General Dance Discussion > "Don't touch me" vibes

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Roo, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Roo

    Roo New Member

    So, dancing circles tend to be touchy/affectionate -- with at least hugs of greeting, etc. And then, of course, there's oftentimes flirting and one or both parties considering dating, etc.

    I've had it happen with male friends that they'll come with a date to a dance venue (someone who I've never seen out or a non-dancer) and suddenly they give me serious *don't touch me* vibes. I know that they must do this for the benefit of their date (so she doesn't feel threatened, etc.), but it makes me feel badly. Particularly if it's someone I've never had interest in, it's frustrating to feel suddenly distanced from a good & simple friend. If it's someone I am interested in, well that's another story, but completely understandable too.

    Anyone- experience with this? How do you deal with it?
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, look, as a friend ya gotta understand that a guy has his priorities...if he shows up w a potential GF, he's just not gonna be all flirty and physical...that's just a sign of a guy who has wisely learned the hard way...y know? course ya do...
  3. Roo

    Roo New Member

    But even just 'hello' hugs? I'm not asking to flirt in front of a date (especially if I never have been flirting, in the case of totally just friends). But sudden ice/distance?
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yes, sorry...and that is part of you being their friend...sorry...I feel your pain, but yes...
    now, if you are wishing that there was more to it, that is another thing altogether...otherwise, they are going to be different and cautious...if the GF is new to them they can't presume you want them coming back?...anyhow, don't be hurt or take it personally..hard as that may seem
  5. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    ya, roo... he might for example know that the potential gf is very insecure or jealous, or he might want to be giving her a clear sign that he's "all eyes on her", y'know? a very nice thing.

    i say give him his space as a friend, and he's going to appreciate your friendship even more. :)
  6. yippee1999

    yippee1999 Member

    I think Samina hit the nail on the head. I too would feel bad about it if I were in your place, and also a bit "resentful", if only cuz I'd feel it was due to his perception, whether right or not, that his GF is or may be jealous. And I personally am bothered by people that would get jealous over two friends simply greeting each other the way most friends do. I see nothing wrong at all with a simple hello hug/kiss. But at least you can pretty much know where his "coldness" is coming from. It's not you, it's him/her. :eek:
  7. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Obviously he has issues - he can't act the way he acts with his friends around his girlfriend... that's a problem. Also, it points to the possibility that he is afraid that the side of him that you see is not a side that the GF wants to see - also a big problem in a relationship (LOL).
  8. WorksForShoes

    WorksForShoes Member

    In the guy's defense here (without having met any of these people), I will say that I have seen this happen in cases where the presence of a new person in a small group makes "hugs all around" seem like an awkward option. So, if I am used to hugging a guy hello and he and DH do the "guy version" :) , if there is a new woman who may not be comfortable hugging DH and I, sometimes we all refrain from hugs and move to handshakes. If that makes sense. Sometimes it seems that you move to the least-intimate common denominator of greetings in a group, and that is probably dictated by the newest/least familiar member. So I think I'd try to think of this as "noted, logged, move on."
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    dunno, there's adiffeence btwn wanting to be cautious on the beginning and wanting to be flase for a prolonged period of time
  10. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Interesting. I think that if the girl is jealous like what fascination said, then they might have a problem with any flirting. Also, if the girl is new to the dancing world, then they might not know the differences in touch. For me I could care less, but you learn the more you dance then you know that it's just dancing. But if you are new, then you might not know this, and you could become jealous etc.
  11. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    I think SP makes an excellent point. I've learned through experience that serious dancers make up a kind of subculture with its own norms that outsiders might not initially understand. Whenever someone new comes into the subculture, we have to give them time to learn and appreciate the norms for what they are. For example, newcomers might not immediately understand the concept of dancing for its own sake and therefore be confused by the fact that people don't necessarily dance exclusively with their dates or SOs. Seems to me that the guy in the OP's example was just being sensitive to the new woman's lack of experience in the setting.

  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I think SPratt hit the nail on the head--someone completely new to the dancing scene may very well not understand the dance/touch/hug/your scene social dynamics. And, if he's being sensitive to that and not wanting her to get the wrong impression (of his intentions towards her v. other ladies), then it's only natural for him to pull back a bit.

    To the OP, I'd say give the two of them some time. Try not to take it personally, and be sure to be friendly towards her, too. Although it can be second guessed, being friendly towards her helps to send the message that you're not seeing her as a rival, but as a friend.

