How Much Did You Really Try?

Nike made a fortune using the tagline Just Do It. While their connotation was about getting out in their shoes, it applies to every other arena. Most especially, it applies to the relationship arena.

Have you heard?

When we fail at anything, we have a tendency to say something to the person we failed, like…

  • I am trying as hard as I can to _____________.
  • I tried my best.
  • I am trying to make it better.

Have you heard one of these? Have you said one of them? Hmm.


We are going to discount the failures which come compliments of relying on others who failed to produce, but only slightly.

When you can reasonably foresee someone is going to fail to give you what you need to finish your task, you need to be responsible enough to seek an alternate source.


For instance, you need to get a present for Mate. You know Mate wants custom cowboy boots. There are four companies who make them. You go to the first one and place an order. But…

  • There is an eight-week turnaround.
  • They do not have the material of preference.
  • No guarantee or service goes along with the product.

Since you ordered the boots four weeks before Mate’s birthday, failure #1. Something which is supposed very personal is going to use substitute material, failure #2. A year from now the boots will fall apart, failure #3.

With a minimum of time spent, you would have found out the third company would have had the perfect boots ready on time with a three-year guarantee.

How much did you really try? 


Mate is very romantic. Your anniversary is at hand, and you are standing in from of the greeting card display. You see cards with beach scenes and roses. Nothing jumps off the counter into your hand, and you move down to the next section. There it is… You read the card, literally laugh out loud and head for the cashier.

Over dinner, you pass the card across the table with a large grin. Mate reads the card and gives a wistful smile. You prompt for laughter because you thought it was hysterical. Mate tells you it would be nice for you to feel the romance on your anniversary.

You knew it was an occasion which was romantically important to Mate, but you chose to go with your (comic, sarcastic, self-important) style instead of considering Mate’s desires and needs.

How much did you really try?


Mate has a signature dish which is a staple of all dinner parties, yours or potlucks. You arrive home to announce guests will be arriving in three hours and are excited to eat. Mate looks at you with daggers.

Yours may be more advanced.

You know Mate can pull off the dish in less than an hour and a half. You think you have done well. What you failed to consider was Mate has just gotten news a family member is dead, is in no mood to perform or entertain and is expected at the funeral home in four hours. With one telephone call, you would have known.

How much did you really try?

You and Mate have been together a long time. One morning over coffee, Mate asks if you are still in love. You look at Mate, perplexed, with a Of course I am.

Mate faithfully tells you I love you every time you leave home, before you hang up the telephone and before you go to sleep everyday. When you look back over the last (week, month, year), you cannot remember saying anything except I love you, too.

Mate needs affirmation of your feelings, security of hearing you say I love you and the comfort of knowing the love is reciprocal.

How much did you really try?

You are to the roll-over-and-have-a-cigarette stage. You are completely satisfied. Mate lies beside you for a moment before getting out of the bed and getting dressed. Silently, Mate leaves the room.

A few hours later, still floating on the satisfaction, you put your arms around Mate and ask if the encounter was the best one ever. Mate answers, For you.

When you think back, the last time you asked Mate what was a turn-on was during the first month of non-stop nooky.

How much did you really try?

No Such Thing as “Trying”

If what you are doing is trying, you are not doing. When you are committed to your relationship, you are committed to making as much effort to maintain the relationship as you made to create the relationship. If you are constantly trying, you are burning up your energy and Mate’s patience.

Chances are good you are trying your relationship to its breaking point. All of those attempts are proving you are not relating to Mate… hence, you have no relationship.


What do you think makes us try instead of do? Are you trying or doing? Can you see a way to change from trying to doing? Do you think there is a way to get Mate to stop trying and start doing?

© Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. There are things I try, like new foods, or new experiences. There are things I do, such as the examples you gave above. Life’s too short to go through it with wishy-washy commitment. <3
    Red Tash recently posted..Troll Or Derby blog tour day 5My Profile

    • I have always been a doer. Sometimes, I blame it on OCD, but most times, I just take credit for it. Life is, most assuredly, too short for anything but. <3 How is the tour going???

