“They imagine that a happy relationship [is] built consecutively in seven layers. The foundation [is] a strong friendship, based on John’s laboratory findings that couples who spoke more fluidly and in more detail about each other and their pasts were more likely to stay together. Then came sharing admiration, 'turning towards' each others’ bids and developing positive feelings about the coupling... at the top -- the pinnacle of a great relationship -- came helping each others' dreams come true and building a shared sense of purpose, like volunteering or traveling the world.”
If your partnership doesn't fit neatly into this pyramid however, they also have a solution:
In an Atlantic article called "Masters of Love," the Gottmans "propose a recipe for becoming a 'love master' instead of a love 'disaster' by responding the right way to what they calls your partner's 'bids for connection.' A 'bid' is when your lover points out your kitchen window and marvels, 'Look at that beautiful bird outside!' You could go 'Wow!' and get binoculars (an active 'turn-towards'); mumble 'Huh,' and keep reading your newspaper (a passive reaction, less good); or say, 'I'm sick of your fucking birds. What about the broken garage door?'"