I met my husband on the ballroom dance floor and although it took him a while to sweep me off my feet (literally once during the jive!!) we have continued dancing throughout our life together in one form or another.
A dance usually involves one person making a move and the other responding to that move. In our dance of life it is often the same. One person leans forward in blame, the other leans back defensive. One person yells and the other yells louder. One person retreats, the other follows attacking. Interestingly, we often do the same dance at each interaction.
The key is to notice what your dance moves are and what your partner’s are and to see where they are leading you. If your dance is building connection – that’s awesome. If it is heading downhill swiftly, you might consider doing something new. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, perhaps by learning some new moves, or trying something completely novel and a little crazy, you might just hit the jackpot.
Perhaps your dance is a waltz. You blame, they yell, you retreat. They blame, you yell, they retreat etc. What if instead of retreating as usual, you bust out a new move, never seen before. Perhaps you break into song, hug your partner or tickle your children. Maybe you choose to forgive, not get offended or exchange your toxic thoughts about the other person with something more constructive. Maybe you choose to respond to their yelling with kindness.
As you do something new in the dance of life, your partner is unable to make the old move. They are, in a way, forced to respond to you in a new way and thus a new dance is formed. Your fresh style might break the stale mate or change the atmosphere in your family or workplace, so that everyone can benefit.
If you’ve ever watched “So You Think You Can Dance” you know that the contestants need a lot of coaching to do all the different styles of dance they encounter. They need to support each other to try the lifts or to choose a healthy mindset. It can be the same for us in our relational dances.
Finding a coach or counsellor can be useful to help us think in new ways in order to dance in new ways. We might also need support as we try new moves so that we don’t end up going back to our old habits. Relationship breakdown is a devastating place to end up, so why not be proactive and find some new moves to shake off the cobwebs, reduce the aggressive atmosphere or even to spice things up a bit in your relationship!
If you need support in your relationship please seek out a counsellor who specialised in relationship counselling. If you live on the Sunshine Coast, QLD you can make an appointment with psychologist Gretchen Mitchell by calling 5446 4444 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org