Sweet Pain/Trouble/Problem

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supermarioutd

Senior Member
Persian
What is a term to refer to a problem that is kind of a "sweet problem"?
Example1: My super rich friend is facing a "sweet problem" : He is torn between buying a Ferrari and a Lamborghini. I wish I had that problem.
Example 2: I have gone through a lot of pain to convince my wife, the love of my life to come back to me after she left me. But I would say that was all "sweet pain".
So, is there a common idiom to use instead of sweet pain?
Thank you in advance,
 
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    For #1, "enviable problem" might work, but not for #2, where I would say "but it was (all) worth it." Perhaps someone else can think of a better phrase.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    For example #1, "a happy dilemma". Example #2 doesn't sound sweet at all to me. Copyright's suggestion is good.
    "In the end it was worth the effort."

    "Afflication" isn't a word. You may be thinking of a "blessed affliction", but that sounds Biblical and would not be understood as you want it to be.
     

    supermarioutd

    Senior Member
    Persian
    For example #1, "a happy dilemma". Example #2 doesn't sound sweet at all to me. Copyright's suggestion is good.
    "In the end it was worth the effort."

    "Afflication" isn't a word. You may be thinking of a "blessed affliction", but that sounds Biblical and would not be understood as you want it to be.
    But I think I heard some expression like "sweet pain" in a movie. Unfortunately, I can't remember it.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If you can remember where you heard that, and quote a source and the relevant context, we'll be happy to discuss it.

    Frankly, "sweet pain" sounds to me like something from "Fifty Shades of Grey".:D

    Edit:
    Disclaimer: I have never read or seen the film of 50 Shades of Grey, but there are some things you just can't avoid hearing about.
     
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    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    There has to be a phrase for this.
    No, there doesn't. Just because a word or phrase exists in one language doesn't mean that it exists in another. There was no English word for the German "Schadenfreude", but it is such a good word for something that needs several English words to express that we now have "schadenfreude" as an English word. We don't have a concept of "sweet pain", and I don't understand how you could apply a single phrase with the same meaning to the two situations in your examples. Expressing what you appear to want to say needs a completely different form of words for choosing a rich man's car and for persuading a wife to return.
     

    supermarioutd

    Senior Member
    Persian
    No, there doesn't. Just because a word or phrase exists in one language doesn't mean that it exists in another. There was no English word for the German "Schadenfreude", but it is such a good word for something that needs several English words to express that we now have "schadenfreude" as an English word. We don't have a concept of "sweet pain", and I don't understand how you could apply a single phrase with the same meaning to the two situations in your examples. Expressing what you appear to want to say needs a completely different form of words for choosing a rich man's car and for persuading a wife to return.
    The first one is a sweet problem. The second one is sweet pain.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The first one is a sweet problem. The second one is sweet pain.
    But neither of those makes much sense in English. If you are looking for a way of saying "sweet pain", why did you confuse the question by a sentence containing "sweet problem"? That isn't an English idiom. You've also titled your thread "sweet pain/trouble/problem", so you seem to be suggesting that there should be a common idiom for all three - but there is not. For getting the wife back, the suggestion already made "it was worth the effort" is what would normally be said in English, and the word "sweet" just doesn't fit into your context. For the car, there's "enviable problem" and "happy dilemma" as already offered, and if the sentence was restructured "there's a nice problem to have".

    As velisarius suggested, in English "sweet pain" has some implication of unconventional sexual practices (I wouldn't know the details, I have no desire to read Fifty Shades of Grey).
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't think you can call that idiomatic. It is not something in common use, but it is readily understandable, literary rather than vernacular, and very much specific to the context of first love. I don't think it is readily transferable to a different context. You could also say "the sweet pain of first love", but that would again be as specific to the context and would not express the meaning as well as does "torment". My recollection of first love is of experiencing strong emotions for the first time, combined with uncertainty. "Torment" is a good word for it, and "sweet" is fine because for most of the time the feelings were pleasurable.

    If we used the less appropriate "sweet pain" in this narrow context there would be no implication of unconventional sexual activity.

    PS. You can get an idea of how common "sweet torment of first love" is - a Google search finds just 7 instances. A Google Books search finds only one: "Mellifluous-voiced Elena Prokina, in her Sydney opera house debut as Tatyana, was touchingly persuasive as a young girl caught in the bitter-sweet torment of first love."
     
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