“There is no settling down without some settling for. There is no long-term relationship not just putting up with your partner’s flaws, but accepting them and then pretending they aren’t there. We like to call it in my house “paying the price of admission”
A really nice must-watch video by Dan Savage:
You can’t have a long-term relationship with someone unless you’re willing to identify the prices of admission you’re willing to pay — and the ones you’re not. But the ones you’re not — the list of things you’re not willing to put up with — you really have to be able to count [them] on one hand…
My boyfriend is a really lovely person. He’s intelligent, funny, and kind and he possesses many other impressive character traits such as playing tank wars on his iPad…
Every once in a while, however, he does something that makes me crazy. For example the idea of hanging his clothes up after he’s taken them off is completely foreign to him. My appartment looked like a hurricane had passed when he has been there for a weekend (!). When he is cooking, he also leaves everything out of the fridge. He leaves his plate on the table if he eats alone.
But ok: fair is fair. I’m quite confident that some of my habits and preferences also trigger some annoyance with him. Maybe it is my autistic traits of having to know what’s coming. My clinginess. He probably knows better than me – ehehehe.
I believe that many couples let these kinds of small issues, turn their once-lovely relationships into battlefields. It would probably cost me less time and energy to hang up my boyfriends clothes than lecturing him about it over and over again. When we spend too much energy focusing on the “negative” or annoying, we risk to lose sight of our partner as the intelligent, funny and kind person we fell in love with.
So there is where the price of admission steps in. The personal sacrifices, large and small, that make long-term relationships possible.
In my interpretation of the price of admission, the principle begins with the recognition that both partners are flawed. Deeply so. Repeat after me, “We acknowledge that we are flawed creatures.” It’s not just your partner who is flawed… but also you. (Don’t worry, I also find this part difficult.)
The second understanding of the price of admission is that we are both AMAZING. Not me more than him…not him more than me. We are both talented, interesting and unique souls deserving of love and respect. Nowhere is this more true than within this relationship that we created.
The third understanding is that it is perfectly natural for people who have become very familiar with one another to be annoyed by traits and habits that once charmed them so much.
The fourth and final understanding is that you must learn how to let most of it go. The price of admission – the price that you willingly pay to be with this lovely person who brings so much to your life, with whom you feel utterly safe and heard and at “home” – is that you do not hold on to the toxic little things that are choking the life out of your love and affection for one another.
When I see my love’s clothes piled up on the sofa, I remind myself that last night, it was this man who cooked me an amazing dinner even though he was tired from a long day at work. And I recognize that this is the price of admission. And I am more than willing to pay it.
People, when they’re young, have this idea… “There’s someone out there who’s perfect for me There’s the one.”
“The one” does not exist. “The one” is a lie. But the beautiful part of the lie is that it’s a lie you can tell yourself.And we then are obligated to live up to the lies we told each other about who we are — we are then forced to be better people than we actually are, because it’s expected of us by each other. And you can, in a long-term relationship, really make your lie-self come true — if you’re smart, and you demand it of them, and you’re willing to give it to them. You have to be willing not to see him chewing with his mouth open, if you want to be around for his better qualities. And then buy into the lie-version where he never does that. Right? And they will hopefully do the same for you.
That’s the only way you become “the one” — it’s because somebody is willing to pretend you are. “The one” that they were waiting for, “the one” they wanted, their “one.” Because you’re not — nobody is.
No two people are perfect for each other, ever, period — No two people are 100% sexually compatible, no two people are 100% emotionally compatible, no two people want the same things.
And if you can’t reconcile yourself to that, you will have no relationships that last longer than two months. And you know what? It’s not going to be their fault — it’s going to be your fault.
(by Dan Savage)