids for attention” that go unnoticed or fail to elicit a desirable response. This may leave you feeling confused, disappointed, lonely, and angry.

But before your relationship becomes icy cold, or you think about divorce, here are the secrets to creating successful bids for attention that grow and strengthen your relationship.

3 ways people respond to 'Bids for Attention

  • You can turn toward your partner

  • You can turn away from your partner

  • You can turn against your partner

You’ve heard about “three strikes and you’re out” — this applies to Bids for Attention, as well as baseball!

It’s essential to deconstruct bidding options so that you become a maestro before your partner offers you the next bid. If you have a plan in place so you can assess what's being asked of you, you can react in a way that grows your relationship rather than the distance between you.

Examples of what will and will not generate closeness in your relationship:

Example: A man is rebuffed by his wife in bed. 

This happens a few times and the 3rd time he figures that he better change his bid.

  • Turning toward her example: He might say, “Honey, I know that something is bothering you and I want to solve this with you; can we discuss it tomorrow?”

  • Turning away example: “Well, goodnight!” he says as he turns away and tries to go to sleep.

  • Turning against example: “Sex with you is always a struggle!” he says sarcastically.

When you’re ready to go to bed and you want your partner to join you there are many ways to motivate them. Considering your partner’s needs at bedtime is the fastest way to get there. A few options include:

  • Giving a delicious kiss and hug may be all the inspiration required.

  • Offering to run a bubble bath may be the only hint of playtime that’s needed.

  • Empathy is the key when you say, “I know you had a tough day, would you like a massage?” If the answer is “yes," then suggest that a massage in bed would be the most relaxing option for your partner because you keep the emphasis on them! And once your partner is in bed and naked…….

Example: A woman is very interested in a man who’s rock climbing.  

She asks him, “My friends and I are climbing here for the 1st time and we would love some tips if you’ve been here before…..”

  • Turning toward her example: “Yes, I have 3 suggestions for you…..”

  • Turning away example: “I’m sorry, I don’t have time; I can’t keep my group waiting.”

  • Turning against example: “You really shouldn’t climb until you know the challenges you’ll face on any rock.”

For more examples and to understand why your Bids for Attention may NOT be working please read my full article here


Susan Allan’s Heartspace® The Marriage Forum Inc. 805-695-8405   818-314-1200

Introduction to Susan Allan and Life Mastery Training  LearnDesk


Nonviolent Communication® expert           Certified Mediator The Divorce Forum®  

Dating, Marriage, Reconciliation, Peaceful no-court Divorce, Avoiding Domestic Violence


https://www.youtube.com/user/susanallan2001  275 videos



News Media Interview Contact
Name: Susan Allan
Group: The Marriage Forum Inc.
Dateline: Santa Barbara, CA United States
Direct Phone: 805-695-8405
Main Phone: 805-695-8405
Cell Phone: 818-314-1200
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