An interesting article from relationship expert Dawn Allen:
The man I’m involved with is passionate about Argentine Tango dancing… I mean really, really passionate. When we started dating, he wanted to know if I’d be interested in learning Tango. I was, I am, so we are. What an amazing discovery it has been not only into the world of this man, and Tango dancing, but also into the relationships between men and women.
This is what Argentine Tango has taught me about relationships and love:
=> Argentine Tango is danced in an embrace that can vary from very open, in which the leader and follower connect only through their arms, to very close, in which the connection is chest-to-chest. What is critical in both styles is the ability of the dancers to be over their own axis, or center point in their body to stay balanced… much like a relationship between a man and a woman, where you are not only connected intimately together as a couple, but also independent of each other as well. One of the difficulties I experienced in relationships with men when I was younger was my tendency to build my world around them and to want constant togetherness. Those relationships tended to be short-lived.
In my current relationship, one of the things my partner says impressed him about me was my lack of jealousy around his platonic female friends as well as my understanding of his need to do certain things on his own. Part of the beauty of a relationship between emotionally mature adults is the fact that you can be independent of each other and lead very independent lives. But when you come together, it’s because you want to, not because you feel some obligation towards this person. And the fact that you are independent of each other makes your coming together that much more special, inviting, and engaging.
=> Tango is essentially walking with a partner and to the music. A good dancer makes you see the music in their dance. And what a beautiful metaphor for a great relationship! For what more is there than to be able to walk through life with your partner… allowing them to see inside your life, your love, and your heart… seeing the “music in your dance,” as you have the opportunity to see theirs. And you dance to the music you create together… your relationship.
=> Argentine Tango relies heavily on improvisation. Essentially, there is no basic step… it is a living act in the moment, as it happens. Okay, so are there any basic steps in a relationship? None that I’m aware of, that’s for sure. Every relationship stands on its own and creates its own special story, and “dance,” if you will. In fact, in order to progress into something special and miraculous, each relationship must be created in the moment without a set of rules. Otherwise, it takes away the creative choice and free will of its’ partners. It must be allowed to unfold of its own accord without either partner hanging on to a rigid, preconceived version of what they think it should look like.
The truth is, we are all unfolding, growing, and changing in our own lives moment by moment. If we’re not, it probably means we’re stuck. So how could a relationship be any different? If it’s not growing, changing, and evolving all the time, it’s probably stuck and stagnant… not pretty. My partner told me recently he thinks relationships are incredibly fragile… they are not unconditional, but rather conditional on the part of the partners to re-commit to each other and the relationship every day. Otherwise, a relationship can wither and die quickly. What would it be like if we re-committed to our relationship with the one we love every single day and remembered how fragile life and love can be?
=> Tango is a conversation between the man and the woman. Since there are no strict rules, it requires real communication, contact, and a subtle, yet direct, non-verbal dialogue between the partners. In fact, without that communication between the man and the woman, nothing happens. The dance stops. And so do relationships. Verbal, non-verbal, direct, and indirect, our communication with the partner we love is critical to the success of the relationship. Without it, everything stops. Relationships and love are like plants. They’re either living and growing, or they’re dying. But they never stand still. They can’t. Just as we are, relationships are a living, breathing entity and require loving communication in order to survive and thrive.
=> Tango must have one leader and one follower, but there must be both in order for the dance to occur. Otherwise, it’s just a battleground of two people vying for control. Now sometimes the roles will be exchanged or go back and forth, but only one at a time. Okay, so what happens in a relationship when both people are trying to lead, take control, or vie for power… it stops dead in its tracks. I’m not saying the man always has to lead and the woman always has to follow. However, just like in Tango, you must choose one or the other in the context of your relationship and communicate that to your partner. Because I am a woman with a lot of feminine energy, I like letting a man lead in a relationship, and I am extremely content to follow. But if something happened to my partner, if he were sick or somehow incapacitated, I would have no problem picking up the lead and being strong enough to hold our relationship together. That is also part of being a woman.
Tango has been around for a long time. And so have the relationships between men and women. But maybe it’s time we remembered that life and love, especially, really can be a beautiful dance between the partners… loving, sensual, embracing, intimate, creative, but only if it’s danced in the moment.
I hope you dance… and stay in the moment of love.
© 2008 Dawn Allen
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