Getting Your Relationship In Shape


The best muscles to work out in our relationships are above the neckline.

by Mike Tinder for 21st Century Man

We are approaching the end of 2011 and the beginning of a new year. Like many, the New Year’s resolution of “getting in shape” has likely crossed your mind. The resolution is always driven by the sales drive by those gyms and you see the ads for perfect bodies in the magazines.

I want to offer you a different resolution this year. What would change in your life if you created a resolution to get your relationship experience in shape?

I have an invitation: Describe the current shape of your relationship.

I am not asking if your relationship is a triangle, circle or square. I am actually asking you to describe what shape your relationship is in. Be honest. Once you have described what shape your experience is in, the next is to examine WHAT is shaping your experience?

When people examine the shape of their relationship experience, they often use descriptions based on what happened, what hasn’t happened, repeated patterns, mistakes, etc. It may also be filled with a bunch of "is this the way it will always be", unkept promises or "will it ever be the way I dreamed about"? In other words, you talk about the past, the future (or lack thereof) and resignation.

The combination of these thoughts is what typically shapes the current SHAPE of your relationships. This extends beyond just your relationship at home. It serves to describe your relationship with your boss, colleagues, and siblings. Essentially, wherever you are in relationship. The result is that you put in all your time and energy to fix the past, future or avoid the feelings that accompany resignation.

Imagine the reality TV show Biggest Loser. I am screaming at you right now just like Jillian would:


Let me scream one more thing. YOUR!

You own them. The other person, they don’t have the same experience, they have their own as well. Remember, their thoughts are none of your business. This year, get YOUR thought muscles in shape.

Here are some great new muscles to begin working in 2012 and beyond.


I am not talking about the “forgive but secretly don’t forget and wait until you can use as leverage” form of forgiveness. I am talking about the woo doggie of forgiveness. Explore what it means to forgive someone from your heart. Practice releasing all the energy that surrounds a person or a past experience. Forgiveness is a muscle and it requires practice. Start small and remind yourself that you forgave them or it.


Rather than describe how it has gone in the past, transform using declarations. Many times, we simply attempt to manage or modify the situation. The “situation” or thought still exists. As humans, we were given a really powerful took called imagination. As kids, we use it to be creative. As adults we use it to worry. Practice using your imagination again and declare what you will create. Once you create a declaration, a brand new future is created. An important component to a declaration is that someone else hears it so please share your declarations.


I want to distinguish support. The muscle you will benefit from most is to seek support of the higher vision of you and your relationship. Often, people seek support to simply cope with or manage the problems. An additional muscle here is to not do it alone. When left alone, it is very easy to slide right back into the old way of being and doing in your relationships. HIRE a trainer or coach to support your higher vision.

I declare 2012 the year of relationships! Let’s put happy couples on the cover of every magazine. Let’s put individuals who want to lead others into their own greatness everywhere. Let us all begin practicing being citizens of this world and contribute. When you take responsibility for YOUR shaping of YOUR relationship experience, everyone else can begin taking responsibility for their own. That is what I call a WIN WIN.