General Dance Discussion > Is dancing emotional infidelity?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by sunderi, Oct 20, 2004.


Is dancing emotional infidelity?

  1. Yes, almost always, and it's a problem.

  2. Yes, but it's not a problem because . . .

  3. Sometimes -- I'll explain below.

  4. Of course not. What a silly question!

  1. sunderi

    sunderi New Member

    The topic for "Shall We Dance" had kind of strayed into this area, so I'm starting a new thread for it . . . .

    It was mentioned in that thread that infidelity might have less to do with a physical act than it does with the creation of emotional connections outside of the marriage. And, further, that physical infidelity is often preceeded by this kind of emotional infidelity.

    If that's the case, how do we all get away with dancing? (Especially those of us, like myself, whose husbands/wives are NOT our primary dance partners?) I know I have a very strong emotional connection with my instructor, but it doesn't seem to be a problem, nor does it bother my husband (who also has a professional partner, who he has a very strong emotional connection with).

    So, my question to you would be, is dancing emotional infidelity? If it is, how do we get away with it? If it isn't, why does it differ from the other types of emotional connections that MIGHT be considered infidelity?
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Fantastic topic, and I'm pondering my answer, which means I'm waffling. My current answer is that there's a fine line. But yes, it can develop into emotional infidelity, especially if the lines of communication between spouses/life partners aren't kept wide open.

    (And no, Regis, that is not my final answer. :oops: :wink: )
  3. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Honestly, if you are dancing pro-am (you are only dancing during paid lessons and competitions with a paid teacher) you have a very simple reason to not make this a 'relationship' - it is a lack of professionalism on the instructor's part and a lack of reality on yours LOL!

    I guess if you are talking about am/am partnerships (where one partner is dancing with the other NOT because they are paid, but because they want to) or pro/pro partnerships (where they are partners with a goal of financial success for both of the partners) then maybe you have a discussion - but I really think that calling a business relationship anything else than that is sort of 'creepy' in that if you DO think it is more than that, you are more 'at risk' to seeing it turn ito something that you do not have the emotional strength to avoid.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I'm going to tell a semi-personal story here, to get the ball rolling. A few years back, when my ex wasn't yet an ex, he ran into an old girlfriend of his and revived their friendship. No problem with me. Not at all. (Actually, I thought he'd done her wrong and he should've married her, not me, but that's another story.)

    Anyway. I was perfectly fine with his having a renewed friendship with his ex- girlfriend. He had friends who were women. I had friends who were men -- always have. No problem. Not only that, she lives in Trinidad, so what the heck! I thought.

    Then one day, I walked into his home office and he shut down his computer screen. Then a a couple weeks later he drove to South Florida to visit her while she was visiting family there. (Nothing happened -- he's really transparent when he's guilty LOL) Then, another day, I walked into his home office (not checking up, mind you, just telling him dinner was ready) and this time I saw what was on the screen. Nothing X or even R rated. It was worse. It was sweet. They were instant messaging each other about what they'd done that day. He hadn't asked me about my day in years!

    I went ballistic and told him, that, if he wanted her, he should go to Trinidad and get her. Sorry. I was ticked off.

    My bottom line is that fidelity is in your mind, not in your pants. And there's a fine line. And what starts out innocent doesn't always stay that way.

    Okay. The end of the story is that he became enraged right back, and told me I was being ridiculous. He didn't get why I was upset. So I said okay. You tell her what I said and see how she reacts. After that conversation, she broke off their friendship. Maybe she knew I was right? I don't know. But that convinced me even more that she is a wonderful woman. Maybe she and he will end up together. :?

    Okay. So it turned out to be a really personal story, not semi. :lol: :lol:
  5. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    . It will definitely ruin a pro's career at some point, unless they are single and marry that particular student.

    Men are from Mars; Women from Venus.

    I had very similar situation in my life once and some people just don't get the whole "perception" thing, and how things look bad when you hide them, even if they're innocent. I have a married friend who goes a little out of bounds (actually, a lot IMO), with other people's husbands and it irritates me to no end. Having been on the other side of things, I have very little sympathy or respect for people who do this.

