Pretending you’re not making the decisions you are is a fucking quick way to not only be unhappy, but to be a royal asshole to everyone around you.
Dan Savage calls this the price of admission in relationships, and it’s a bloody brilliant concept, and works for pretty much everything.
Here’s why: You have to acknowledge to yourself and others that you’re choosing whether to pay the price of admission. You are the one who decides if the price is worth it or not. You do NOT get to be a resentful asshole later.
Hey, she’s got young children? That’s the price of admission for dating her. Pay it or not. He’s got a lot of debt? Pay it or not. Spin up your own examples.
You may not like the price of admission. Nobody’s guaranteed that. You may think the price of admission is too damn high.
I don’t like that I don’t have a Green Lantern ring. Deal with it.
This goes for all sorts of other situations as well. Think about a patient in a hospital. You have a right to refuse testing. There may be consequences to refusing that test, but outside of a very narrow set of circumstances, you can’t be forced to do the test.
Where problems arise is with a patient who doesn’t want to do the test, but doesn’t want to face the consequences of refusing it. They’re not acknowledging that they are making the decision, and tend to make things worse for everyone… most importantly, themselves.
Acknowledge the choices you’re making. Acknowledge the reasons for that choice, yes. Acknowledge that you’re making that choice to gain something better or avoid something worse.
And maybe you’ll realize that, indeed, the price is too damn high.