Think about it: Don't you usually start out most healthy
relationships with a lot of fun times? Whether it is going out
to dinner or a ballgame, or spending time playing a game or even
just a lively talk, you usually have fun as a major part of the
relationship. Fun is some of the glue that bonds the
But as life goes on--specifically in a marriage, but in all
relationships really--the fun starts to go by the wayside. More
and more it is about getting the job done, whatever the job may
To restore the relationship, to put a little zip into it, we
need to reintroduce the idea of "zest."
What about you? Have you lost the zest? What can you do to
get it back? Think of a specific relationship you have: What
were the fun things you did at the beginning of the relationship
that acted as the glue that bonded you together? Now, commit to
doing those again and see if your relationship doesn't begin to
soar again! If you can, develop new fun things to do together so
you can both start an adventure of fun together!
Cultivate more Intimacy in your
First a couple of clarifications: One, I don't just mean
intimacy in the common term of sexual intimacy. I mean for all
intents and purposes, taking your relationship to a deeper
level. Second, I don't mean that you have to start doing group
hugs with your workmates or having revelation sessions where the
tissue flows freely.
What I do mean is that every relationship that is mutually
satisfying has a level of depth to it that provides meaning.
This is really what the search is for in our
Remember when you first started your relationship, whether
with your spouse or friend. All of that time was spent opening
up, telling who you are, where you were from, and about your
likes and dislikes. There was a deep sense of satisfaction with
the relationship - that is why it continued. You liked who they
were and you enjoyed being known by them.
But then something happens. We get to a certain level and the
pursuit of depth ends. We stop sharing feeling, likes, and
dislikes. We stop sharing joys and dreams and fears. Instead, we
settle into routines. The daily grind takes over and we stop
knowing one another and we simply exist together. Now don't get
me wrong, every time you get together doesn't have to be deep.
Remember, I am the one who advocates in the previous paragraphs
just having plain old fun sometimes. But there is a need for
regular times of intimate connection where we go deeper with
This is particularly hard for many of the male species like
myself, but it is not only possible but healthy and needed! If
we want to have the kinds of relationships we were made to have,
we have to open ourselves up to having others know us and for us
to know others.
True meaningful relationships come when we are loved and
accepted for whom we are at our core, not simply for acting in
such a way in our relationships to keep the other person in it.
Think about the relationships in which you would like to see
improvements. Take some time in the coming weeks and months to
spend time just talking and getting to a deeper level in your
relationship. Specifically, let the other person deeper into
your world. You can't force the other person to be more intimate
and you certainly can't say, "Let's get together and have
an intimate conversation," because that would be too
contrived. But you can make a decision for yourself that you
will let others into your world. Perhaps this will be the
catalyst for them doing the same.
You can guard yourself from intimacy but then you won't go
much deeper and you will feel a longing in your heart for more,
or you can begin the deepening process and see your
relationships change for the better.
Develop a Purpose in your
The most meaningful relationships we have are those that are
held together by a common purpose and vision for what the
relationship can accomplish, not only for those involved but
also for a greater good.
Let's face it, when people have a common purpose they feel
like they are part of a team and they feel bound together in
that relationship. Even when people may be disappointed in the
people they are in relationship with, if they have a purpose,
such as raising children, they are much more likely to stick it
out. Purpose creates bonds.
So what happens if we are proactively involved in seeking out
a common purpose with those we want a relationship with or those
who we already have a relationship with, but would like to see
it go to a deeper level? Well, it gets better and
Think about your strongest relationships. Aren't they
centered around at least one area of purpose or a common goal?
What about a relationship that has cooled? Think back and see
if perhaps you used to have a common purpose but it has gone by
And what of your desire to see a relationship grow? Take some
time to begin to cultivate a common purpose. Sit down with that
person and tell them that you would like to have some common
goals, some purposes that you can pursue together. As you
develop these, you will see your relationship strengthen in ways
you never imagined!
Let's recap: You want your relationships to show a little
"zip?" Then put a little Z.I.P. in them:
Put some Zest into your relationships.
Cultivate more Intimacy in your relationships.
Develop a Purpose in your relationships.
Reproduced with permission from the Jim Rohn Weekly E-zine.