Infusing play in your relationships is like breathing life into it - like breathing air into a deflated balloon, a good dose of play can revive any stale relationship. It’s no wonder that that Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, compares play to oxygen - we don’t realize how important it is, until we don’t have it. Play activates the executive functioning in our brain in a way that invites vitality, curiosity, innovation, problem solving - plus it’s FUN.
Professionally, we strive for growth and opportunity. We read leadership books and listen to all the podcasts. We hire business coaches, and run side gigs galore. We want to climb the ladder, and we’re willing to learn, work overtime, dedicate our weekends, and prioritize work over our personal lives for the sake of our professional future. But, do we invest as much in our relational future?
Routine, security, and stability are all virtues of a long term relationship. The down side of these wonderful gains can sometimes be dullness, numbness, and stagnation. B o r i n g. We believe that long term relationships can be absolutely thrilling, with endless possibilities, adventures, and excitement.
Much attention is given to sex in our relationship. So we often use sex as the relationship health barometer. Are we having it? Is it good? Are we having it enough? If I don’t want it, is that normal? Then we place values on the answers to these questions - determining and interpreting things about ourselves, our partner and our relationship - based on sex. But here’s the thing, the way we understand sex, is actually not personal.
Getting great doesn’t happen overnight, and the same goes for relationships. It takes time and effort, and basically, a really good workout regime. Ask yourself how have you been approaching your relationships? Have you been a fan on the bleachers? Or are you out there bringing your A-game? Are you practicing, committing, and showing up how you want to be? Or is there somewhere that could use some more of your attention and focus?