If you’ve read my introduction, you know that I am in love with country swing dancing. It is one of the few times I can literally forget the entire world around me and just be in the moment. On the flip side, there is an interesting element to dancing: it takes two people.
Whenever you “go dancing” there is a mixing and mingling feel to it as you are always changing partners. After speaking with a few of my past dance partners, I have learned that both men and women have a similar experience. Unless you’ve danced with the person before, you never know what their style is. It always amazes me how you can do the same collection of dance moves with different dance partners, and your experience can be entirely different with each one.
One man will take my hand, lead me to an open spot on the floor, sort of flicking me around in front of him, as he moves his wrist, and then we are flying across the floor. We are moving so fast, and I am flying out so quickly, you feel like you’re hanging on for dear life. It is still fun, and exciting, and a crazy workout, but I personally don’t get lost in the dance that way.
Another man may like to keep you super close to him– a total stranger–as the music plays, and slowly spin you, dip you, and make more conversation as you dance. Some people may love this, while others aren’t quite comfortable. Yet, those are some of the same turns, same music, out on the same dance floor.
But then there was a different man. I cannot remember his name, but he was one of the last dances of the night for me. I had had almost a full night of very talented dancers who had me moving so fast and spinning so much, I had to make sure I was matching their tempo. As I started dancing with this gentleman though, he softly said that I was doing really well, but that I could soften up a bit. Through the song, he lead me through turns and dips and I didn’t feel like I was hanging on for dear life, but we were still cruising. It was so comfortable and entirely different. It was how I enjoyed dancing, but I had kept simply matching the style of each of my other dance partners.
I have often pondered that moment from a few months ago. How often do we seem to match the tempo of those we are dating, instead of trying to find someone with similar “rhythm” and timing? Just because someone is a good dancer in this case or a great person in the dating realm, doesn’t mean it fits or matches. And that is ok!! But let’s go back to my third dance partner for a moment. When you’re dancing with someone where your styles match, and you really become a team, you feel like you are on top of the world. Those are the moments, that for me, everything around me disappears and all that exists is my partner, me, and the music. I am coming to learn that dating works in a very similar way.
Dating shouldn’t be something where you are drastically changing to match someone else’s style, and “make it work.” I am coming to think that instead, it is a matter of continuing to dance/date until you find someone where your two tempos and styles match. I think it is a far more natural process than we make it out to be. In my opinion, best loves come from comfortable conversation, authentic humor, and being able to be our true selves with one another. Someone once told me that the best advice they had for dating and marriage, was to “relax into dating.” As my mother says, “let things unfold.” Anything forced might not be a road you want to go down.
So who is it that you can talk to for seemingly, hours? Can you feel like you can be 100% yourself? Do you feel safe, respected, and valued? Can you let your guard down?
I hope we are all letting ourselves fall in love when the time is right, and we each find that partner who is dancing at the same tempo.
Have the best day!