    I think most women would agree that the emotional cheating is worse than the physical. Not sure about men, but my husband would probably go along with that.
  6. Vin

    Vin New Member

    That's a pretty powerful story Pygmalion. I appreciate you sharing that with us.
    It can be tough being a non-dancer, for both. There is always that cloud hanging over both of you of:
    "What if I/you find someone who is everything I/you want in another person, and a great dancer as well."
    My ex/gf(it's only been a couple of weeks and we have gone through this before) for example is not very comfortable with my dancing, because she does not feel passionate about it in the same way I feel passionate about it. Therefore she feels like it is a part of my life that she will never really be able to be a part of.
    Dancing can mean different things to different people. For some it is a job, for others it is a hobby, for others it can be a lifestyle. Then there are those really weird people that just like to go out dancing every once in a while.

    That said I think the extent to which you consider dancing emotional infedelity will vary inversely with the amount of dancing you do in every day life. If you dance everyday than your partner is not going to consider you dancing with another in a bad light. However if you have given up dancing and then you start dancing again with someone who is not your "partner" than there is going to be he double hockey sticks to pay.

    In the example Pygmalion gave I would not have been so much bothered that my partner had asked about someone else's day if they had been asking me about mine.
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Exactly. That's exactly what bothered me. Pretty insightful, Vin. 8)
  8. foursquare

    foursquare New Member

    What a good topic!

    I'll start my answer with a hypothetical question (and this question assumes a committed relationship; married, long-term SO, etc.) You have three buckets of equal size. Take your dance relationships (friends, dance partners, strangers) and put them into one bucket. Now take the relationship with your SO and put it into the next bucket. The remaining bucket is empty and represents your average week.

    What do you start filling the third bucket with first? Do you pour in dance and hope there's room enough for some SO? Or do you do it the other way around?

    I'm not saying that anyone here has any thoughts of infidelity, but I know it can APPEAR that way to your SO when that dance bucket is the one you always grab first.

    How many times a week do you put the SO relationship on hold to pursue the dance relationship and hope for some understanding? Is it equal to the number of times you skip a lesson or social to get some SO time?

    Is it possible that mental infidelity doesn't have to start with an individual but can maybe start with a hobby?

  9. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I said "Sometimes, I'll explain below" but I don't really have an explanation. I guess it all depends on the person. I think people in solid relationships do get sort of short-term free-floating crushes from time to time, and that it's easier to get one on someone like a dance teacher than not. However, a person can realize they are having one of these crushes and let it run its private silly course, like a cold. Or, a person can start acting on it, even if it starts with innocent flirting. It's up to the person having the crush to decide where to go with it. In my opinion, the best thing to do is to keep it to yourself and don't encourage it, and let it run its course like a cold.
  10. jon

    jon Member

    I put down "of course not" for the same reasons I'd answer "no" to "do guns kill people". Dancing is just an activity. Whether the activity involves any kind of infidelity depends on what the dancers choose to put into it. Granted it's an activity which offers more physical, below-reasoning levels to lose control than, say, bird-watching - which just means that people who are aware they're more vulnerable to such loss of control need to take corresponding caution.

    Re the issue of splitting up time between dancing and SOs, that really depends on the people involved. Some people may need to keep time with their SOs limited in order to avoid feeling stifled. There's no general rule on how to figure out the balance.

    People make way too many assumptions about how other people think and behave, and they suffer because of it. Only in recent years have I really started to understand at a deep level that many people are not like me, and that what they are nonetheless works for them (I think this understanding started when I found out that (a) one of my best friends from college learned that he was a polyamorous bisexual and (b) his wife of more than a decade was completely OK with that, though not sharing either trait :)).

    They may not want the same things from relationships. They may not make the same assumptions. They may not react in the same way. So it is critical that, as I become intimate with someone, we be open and honest about what it is we want and expect from each other.

    Now, if I get involved with someone who, because of her own nature, is not able to be open and honest about her wants and expectations, then trouble probably lies ahead.
  11. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Good point. And isn't a marriage vow "for better or for worse" and not "as long as MY needs are met"?

    I laugh when I hear people who say they 'only want their SO to be happy" and then when confronted with what would REALLY make the SO happy (whether it is polyamory, or even leaving the toilet seat up) they waffle and retreat, sputtering 'but that's not what I thought...' and refusing to do what it takes to make the SO happy. Guess making the other person happy isn't REALLY gonna happen, eh?
  12. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    It can be really tough when your SO doesn't dance.... or doesn't have some other hobby that he/she feels equally passionate about. I've been in a situation when my SO had to pretty much schedule everything around my dancing... It was difficult for me because I felt guilty all the time, and I felt that I wanted more space. It was also difficult for him because he felt neglected.....

