The term quiet quitting is a wave that sparked from the great resignation, and the apathy that some workers have experienced in dead end and toxic workplaces. Quiet quitting happens in many places including our romantic relationships. Any time that we are in a relationship and we notice that we stop caring and stop connecting with our partner, we are quiet quitting.
To use Gottman Method Marriage Therapy terms, we are all making ‘bids’ for connection in our relationships. A bid is any attempt from one partner to another for attention, affirmation, affection, or any other positive connection. Bids show up in simple ways, “How was dinner?” or they can be very complex, ‘I really wish we were having more sex!’ There are three basic ways that a partner can respond to a bid—they can turn toward, they can turn away, and they can turn against. The way that our partner responds to a bid has an impact.
In fact, researchers can predict divorce based on the number of bids that a person turns against. When a partner turns against a relationship, it is painful and creates a very toxic pattern. For example, one partner trying to connect says, ‘I would love to come with you to the store.’ Turning against says, ‘Why are you always trying to go with me, can’t you just leave me alone?’ whereas Turning Toward, might say, ‘That would be great, I will wait in the car!’ Turning away might be remaining neutral or not saying anything. Gottman Method states that happy partners in a relationship accept 86% of the bids that are made to them. Bids represent needs such as connection, attachment, understanding, intimacy, and excitement.
When we don’t have our needs met in a relationship, there is an awareness that things aren’t like we wish or had expected they would be. A person starts to wonder about the relationship and can even start to imagine that they could have their needs met with a different partner. Unmet needs create a slow landslide toward dissatisfaction and quiet quitting. A partner may first talk about the unhappiness, feelings of aloneness, or lack of appreciation that they feel. Even bids to create greater understanding and connection, if unacknowledged or not responded to, will also cease to happen, creating the cascade of distance and aloneness that hallmarks the most unhappy relationships, the relationships that very well may be headed for divorce.
Here are 5 Ways to Prevent Your Partner From Quiet Quitting You.