Before I met him, my boyfriend was an active swing dancer. He no longer dances regularly but periodically would like to dance with me. I completely freak out.
posted by anonymous to sports, hobbies, & recreation (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When we started dating, Tim told me that he used to dance, and maybe he will teach me some. In characteristic "new-boyfriend-must-be-perfect-and-agreeable" fashion, I say sure, even though I am NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS. Long story short, we dance a few times, some publically, some in the living room, and I just find the whole exercise stressful and embarrassing and awful. For example, I couldn’t sleep the week before we went to his friends’ wedding, and I did not get up off of my chair to dance ONCE because I was just paralyzed. And I felt AWFUL, because what the fuck, just get up and move around a bit, and it will be FINE. But I froze, I couldn't do it. That was 18 months ago! I STILL worry about it, when I remember it, I spend the rest of the day embarrassed and panicky and can't get my work done.
It’s funny: I like to dance, like, regular dancing, the kind where you just go to a bar with your friends and have some beers and dance around to Top 40 or whatever. That’s great! But this? With all the rules, and the following (and man leading? Yuck), and the structure? It just doesn’t make one lick of sense, I really find it physically confusing. Tim insists that I am fine at it, and obviously I don’t believe him, because he can’t tell me I suck, but I do believe that he’s seen worse beginner dancers.
We are talking about getting married, and I have these frequent thoughts about having a wedding and all is lovely and then we need to dance or something, and I go lock myself in the bathroom, need to go to the Emergency Room, or hurt myself. This is really no good.
I don't need to be the best dancer around. But it'd be nice to be able to dance around a bit when the situation calls for it, look silly or not, and just not care, and not worry about it.
Overall, I am not comfortable with physical activities. I think I went to OT in kindergarten for postural insecurity? I never liked sports, was a clutzy kid who others made fun of, that type of thing. I desperately want to blame my current woes on this (and secretly hope one of you will say "you had trouble learning how to walk down the stairs? Then this is not your fault and it is simply not possible for you to learn how to socially dance properly!"), but I odds are it is because I never got comfortable moving my body around, not because I am truly broken in some way. I am active enough as an adult, but in solitary pursuits, running and hiking. Activities that involve one moving object (me) and everything else stays put.
Obviously, a solution could be “just don’t dance!” And that might be what I need to do. But in my braver moments I find myself wondering if it would be possible to do this, and when I do, I just panic and freak out and get so so so anxious about the damn thing.
Has anyone found a way to suck it up and move from anxiety to ambivalance in something like social dancing? How? Suggestions? My only ideas are either continuing to ignore it, or scheduling a daily/weekly/whatever "dance in the living room for an hour with the shades drawn NO MATTER WHAT" type thing, but I don't know if that's a good idea. Maybe it will be desensitizing and help? Or maybe it will create a touch = anxiety association and I'll be posting in six months about how we aren't having sex anymore.
I'm a 25 year old woman, he's a 30 year old man. Dating for two years, we live together and plan on getting engaged soon. I feel completely ridiculous posting this, but it's bothering me enough that I thought maybe I'd get some good ideas here. Throwaway email is email@example.com