    The relationship didn't work out, granted we had MANY other problems, but the dancing was a big part of our issues...
  13. sunderi

    sunderi New Member

    Personally, I tend to agree -- there's something about dancing being an integral part of our lives (or, at least, mine) that seems to preclude it from being an emotional infidelity issue. I've never really *thought* of dancing as an infidelity issue -- it was the conversation generated as a result of "Shall We Dance" that made me think about it . . .

    I'm just trying to put my finger on WHAT makes dancing different, than, say, exchanging "how was your day" emails with someone of the oppositse sex?

    (Although I started the question, this isn't really an issue of mine personally. My instructor is a good friend of mine, and we do spend time together outside of the studio, but only as friends -- and usually WITH my husband and his wife, who I adore. I care about him a great deal, but there is no question in my mind the nature of our friendship/dance relationship. Just to clarify -- don't need to start any rumors!. :shock: )
  14. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    It's funny. When I tell people I dance and my husband doesn't, they're usually either a raised eyebrow or a slight gasp. People think it's impossible to dance with anyone other than your SO and not have it be more than just a dance. I usually just say I consider it a sport. Many people are leery, though, which I find to be their problem more than mine.

    I think if people have problems keeping their emotions in check with their dance partner, there is in all likelihood something else going on in their relationship with their SO.
  15. sunderi

    sunderi New Member

    That's a really interesting way of putting it! Good analogy!

    I know, for me, I feel like I have the freedom to spend as much time on my dancing as I want -- my husband dances for work 20 hours/week and then spends another 4-6 hours/week with his partner. :shock: I figure, anything less than 24 hours/week, and I'm safe. :lol:

    It has never bothered me that he spends that kind of time on his dancing and/or with his partner, either. I think maybe it's because I *get* it -- in that, if I had the freedom to do so (and I'm going to soon!) I'd do the same thing. I share the passion for dance with him, even if it isn't me he's dancing with. Maybe that is what makes the difference? The understanding of the passion/enthusiasm involved?
  16. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Physical contact.

    Sunderi: I think the fact that you involve your husband in your relationship with your instructor is key to keeping everything on the up and up. It's those hidden relationships that will kill ya!
  17. Laura

    Laura New Member

    People sometimes ask my husband how he can "let" me dance with other men. His reply is "what is there to 'let'? She loves to dance, I don't. She's good at it, I'm not. Why should I keep her from doing something she enjoys so much?"

    He's come to enough of my competitions and even some practices and heard me talk enough about the ups and downs of it that he sees the dance partnerships for what they are: business relationships with a bit of a personal edge.
  18. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I get that too, and go (in my mind, quietly to myself) mental! *LOL* Same way I "let" him go fishing all day Saturday and play cards with his pals next Friday.

    My husband figures if it makes me happy, it makes us happy. Although sometimes, I'm a little too tired, but we won't go there!![/i]
  19. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Hahahah. What about SO's who fill the bucket first with their job and career? That's kind of what is going on in our household. My husband is extremely busy with his job and career. We both know that it won't always be that way, that I've basically given him up to the tech industry for about another five years and then I get him back. All told, it will be about 15 years that his career gets the first bucket. But I'm really okay with it, because of what it's brought him as a person and us as a couple. Because of his job he travels the world, and I get to come along from time to time. Because of his job, he's been able to pursue his intellectual and even some of his political passions -- and even make a difference in the world. Because of his job we've met some really interesting people and done some really interesting things. So, I don't mind that right now the job bucket is getting filled first, because I know that it will end.

    And as for me, he encouraged me to dance because it gave me something that I really cared about to do, so that I didn't spend all my time when he wasn't around fretting. I used to be a screaming wreck, convinced that he didn't love me and threatening to do things like throwing his CD collection out of the window unless he got home for dinner. Not any more. Now we both get home about the same time, and set aside the rest of our evening and nights for each other.

    It's equal to or less than the number of times that my husband has cancelled something because he had to do something for his career.


    In my case my dance partner has a non-dancing SO who also very much supports his dancing. So, all four of us know what's going on and are excited about the dancers' happiness, progress, and success. I feel very lucky about this and thankful for it.
  20. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    hmmmm....maybe you can have a temp in the bucket in the meantime. :eek:

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