    And...along that train of could take the complete opposite route. Play oblivious, give your guy friend a big hug, make a big deal of meeting and welcoming his girl, and then give her a huge hug, too. Sometimes, showing that you greet everyone with a hug and a kiss shows that there's nothing to it other than a standard greeting, and that there's nothing special about THAT GUY that you're hugging him.
  13. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Great point, IJ!

    Try to think of the no-hug situation, not as something you aren't getting, but as something you are giving--support to your friend.
  14. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Thanks lol! I agree with you too though. One instructor that I knew had brought his girlfriend in one night at a social, and no one knew if they should dance with him or not at the time. The thing was that I got to know her by sitting down beside her when I wasn't dancing. She didn't want to dance, because she was just learning how to, so she asked me to dance with him. I think if you become their friend and gain their trust that they will know you want nothing to do with their boyfriend. In fact with her, she was wanting her boyfriend to have a good time, and she felt like she was holding him back. So, I tried my best to make her feel comfortable, and I think it worked out great for everyone to where we all had a great time! ;)
  15. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Let me toss in an observation... I've observed that there are a fair number of people who seem to think that any contact at all between a man and a woman invariably leads to sex. They see or hear about the dance scene, and they get a mental image of the whole thing being one giant orgy.

    And here's the odd bit: The people who have this opinion aren't all prudes. In fact, I'd say that the majority of them are people who talk a good game, so to speak. Yet, take them to a dance studio and ghey get this visceral reaction. And never mind the hello-hugs and such -- they recoil just from the necessary physical contact in the dance itself.

    I don't know how we got to this point. I don't think it really has anything to do with conventional notions of which people and societies are open or prudish about sex. In my experience, it doesn't correlate with that. I have this perception -- it may not be correct, but it's what I've read and heard -- that in the past, societies allowed more for men and women to express appreciation of each other in ways that did not lead further, and it was more socially acceptable to do so. And dance was one way of doing that.

    Nowdays, let a man and a woman who aren't romantically coupled have any contact with each other in a public setting, and a significant number of people immediately jump to the most base conclusion. It's like they assume that absolutely no one (other than themselves, of course) has any ability to control their urges. How cynical is that? If I was having as many affairs as some non-dancers who know me think I'm having, I would have no energy left for anything else. :shock:
  16. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Lol... it doesn't help that we have movies like Dirty Dancing. Hey I love the movie, but I sometimes wonder if people aren't misled by movies etc. ABC didn't help anything either with all of the romantic talk that supposively went behind scenes on DWTS. ;)
  17. Pacion

    Pacion New Member

    Ever thought that perhaps he might be nervous? ;) Yes, as much as we may put them on a pedestal (we do?! :lol) guys are human too - date, activity he loves, testing the waters => nerves!

    As others have said, just try and act normal yet respect that he has someone with him and I think what has saved me from many a handbag, or shoe, being thrown at me is that I acknowledge the woman's presence. I have said on previous threads - if asking a guy to dance with his SO there, I ask him but I look at the woman/direct the question to her. Some have even playfully pushed the guy towards me, as it means they can have a chat/drink with someone else without feeling pressured to dance with their SO.

    :lol:! No energy even for dancing? I wouldn't say it was cynical view, just a *fact* of life :?
  18. DrDoug

    DrDoug Active Member

    Excuse me, but what part of "no" don't you understand? If someone makes it clear that he doesn't want you touching him, then you don't touch him. Period. Just because he's let you hug him in the past doesn't give you the right to hug him any time you want to.
  19. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    The part that results in making hard and fast rules, via the internet, without being present to assess the situation and get a firsthand read on the vibes.

    I don't disagree. But the devil, as they say, is in the details. Not having experienced the situation, and relying solely on the OP's interpretation, I don't like to offer a hard-and-fast solution to the problem. If you read my entire post, you'll see that I actually talked about 2 different responses to the situation, of which this was only one of them.

    IMHO and IME, there can be a huge difference b/t "no touching" vibes, and "unsure b/c don't want to upset new girlfriend" vibes. It's up to the OP to evaluate the situation and way the merits of different approaches. I'm merely pointing out that in certain circumstances, I have found it beneficial to behave as if the addition of a gf doesn't change the relationship b/t the guy and me. And, furthermore, to welcome the new gf by treating her the same as the friend. With a hug.

    I certainly do not, under any circumstances, advocate molesting people. Particularly not b/c I wanted to get in a hug. What I'm talking about is reading the nuances of the situation, and reacting appropriately.

    Don't get your knickers in a twist.
  20. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    It happens. If my ex-housemate comes I'll spend more time dancing with her than anyone else. I've seen a girl have her boyfriend show up and spend almost the whole night with him. What's the issue? I don't see any problem that needs to be dealt with.

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