Recently, I heard someone compare marriage to dancing. I can see that. Today, February 2, marks 32 years of marriage for me and my husband. And, in those years, we’ve done some dancing. At times, a beautiful waltz, a sexy tango, and sometimes even a delightful, hand-clapping, high-stepping river dance. But, not all of it was pretty or graceful – sometimes it was down-right awkward. So, I wouldn’t dare offer to give you lessons or anything. Let me just share five observations.
Number one. Establish a good foundation. It’s totally necessary for keeping your balance. For us, it was our faith and a pledge in front of our family and God on the college campus where we met. So when times got rocky, we remembered that we’d made that promise. I remember my husband telling me when we got married, “We’re going to be married happy or we’ll going to be married sad. But we’re going to be married.” I picked happy because it made sense.
Number two. Don’t get distracted by the other dancers. Dance like it’s just you and your partner. Many times we get distracted watching other people’s dances and end up stepping on our partner’s toes. “Man, look at how he twirls his wife. We’ve haven’t spun once.” “She sure looks better in her dress than my wife.” Focus people! And one, and two…stay in rhythm…eyes on each other. Don’t look at your feet…there you go…
Number three. Add some variety. After you’ve mastered those initial, rudimentary steps, throw in a little spice. Guys, it might be a while (or never) before you can pick her up over your head, but that’s okay. For now…and only when you’re ready, try a small dip, a turn. It’s all about understanding the other person’s rhythm and needs. Remember you can always go back to the elementary steps…and keep it right there. Step, touch, step, touch. It’s when you allow your inner John Travolta to take over without considering your dance partner…that bad stuff happens.
Number four. Dance with the one that brung you. No, her little black dress is not as little. And yes, he’s told that story one thousand times about how he used to dunk on his opponents and now he groans when he rolls over in bed. But you got history with this one. You’ve come a long way together. And this is the only one that smiles and still loves you and your absolutely zero rhythm self.
And number five. Keep on dancing. Sure, you’ve made some missteps and you’ll make some more. It happens all the time when people dance. Hopefully, no one notices but even if they do, keep your eyes on each other and keep on dancing. No matter what – just keep on dancing.
Kendra Timberlake, 2016