Does your significant other subscribe?

This is maybe an odd conversation but it made me wonder where other folks are with this:

Does your significant other subscribe to your patreon?

When I started dating my bf just over a year ago, I kind of default started giving him the things I create on my Patreon page. I do a quarterly zine and because one of them was inspired by him I just gave him a copy, then the next ones he paid me $10 for. Does it sound weird that i wish he would just go ahead and subscribe? How do I tell him this? Do I tell him this?

This feels so petty to communicate this here, and honestly it’s not a big deal at all. I am just now curious where other folks are with this.

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Disclaimer: I’m aromantic, so I’m using “significant other” to generically mean “the person/people in my life who I would expect to show me the highest level of support.” Also, I’m not the best marketer, but I’m great at having strife-free relationships, so my perspective might not be too helpful if maximizing profits is your bigger goal.

Overall, I don’t want or expect a seller/customer relationship with my significant others. My fans should pay me; my significant others should be there for me in other ways (like listening to me complain about my Patreon, lol XD). They can pledge, but I don’t want them to feel they owe it to me, and I wouldn’t want their pledge status to affect our relationship.

I’ve never asked a significant other to pledge to me. My two closest people did voluntarily, over time - one on Patreon and one elsewhere because they didn’t want to pledge on Patreon. A key reason they pledged was because they were also legitimate fans of the work I was creating, so they saw all the same content and communications I sent to any of my other readers, including my explanations of why Patreon is important to me.

Before they pledged, I occasionally shared limited Patreon content with them whenever I was excited to show them something. I only gave what I genuinely wanted to give, with no strings attached or expectations of reciprocation.

There are other people in my life who are important to me but who aren’t involved in my creative endeavors and don’t pledge to my Patreon, and I’m fine with that too. If they don’t consume my work, I don’t expect them to pledge.

If I were to hypothetically imagine being on the flip side, I’d feel uncomfortable if someone I was dating asked or expected me to subscribe to a paid service of theirs. It’d feel like an obligation. Whether I’d feel inclined to subscribe on my own depends entirely on our relationship and whether I was also a consumer of their work.

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My partner did for quite some time. We were long distance at the time so he supported my patreon. Shortly after we moved in together we agreed that he really didn’t need to since we were together and could support each other better in person now. But it
was his choice, I never asked him.

I know quite a few other significant others of friends that do support them on patreon so I assume that the conversation has come up for some.

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I love the way you put all of this, especially from the perspective of a person who is great at having strife-free relationships!

I am super inexperienced at having a capital r relationship, so this type of feedback is a good reminder for me. I think if my beau were creating on Patreon I would subscribe in a heartbeat. The important thing for me to remember is that people show care in different ways and I don’t have to assign meaning to any of it.

I like that thought, too, about not wanting or expecting a seller/customer relationship with my SO. I think that’s a good point I had not thought of before.

Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this!

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Thanks for weighing in, yeah I get lots of support from my guy in many other ways and maybe it’s healthy to keep that support real life rather than transactional!

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Don’t have a significant other and my family doesn’t support me on Patreon (they don’t understand internet things so well haha), but I was surprised and moved that several of my online friends started supporting me.

I don’t think it’s weird if your significant other, friends or family support you on Patreon. It’s their choice after all.

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A couple of close friends and family members support me but most have absolutely no interest in what I do whatsoever. Sometimes it bothers me that certain people aren’t more supportive, although I’ve tried to make it clear that any support is appreciated (like shares on social media or comments on blog posts, that sort of thing).

I don’t expect pledges from anyone, although sometimes I would appreciate if people paid what I do a bit more attention.

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Nope.

In fact, I think I know a total of two or three of my nearly 600 patrons IRL. Two more I’ve met IRL once.

I work in a niche market, and don’t expect patreon support from friends and family.

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Nope, definitely not. In the early days I was extremely clear: no friends or family. I wanted only patrons who supported me because they wanted the content.

Using Patreon as a way to transfer money between significant others is also really inefficient—use PayPal or a joint bank account or something with lower fees.

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Mine does not. And I, like, you, give him a copy of my zine. He has often helped me print it, after all!

The levels of support I receive from the relationship are far and away more significant.

I don’t give him all the stuff my patrons get but I’m also not 100% sure he’d want it all - so, it’s like, I give what it makes sense to give. And so does he!

I understand the impulse to want your SO to be part of your official Patreon fan club. I have watched that feeling arise in myself as well but I am actually glad mine’s outside of the fray. It makes it a lot easier to talk about it if something comes up.

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We did at first, when we first launched our pages. From a marketing perspective, it’s easier to get people to subscribe if they are not the FIRST one to do so. If someone comes across the page and sees zero supporters, they almost certainly wonder, even briefly, why no one else wants to support that person. It’s the patronage version of the bystander effect.

After we got a few supporters such that the single extra buck/patron wouldn’t really be noticeable to anyone, we stopped, because we functionally share income and there was no point in “laundering” that dollar down to 75 cents if we’re not getting some benefit out of it.

As far as blood family, my mom supports us by saving our bacon during those times we couldn’t make rent; the rest of my family couldn’t care less. There was even a time, during Winter Holiday Giftgiving Season some years ago, where I was explicitly asked what I wanted for Winter Holiday Gift, and explicitly told them that they should take whatever they would have spent on a gift and pledge it to the Kickstarter I was running at the time. They ignored me and got me another useless “gift basket” set that I didn’t want, couldn’t use (would have literally caused me health problems if I did), and had no room to store. I gave it to my mom.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback on this! I’m in my first dating thing in around 20 years (gasp!) so there are always these moments that I am thinking “is this normal??” “Is this how it’s ‘supposed’ to be??”

The takeaway here, and with all my other moments of wonder seems to be: “normal is whatever fits for the two of us.”

So it’s really cool to see this diverse list of responses to this question reminding me to see look within and see what fits for me. YAY!

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