Posted by: foodtalker | November 22, 2010

hard work

It’s always said that nothing in life is worth having unless you’ve worked hard for it.  Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.  Except when it comes to relationships.   Or more specifically, relationships involving a woman with a strong personality. 

The other day I was having a coffee with a friend who was recounting the details about a failed relationship.  He was going over it, trying to figure out what went wrong, and why, even though he loved her, it just wasn’t going to work and he couldn’t be with her. 

I found myself swept along with the story and feeling moderately sympathetic.  Right up until he reached his summation.  She was, he said: “Too much like hard work.”

What does that mean; hard work?  It sounded like a putdown.  A personality flaw.  Why aren’t there built-in indicators of worthiness and reward along with the expended effort required?   If hard work pays off there would have to be some parity.

I wondered what trajectory catapults someone into this undesirable category.   A category that wipes out all other redeeming features.  And once you’re in it, there’s no escape.  The more you insist on a re-evaluation to prove you don’t belong in this category the more it re-enforces that you indeed do.  

I felt badly for this woman I’d never met.  I wanted to call her up and tell her to keep moving forward – quickly – and never once look back.  And then just as I was about to muster some words in her defense, my friend said: “Well, you of all people should know what I mean.”

Now I was really confused.  Was he suggesting I could relate to what he was saying because I had been in relationships with men who were hard work?  Or, did he mean I could relate to the situation because I have “hard work” stamped all over me?  And anyway, I was beginning to feel defensive.  What’s hard work for one person is surely enticing for another.

“Come on,” he said, “You know you’re not the easiest person to be in a relationship with.”  I started to mutter about benefits.  But how would he know?  We’ve never even dated.  “You think I’m hard work?” I asked.  I was trying my best to sound meek.  He gave me the look that an airline employee gives a passenger who has just learned that they don’t qualify for the upgrade they expect and is trying to argue there’s been a  mistake.  

He said: “You’re a Virgo.  Critical, judgmental and a perfectionist.  Think that makes for a walk in a moonlit park?” 

But what’s wrong with that?  I know I’m detail oriented, have high standards and expect others to measure up to the moment.  But therein lies the problem.  Everyone has their own definition of what constitutes hard work and integrity.  What some people see as a headache, others see as an issue.  What some see as discretion, others see as deception. 

If something is bothering me, I tend not to keep it inside.  This might not always be the best way to go.  Nothing says hard work more than a woman who starts a conversation with: “Can I ask you a question?”



  1. Hmmm. Hard work, to me, means that the benefits don’t outweigh the work. It’s another way of saying “not worth it.” But what was your friend saying?

  2. “Hard work”……hm. If it someone you like/love, why would you not want to know what they think about, how they feel, what makes their heart sing……..I think asking is the way to go, rather than cluelessly stumble around….. Hard work is sometimes just another word for consideration and civility in my book! Gotta ask they next man I see what is his opinion…..maybe something about getting wiser when maturing! lol

  3. Hard work early in a relationship means it does not work! It has to be easy at first, when love is the only thing that matters! The romantic phase is so easy and great! The thing that is hard is the maintenance over many years. If you can keep it going, that is true love!

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