How Well Do You Connect Emotionally With Your Partner?

Turning toward your partner is the foundation of trust, emotional connection, and passionate sex.

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In every relationship, couples periodically make what Dr. John Gottman calls “bids” for each other’s attention, affection, or support. Bids can be as insignificant as “please turn down the heat” to as significant as helping a partner care for a sick child. This relationship quiz has been designed to assess the current state of connection in your relationship and help you understand how well you connect emotionally.

In these moments, you have a choice to turn toward your partner or away from them. If you turn toward, you build trust and emotional connection.

Turning toward your partner in these seemingly unimportant moments is the foundation of trust, emotional connection, and passionate sex. Dr. Gottman often jokes that “everything positive you do in your relationship is foreplay.” Foreplay happens in the grocery store when your partner asks, “Do we have milk?” and you respond, “I’m not sure. I’ll grab some,” rather than shrugging your shoulders apathetically.

In a six-year study of newlyweds, Dr. Gottman found that couples who remained married had turned toward their partner’s bids 86% of the time in his lab, while those who divorced turned towards each other only 33% of the time.

The number one thing couples fight about is not money or in-laws or sex. According to Dr. Gottman, most arguments in relationships are about a failure to connect emotionally.

Would you respond true or false to questions like these?

  • I look forward to spending my free time with my partner.
  • At the end of the day, my partner is glad to see me.
  • I really enjoy discussing things with my partner.
  • My partner is one of my best friends.
  • My partner and I have a lot of fun together.
  • My partner tells me when he or she has had a bad day.
  • We tend to share the same basic values.
  • We have many of the same dreams and goals.
  • Even though our interests are somewhat different, I enjoy my partner’s interests.
  • Whatever we do together, we tend to have a good time.

How can you know you connect emotionally and are in a happy relationship that’s both good for your health and everyone around you? Can such a thing be measured?

The Gottman Relationship Adviser, the world’s first complete relationship wellness tool for couples, takes the guesswork out of improving your relationship. Measure your relationship health with a research-based self-assessment, then receive a tailored digital relationship plan proven to heal and strengthen your connection.  Start building a happier relationship today!

For an in-depth analysis of your relationship health, check out the Gottman Assessment, a virtual relationship evaluation tool for couples.


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Kyle is a couples therapist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist.  He loves nerding out on the science of relationships. When not highlighting research on a Sunday morning in his bathrobe, Kyle enjoys writing for his blog Kylebenson.net where he takes the research on successful relationships and transforms them into practical tools for romantic partners.

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