I've had a number of people talking to me about their partner issues this past weekend. They ask for advice, but in some cases I get the impression that what they want is for me to tell them that the decision that they've already made but have not yet acted upon is the correct decision. I'm really not terribly obliging if that suspicion is correct.
The thing is, most of these people missed the serious angst in my own partnership, and are probably completely unaware that the whole dancing with other people for two years ever happened. If they did, they would know better than to come to me hoping that I'll tell them that its the right thing to do to dump you current partner in hopes of getting a better one.
The truth is, I don't think I'm the best person to ask about partner issues. I've learned through a slow and painful process how to deal with the partner I have, but that knowledge to too specific to my situation to be broadly applicable. Really, I just suck at dealing with other people in general. If they wanted advice on their dancing/fitness/programming/hairdo I'd be in a much better position to help them. Perhaps these people are just talking to me about it because they think I'll be sympathetic, but I don't do sympathy so well either.
There are a few things I've learned about dance partners from observation, but these are generally the things that women who are tired/upset with their current partner want to hear:
- There are almost always more women looking for partners than men.
- Anyone who is going to get good enough that you'll want to dance with them and keep dancing with them is going to be a pain in the ass to work with. It seems to be a natural side effect of having opinions about the dancing and caring about the results, both of which are necessary conditions for getting better.
- Because [coach] said it should be this way is never a good enough reason to get most guys to do something a certain way.
- Everyone wants to dance with someone who is better than they are currently. By definition this means that 50% of the people out there will have to settle for less. In perception, more than 50% of the people out there feel like they are settling for less because the natural tendancy of most dancers is to think that they are better than they naturally are.
- As a woman, the ease with which you can find a partner is often inversely proportional to your height, at least in New England.
So, if I have to be partner-guru that's what I have to say on the subject (at least for now) and its just too bad if those seeking to trade up don't like it. Of course none of the women involved read this livejournal.