How to Put a Little Z.I.P. Into Your Relationships

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Through the years I have spent hundreds of hours working with people in their relationships: Marriages, friendships, working relationships and social relationships. Through it all I have seen some wonderful things and some terrible things. It truly is the good, the bad and the ugly! But I have been able to find three core elements of successful relationships. These are things that, when done over time, begin to create for you the kinds of relationships that you truly desire. They are the kinds of relationships you have always dreamed of. So I wanted to give you a good way to remember some of the essentials with an acronym I have used to keep my mind on three important elements of relationships in my own life. It is the acronym Z.I.P. Z.I.P. stands for three things you can do – and begin to do immediately – to improve any and all of your relationships. Here are some thoughts on how to put a little Z.I.P. into your relationships!

Put some Zest into your relationships.
Cultivate more Intimacy in your relationships.
Develop a Purpose in your relationships.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these three:

Put some Zest into Your Relationships.
By Zest, I primarily mean fun. Relationships were meant to be fun! We wouldn’t have been made with the capacity to have fun if relationships weren’t supposed to have a little zest in them! 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 relationship. However, as life goes on, specifically in a marriage, but potentially 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 be. To restore the relationship, to put a little zip into it, we need to reintroduce the idea of “zest.”

Cultivate more Intimacy in Your Relationships.
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 relationships — meaning.

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 others.

Develop a Purpose in Your Relationships.
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 with whom we already have a relationship, but would like to see it go to a deeper level? Well, it gets better and stronger. 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 the wayside.

So 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.

Chris Widener
To hear (or see) what Chris Widener has to say about the Jim Rohn One-Year Success Plan or to join Chris and Jim Rohn as part of the Jim Rohn One-Year Success Plan and to participate in a Special Introductory Offer, go to or call 800-929-0434 for more information.

About the Author

Tripp Braden partners with entrepreneurs and senior executives on their high engagement C-Suite communication and content marketing strategies.

He believes client education is the best way of building trust and long term sustainable growth.

His consulting practice focuses on second stage entrepreneurs, technology organizations, and senior level business executives. Tripp partners with clients to develop high impact C-Suite communication and account based marketing strategies.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Tripp at or send him an invite on LinkedIn. You can find Tripp’s business growth blog at Market Leadership Journal.

Tripp Braden – who has written posts on Empowering Serving Leaders.

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