Dancing and relationships.

Daily Prompt: Dancing

dancing_couple-1024x768I have to admit that I miss dancing. I haven’t danced since I moved to Oregon two years ago. I get a small fix in my Zumba class, but I miss dancing as a couple. My husband and I took ballroom dance classes as well as Country and a bit of Salsa when we lived in Texas. It was fun but it was also a healing point, at least for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled women have come so far in our relationships and it is no longer the 50s-60’s where there was only one head of the household making all the rules. Today most couples share decisions. Both couples working may have started the shift, but I think it is more than that. We lead such busy lives now it is too much weight for one person to handle. We need to collaborate and delegate. Share the load. There are times where my husband and I take turns at the decision wheel. Certain things he is the lead on and certain things I take a seat at the helm. A few things we toss up and compromise on the spot. For the most part, we have settled into a system that works for us.  Here is the part that is going to sound like I miss the 50’s and I don’t. I’m just saying….

The thing that I love the most about dancing as a couple is that there is a clearly defined role for each partner. My husband and I  both assumed our roles and really enjoyed dancing together.  How did that translate into our relationship role? I can be a bit unyielding and dare I say it somewhat of a control freak. I remember a high school dance where the guy I was dancing with said, let me lead will you? That was a tough one for me. I don’t see that happening was my thought. It was an awkward dance.

Now, I’m older and I get it. When we dance, only one person can lead. In life, only one person can lead at a time. When we took dance lessons and I gave up control and followed the lead, it was such a freeing experience. I think it also helped my husbands confidence that I trusted where he was taking me. He could see me searching his body language for the next clue. I wasn’t half-heartedly following, I wouldn’t anticipate the next move and jump ahead, I just waited for his queue. It made for some awkward, disjointed moves until we “got our groove” but I think it was important to the process of surrendering and trusting. I think in our efforts to give each other a voice and a seat at the helm, there is no clearly defined expected behavior. We no longer follow the  “you are the guy so you mow and take out the trash. I’m the women so I’ll iron and sort the laundry.” I like mowing, so I mow. My husband likes ironing so he irons. Our roles are not gender assigned, nor should they be.

Here is the part that may not set right with others, but I think my husband taking the lead at dancing satisfied a primal instinct for him that he was taking care of me, he was the man of the house, the lead. For me, it helped me learn to let someone else drive for awhile. I didn’t have to control everything. It that way it was healing for our relationship. I remember my husband saying once, how can I be your Hercules if you don’t need me? I was proud that I was self-sustaining but I could see his point. We do want to feel needed, man or women.

Enjoy the dance!


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