I told R last night that I thought it might not be a bad idea to send pre-marital couples to a few dance classes. Oh, not to teach them to dance....but to see how they handle the up close and personal of follow and lead, how they are with rules, what happens when things fall out of step, and how well they play together. Because those are all things I have been learning about me and about us in the last five weeks as we have taken ballroom classes together.
What I have learned about me has been that I am still a lot more uptight than I want to be and that I don't follow well at all, at all! I care more about rules than I ought when the object is fun and I will get growly at my poor partner when he does not do things the way I think he should be doing them! Ouch. What I have learned about R is that he is just as patient as I thought he was, though I do try him at times. Overall, he cares more about having a good time and being playful than "doing it just right" and following the rules. Particularly since as he reminds me, "we are here to have fun, right?" As we waltzed and foxtrotted around the gym, there were moments when it felt like we were actually dancing. Then I of course would have to start to THINK again! And look at our feet (my biggest fault) and get messed up. My "correction style" is to come to a complete halt, feel terrible, say "my bad" and want to start over. Him...not so much...."just keep dancing, hon....it'll work itself out."
Despite the fact that I have been in some pretty long relationships, I have never experienced interdependence with someone before. I have always had to be the "strong one" where the buck stops. So, clearly I know how to lead. And I was taught from little on that you simply must follow the rules, always at all times! And life, as anyone who knows me will tell you, is a pretty serious thing for me. Play is not something I have known much about until rather recently, and I'm still getting used to the idea that doing something that has no outcome other than my own enjoyment is an acceptable use of my time. So dance class brings me head on into a whole bunch of walls, and I am doing so in the arms of someone with whom I am experiencing a whole lot of new ways of being. To say that this is a big learning experience would be to put it mildly.
Last night was the last class. From here on in we are on our own to practice dancing. Speaking strictly for myself, I think I better keep the rug rolled up and the CD's handy.