  2. Good Post Red……
    Great topic ……
    thinking broadly …..
    not only in relationship ……
    Actions speak louder than words –
    perseverance is everything —–
    absolutely ……
    much love and going to the see the wombies post 🙂
    Cat Forsley recently posted..What I’ve learned from my favourite artists . Cat Forsley ©My Profile

    • The follow up to this post is about actions. <3 Much love, Mon Chat doux <3 xxx

  3. Well I’m pretty good at failing some of those.
    Binky recently posted..World’s Best Garage SaleMy Profile

    • There are a lot of people who never think about such things…We all know what acting without thought gets us…

  4. Cool 🙂
    Hope the book is going well xoxoxo
    i am still in headphones ,,,,,lol 🙂
    bonne nuit mon amie xoxoxoxoxoxo
    Cat Forsley recently posted..What I’ve learned from my favourite artists . Cat Forsley ©My Profile

  5. Just do it. There is another often missed valuable use for the phrase. Depression can be absolutely immobilizing. If one can force oneself do just do it the immobilization can slowly begin to evaporate or at least diminish in its incompacitation of an individual,. The accomplishment of just getting to the grocery store is self validating and can lead to some weakening of the chains of chronic depression.
    Carl D’Agostino recently posted..“A Hot Time On the Town” by Carl D’AgostinoMy Profile

    • You are right about that, Carl. It is also therapeutic for other disorders like bipolar, paranoia and OCD. The mere act of consciously concentrating on something other than the disorder is enough to short circuit the hold it can have on the mind and the motivation.

  6. I think apathy and fear come into play at times. My husband is a really, really bad receiver. I’ve never really gotten it right, so I just don’t try any more – I ask what he wants. That’s what he wants me to do, but I don’t like it. So I wish he would try to recieve something I picked out with joy (even pretended). (BTW–if he bought it for himself he would like it.) There are more issues there, but since I fear the hurt when he makes stupid comments, I just don’t do any more. How sad is that?

    Great post and something to think about. 🙂 Angie
    Angela recently posted..On the lighter side: Did you hear that bird!?!My Profile

    • I have known a handful of bad receivers. My best advice for that is merely sit him down (on a non-occasion) and say… “I get my feelings hurt when you say _______ when I give you something. I put thought into what I give you and if you bought it with money I handed you, you would love it. Just because it was not your idea does not mean you cannot like it or appreciate the trouble I went to to pick out something I know you would like.” Yes, sometimes tough love applies to Mate as well as the grand/children. {HUGZ}

  7. I hate to get technical, but love just isn’t enough for some people and, in then end, you part.

    I have had several relationships, but I wanted kids and they didn’t – apart for one whose only intent was to get me into the sack so she could charge me for a phantom abortion…

    I guess I’m going to stay single…

    Love and hugs!

    prenin recently posted..Monday – A trip to the Co-Op.My Profile

    • Love is never enough. I have always held marital relationships cannot be sustained with only love. There is much work which must be done tending the garden lest the flowers wither on the vine. {HUGZ} Red.

  8. Do or do not. There is no try.
    Phil recently posted..Music Passion – July is for the Birds…My Profile

    • The little green guy was onto something. Great to see you this morning, Phil.

  9. I agree with just do it.
    I was with my mate for 18 years until one day I just did it, I kicked him out. Best decision I ever made. I’ve been alone ever since and hell will freeze over before I hook up with another.

    • Sometimes, the healthiest thing we can do is to just cut our losses. I think of it as refusing to throw good money after bad. On the other hand, I think cutting yourself off from the chance a real relationship with a real person is not fair to you.

      • I think of it this way Red, for every good man there are ten jerks. I’m not a gambler in those matters. Been there, done that and I’ve seen, heard and experienced enough.

  10. I try, I do. Some things I do well, some things I do not so well. The things I do not so well; well, I hear about them.

    Over the years I have found I am a pragmatist about romance. My husband is a romantic. So I buy three cards. Now he does too – one of his is always at least as snarky as the one he knows he will get from me!
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Practice Makes PerfectMy Profile

    • That is priceless. Or pricey, depending of course on your perspective. Tehe.


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