Try Just A Little Bit Harder

August 23, 2007 at 6:53 pm (Love, Marriage, Relationships, Second Life, Sex)

He tried harder

I think I need to come clean about something. After looking back at several of my blog posts I realize I’ve painted a pretty rosy picture of my home life and marriage. And, while it is generally satisfying and solid after 11 years, it is not without its share of problems. Just such a challenge arose this week. I decided, a bit to the chagrin of my hubbie, to write about it here in hopes that you, my dear readers, might find fragments of your own stories in ours. And because these challenges encompass an amalgamation of many of the topics I’ve written about over the last several weeks.

Like most things, it began with one seemingly innocuous comment about something inane like house chores [don’t fear, readers…I would never dream of boring you with the tedious details of my marital squabbles]. But the comment opened a door where I’d been storing some pent up frustrations that came pouring out by the bucketful. In essence, all of them boiled down to one thing: inertia. He–like many of us in long term relationships–hadn’t been carrying his share of the load in many ways, most importantly in the way of the woo (I swear I’m going to trademark that word!).

I wrote about the woo a couple weeks ago, but merely alluded to the definition at the time. (See my blog post The Art of Woo). So what is it? Put simply, woo is the energy and effort one puts forth in an attempt to gain the affections of another. This often happens during the initial phase of a relationship, when each person is on his or her best behavior in an attempt to seem somewhat perfect and unblemished in the eyes of their target.

In real life this phase could include behavior like wearing sexy matching underwear (c’mon ladies, you know you do it), shaving legs and faces on a regular basis, getting regular pedicures/manicures, showering more often, opening car doors, calling ahead for reservations, etc. In Second Life this phase might include writing love poems in your profile, studying the dictionary and thesaurus to brush up on witty words, and scouring erotic literature to discover myriad ways to refer to the male or female genitalia and other sexy speech. Whatever your approach, the art of woo is all about the details; it’s about simply trying harder to win the heart of your beloved.

So why is it that we seem able to muster the energy to put woo to work in the beginning, but become complacent in long term relationships over time? Perhaps we get comfortable in the idea that we have already “won” over our lover or mate and that no more work is needed. If this is your philosophy–expressed or subconcious–you’re probably missing the boat (and a lot of other things). Relationships take work, and to keep your partner or spouse interested and engaged you have to practice the art of woo on an ongoing basis. In essence, you just need to try harder across the board to keep your partner wanting more.

Don’t take my word for it, however. See it in action. Today try just a little bit harder with your lover, spouse, partner, or mate. Stop on the way home from work and pick up something nice for him or her to show you are thinking of them. Plan a date–ALL the details–and surprise them at the end of the week. Or even simply write down something you love about them and post it on the mirror in the bathroom. Then see if you don’t notice a change, in both you and your sweetheart.

Oh, and honey….thanks for the roses!



  1. Daxiong Ling said,

    There is one issue with engaging in such unexpected activities. Although it doesn’t necessarily occur with all partners, there is a high possibility of backlash. For many, after the initial happy-romantic shock has worn off, there comes the overwhelming assumption of a guilty conscience. This is increasingly more likely the later into the relationship you are.
    Now I’m not saying I know how to avoid this situation, I’m just saying that it exists.


  2. Ero said,

    I tip my hat to you Cindy, not only for reintroducing into the vernacular that wonderfully onomatatopoeic “woo,” but equally importantly, for raising the veil on what happens behind the curtain when the woo wears off. If you are willing to woo in the chase, you better be willing to woo after the capture. Otherwise, why bother… and I can point to recent experience wherein I simply said to myself–make sure that everything you do communicates your love for your lover, and not your longing to be loved. Yes, wooing is not for the faint of hard or labor. It is hard work and you will most likely only raise expectations each time a new threshold gets crossed.

  3. Idetrorce said,

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  4. Mylena Aquitaine said,

    Thanks for pointing this post out Cindy, indeed I had missed it completely. I couldn’t agree with you more and yet unfortunately, I know far too many people whose philosophy could be summarized into “Woo until won”. Two of my long term relationships have been with such individuals…. Even though it was one of the main reason for putting and end to the first relationship, it seems I didn’t learn my lesson. :-/

    Once can forget to woo out of habit, familiarity and years elapsed, after all, we’re all too busy to remember such details *cough*, but those usually respond favourably to being wooed anew by their partner. It is work, hard work at that, but it pays off exponentially in personal growth both as a couple and individuals.

    Unfortunately, those who believe woo and work are not a part of a long term relationship usually resent any attempt from their partner to rekindle that interaction. They feel obligated to respond in kind, and if they do not, feel guilty at having disappointed the other. It is a sad state of affairs, really, leaving one feeling at best like a room-mate with benefits, at worst like hired help or a paycheck.

  5. Ricardo Lavan said,

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

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