What Happened to the Zing?

I was just in Madison, Wisconsin, at the National Women’s Music Festival, where I taught some workshops on catalyzing conscious relationships. Since we were in a swanky hotel, I decided it would be fun to have a happy hour chat. Nine of us sat around doing a q+a about relationships.

When one woman asked this question, the others leaned forward, straining to hear my response. “What happened to the zing?” she wondered. “It was there at the beginning–where did it go?”

I paused, knowing that this was the question that was on everyone’s mind. It’s the zing, the oomph, the hubba-hubba that gets us into relationships–so where does it go?

I asked her some questions. Like–how long have they been together (7 years), how do they do money (her partner makes the money, decides what to do with it), whose house is it (her partner’s). As we talked, I could see how much support they offered each other, feel the love between them. They held hands and exchanged loving looks. And yet–where was the zing?

Then I said it. The thing. “Power differences show up in how energy is allotted. If you’re not combining all of your energies–your money, your time, your physical energy, your creativity–the zing is going to go. Combining energies into pure co-creativity erases the power issues and brings the zing back.”

This statement caused a stir. The couples around me, even the currently single ones sat upright. Instantly people were arguing with me, defending their choices. Certainly they could keep control over what the flow of their personal resources and keep the zing; it was just about finding the right person.

I appreciate the passion of the conversation and the willingness of these folks to ask the hard questions about relationship. I love how these salt-of-the-earth Midwestern women were willing to spend their time learning new tools and opening to ideas from a person from Boulder, Colorado.

And still, I declare again what I’ve seen and experienced, both personally and with hundreds of couples : The zing comes from being met by a partner in the vulnerability of giving up control, speaking the truth, finding a place of connection beyond the familiar. If you want passion, aliveness, newness, discovery–consciously combine your energetic resources and let go into the slipstream of life. Zing can be reignited right here, right now. And its twin is risk.

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