On Relationships

What’s your most valuable “asset”?

Easily the most fulfilling aspect of life, in my humble opinion, is derived from our relationships: friends, family, coworkers, and everything in between.
I’m so grateful for the relationships in my life and the fulfillment I derive from each. Those who know me will appreciate that I’ve given a great deal of thought to deconstructing relationships and have identified five ways to maximize fulfillment and happiness within relationships:

  1. Intellectual fulfillment comes from the exchange of ideas, guidance, and feedback. This aspect of relationships keeps us sharp, helps us with difficult  decisions, and challenges our thinking and philosophy.
  2. Emotional fulfillment comes fin the form of support, comfort, and cheerleading. This dimension of relationships motivates us, keeps us grounded, and gives us a sense of purpose.
  3. Physical fulfillment is everything from hugs and pats on the back with a friend to sexual intimacy with a life partner. Like all animals, we are physical beings to whom physical contact is an integral need.
  4. Material fulfillment may sound less profound but is incredibly valuable: laboring to get stuff done, providing financial support, and lending expertise and know-how to specialized tasks. Traditional work relationships thrive on this dimension, but so do life partners who count on one another.
  5. Pastime fulfillment is the satisfaction we gain from sharing an activity with someone else: watching a movie/game/match together, going skiing/biking/exercising together, or even cooking/eating/cleaning together. We are absolutely social animals who value presence; after all, our meanest punishment is solitary confinement; we love to be together.

If relationships are our most valuable “asset”, are we investing enough in those five dimensions of each of them to ensure they are the most meaningful and fulfilling?

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