The Price of Admission

I like this video. I like it a lot. I like Dan Savage. I think he is interesting and intelligent and makes some wonderful points.

I’m not here to talk about Dan Savage, though. I want to talk about the Price of Admission, and what it means to me, a person in an open relationship with many other rich and varied friendships and experiences in my life.

If you can’t watch videos where you’re reading this from, I’ll summarize. In every relationship, there are things about that other person that work well with your personality, wants, and needs. And there are things that aren’t that perfect fit. And there are things that are deal-breakers. If you have too many deal-breakers, you will never have a relationship in which you are happy. But if you are willing to change your ideals slightly, and overlook a few of these things, you may be looking at a lifelong relationship. And those little things that we have to put up with in order to get along with other members of the human race are called the price of admission. If you want to “ride that ride” as he says, you have to put up with a few things that might kind of suck about the person you want to spend your time with.

I want to share examples from my own life. I am exceedingly introverted. Anyone who gets close to me needs to know this and be willing to work with me on it. I am also a bit touch adverse and get easily over-stimulated. My Husband is an exceedingly touch-feely extrovert. He also has Asperger’s Syndrome. We have learned how to deal with these quirks in each other, so that both of us get our needs for touch and contact met without stomping on the needs of the other person. That means sometimes, I get touched more than I would generally prefer, and sometimes, he doesn’t get as much touch as he feels he needs. That is our price of admission for loving and living with one another. And, if you ask me, it’s worth it, to have him in my life and by my side.

Any relationship there are gives and takes. Wash lives almost an hour away. But time together is worth the drive, so we deal with it. And we text a lot. He also has health issues that change the dynamic of our physical relationship. But that is also something I am willing to work with, because he is worth it to me.

I’ve long since realized the truth of the idea that no one person is perfect for any other one person. We are all a crazy, mixed-up bag of quirks, preferences, habits, and ideas. Poly has been a good fit for me partly because of the way my partners fill needs that the others might not. It makes it easier, sometimes, to pay the price of admission for something. And the way that I love, which is with everything I have, makes it easy to overlook the things that don’t quite match my ideals.

Where I am getting stuck, and something I would love to hear from other people about, if what happens when the price of admission gets too high? What happens when you just can’t stand that issue any longer? What happens when a behavior that was OK at first escalates into something that you can’t live with anymore? What happens when you are doing all the talking, and doing it correctly, and they aren’t listening or responding?

This is something that has been on my mind. What do you do when you are no longer willing to pay that price, and they aren’t willing to negotiate? I don’t give up on people. If I love you once, I love you always. If you are hurting, I hurt. If you are happy, I am happy too.

What happens when the last thing you want to do is give up…. but things just can’t go on the way they are?

I welcome comments on this post. I would like to hear how other people are dealing or have dealt with this touch situation.

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