My Darling Dancer,
In this letter, I wish to wrap up illustrating this metaphor of dating as a dance rather than a formula. I have already written about how we must dance to the song that is being played and how we must constantly adapt to the room and other dancer, and now I shall address how dating is like dancing in that you must learn to read, react to, and anticipate their partner.
I had a dancing instructor tell me once that the woman’s role in dancing is to look beautiful and the man’s role is to make her look good. While humorous (and true), it quickly became complicated once I changed partners and started my second dance. It quickly became apparent that all of the tricks and moves that worked so well with my first partner suddenly were useless.
Every girl is a unique dancing partner. Some love to twirl endlessly, some get dizzy and fall over after but a few spins. Some are so stiff that I must increase the pressure of all of my leads to direct them through sequences of dance moves, and some are loose as a wet noodle and require and exaggeratedly strong lead. Then, there are those girls who are very sensitive followers and will spin at the slightest provocation, so I have to be very careful to not do anything that might be misconstrued as a lead lest they begin a dance move I did not intend. Some girls dance with large steps and require more floor, some have small, compact steps better suited for a crowded room.
It is the same in dating. Some girls trust easily, others not so quickly. Some girls have had miserable childhoods, some have seemingly perfect families of origin. Some are starry eyed at the prospect of dating or marriage, while others are so broken-hearted by a past relationship that they barely see the point in going out to dinner at all right now. None of these things are wrong, just as a dancing style isn’t wrong. It is unique and personal to that dater or dancer. But, even though there isn’t anything wrong with other dancers, it is perfectly legitimate to enjoy dancing with someone who fits your style well. Let us say a man likes to incorporate a lot of spins in rapid succession into his dancing. He will amicably dance with women who easily get dizzy, but he will dance better and happier and be more truly himself with a partner who loves to be spun. In the same fashion, the personalities of a man and a woman may keep them, to no fault of either, from chemistry strong enough to light fireworks. Sometimes, a couple will not work well, not because of sin or hurt or immaturity, but simply because they don’t fit each others style.
But this takes the ability to read your partner, and humility. See, when Paul says we should submit to one another he means, among other things, that the dancers should dance with the other’s style in mind. Regardless of my “style” of dating, if my girlfriend is convicted to not kiss until marriage, I am to love her by submitting to her conviction. In the same way, if a man’s style contains a love of dancing, it is part of loving submission for the woman to learn some basic steps (hypothetically, of course).
Once we realize that our we have certain natural leanings and styles, and learn to recognize them in others, it is part of Christian love to accept those differences in style and adapt. Sometimes, this adaptation looks like taking up a hobby in which I have no particular interest. Sometimes it looks like breaking up and dancing with someone else. Regardless, it looks like love instead of judgement, and there is peace in recognizing the beautiful image God has placed uniquely in each person, even if it is a recognition in passing.
As we dance through life, we will have many relationships. Some will be romantic. Every person we encounter will have their own style, their own brand of living life. When we dance with them, we must remember that style is not sin, and each dancer grants beauty to the dance when they take the floor. As the dancers learn each other better through multiple songs, they begin to anticipate the flourishes that are coming, which allows for more creative beauty in the expression. Our lives do not have to be drudgery, and in dating what are we looking for but a partner in a tandem masterpiece?
Those are my thoughts, and even by the end of letter three, I still find the metaphor apt and beautiful. In related news, what are you doing Saturday night? I have heard of a band and an open floor…
Brushing up on his steps for the floor and life,
A Christian Guy