The tango is known for being a passionate, emotional form of dance in which the dancing couples hold each other closely and make abrupt— yet graceful—movements.
Who doesn’t love a good metaphor?
Life is so filled with juicy, tasty metaphors for relationships. This one is near and dear to my soul because I just love to dance—physically, and in relationships.
Seeing things through the lens of a well-articulated metaphor can give us perspective and understanding that we may not otherwise see. It can open our eyes, hearts, and souls to our truth and the answers we are looking for in relationships.
Let’s look at dancing for instance.
We have all heard, and probably used at some point, the term, “It takes two to tango,” particularly when a relationship is in trouble or being dissolved.
Let’s explore and expand on this one to see what gold nuggets of perspective it can really give us beyond the term itself.
Remember back in the day when dances were an awkward event? The boys on one side and the girls on the other. Then usually the guy would work up the courage to walk all the way across the floor to ask the one he is attracted to for a dance. It was toe-stepping uncomfortable, but at the same time heart-thumping exhilarating. Because let’s face it, it was new, scary, and we didn’t really know how to dance.
And so it begins: the dance of relationships—and the floor is ours.
Unless you were fortunate enough to have been raised in a family that is skilled at dancing and they taught you how to do it with confidence and maneuverability, you have had to stumble, maybe fall, start over, and learn this skill on your own. There is no shame in not knowing how to dance in relationships, but don’t use it as an excuse to not even try.
It takes effort, patience, working with your dance partner, forgiving their lack of skill, drawing on each other’s strengths, sometimes taking the lead, and sometimes being the student. All done with respect, trust, commitment, communication, dedication, and surrendering to the flow of the music and the space and restrictions of the floor.
It may take one, two, three, or even more dance partners to find the one who you can move gracefully around the dance floor with. Not all dance partners will be the right match to bring out the best of our capabilities and vice versa. Some may get on the floor with you but not want to put in the sweat and tears it takes to become a skilled tango dancer. They are not wrong, just not right for you.
It takes vulnerability and courage to get out there on that dance floor and learn to tango well. The tango is not an easy dance.
Both partners must be willing to take the risk and be all in. Sitting on the sidelines watching your partner learn the moves alone will not make for a good dance duet. Standing there in awkward silence, not willing to face your fears, challenges, and weaknesses will not make for a smooth dance. If only one partner is showing up fully, learning the moves, and practicing them daily, then your dance will be shoddy at best.
You see, it does take two to tango.
Now get out there, get on the floor, take risks, learn the moves, and become a skilled dancer on the dance floor in the relationships of life. It can be fun, joy-filled, passionate, and totally fulfilling.
Yes, it may hurt, and be painful, exhausting, frustrating, and push you beyond your comfort zones. But just ask any skilled tango dancer if it was worth the effort. Chances are the answer is always yes.
Strive to become a great tango dance partner in life.
If you aren’t sure of yourself, then take lessons. There are so many good coaches offering relationship guidance. No one becomes good at something completely by themselves. Maybe even let your partner teach you, observe, and learn from them.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Sitting on the sidelines playing it safe watching others dance is never as exciting as being on the floor and learning how to dance in relationships yourself.
Let’s do the tango, shall we?
“We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, and we create the dreams.” ~ Albert Einstein