I have read (or am reading) three books this year that have wrestled with this religion vs. relationship issue. ("After God's Own Heart" - Mike Bickle; "Sonship" - James Jordan; "Grace Walk" - Steve McVey.)
The writers started from different places, with different problems, with different perspectives and different aspects of God's truth impacting them. It is amazing how similar their solutions are and how similar the language is. (Ie. The examples, the sub-topics, and the analsis sound alike.)
They mention the strident calls for maturity, and how the church defines that. They mention the demand for victorious living, and what is expected in that. They mention common practices/disciplines and how often they are more characteristic of religion than relationship.
Christians commonly follow a practice of personal devotions/quiet time. Imagine a marriage where the wife comes home at night (illustration courtesy of Steve McVey) and haas a practice of spending time with her husband. She begins by praising or complimenting him. She outlines several jobs she wishes he would complete. She expresses concern for her family, coworkers, and, possibly, a situation in the world. And then she's done until the next day ... same time, same place.
I don't know about you, but my marriage doesn't seem to work that way. I do get my to-do list. I do hear about problems and concerns. It is rarely in a compact, neatly scheduled container. We don't always lay out precise, well defined sentences. We don't always communicate with words. My wife can lay her hand on mine and it can mean: "Excuse me. I have a complicated situation I need to discuss", "I really like being married to you", or "Be careful of what you are going to say next. You are close to getting youself in trouble." (And it may not necessarily be with her.)
Or there doesn't have to be any communication at all. We can sit quietly watching football or golf together. Or taking a nap with said programs playing in the background.
Relationship is not neat and tied up with a bow. The Bible says we can pray continuously. The Bible says we don't need words. The emotions of our heart directed at God are enough. He is capable of interpretting our needs, desires and intents from that.