Boundaries in relationships between men and women are so critical. You have to be consciously aware of where you end and another person starts. You must be able to quickly identify, is this me or is it him/her?
Argentine tango is a bit spontaneous, usually men lead and women follow. When you are following you often have no idea where you are going or what is coming next. You have to shut off your brain, feel your partner, and divine his intent. The best leaders are gentle, subtle, and to dance with them you have to be very sensitive to their clues. I’m absolutely horrible at it.
To solve my relationship issues, I simply married a freight train. The man is nothing but edges. Sweet and kind, but all edges. Apparently I just don’t do subtle. Until recently I had no idea that some men have a hard time setting boundaries with women, holding their own edges. That is just not my world.
Observing young love, I’ve encountered this kid I’ll call soggy pasta. I don’t mean that unkindly, but when he is around this girl he turns into complete mush, overcooked pasta jiggling on a plate. The more appeasing and gentle he is to this girl, the more irritated and distressed she becomes. She has no idea what is frustrating her, but she’s trying to feel for his edges and he isn’t showing her any. She keeps trying to push his buttons to see if he has any boundaries. He clearly doesn’t.
In a moment of frustration I sat him down and said, “listen punk, you’re trying to
date a mac truck and you are behaving like a plate of over cooked starch. You’re
starting to irritate me, so imagine what you’re doing to her.”
“But I want her to like me,” he moaned. Sheesh, teen age angst, you just want
to slap it around sometimes.
I explained to him that that the object of his affection is a girl. You wouldn’t
think this was difficult for him to discern, since the fact that she is girl is kind of the
whole point, but he honestly didn’t get it. If you don’t hold your frame up, she can’t
dance with you. Rather than liking you, she’s going to start to despise you. Most girls
are going to need to feel your edges, boundaries, walls, limitations. Standing up for
yourself doesn’t make girls hate you, it makes them like you. It’s healthy for everyone.
Soggy pasta is neither healthy nor attractive.
Everything you need to know about relationships between men and women is hidden in the Argentine tango. Some of the history around it’s development is amusing, men, Argentine cowboys mostly, would come into town once a month to spend their money. Since they weren’t particularly wealthy or powerful, they needed a way to get women’s attention and to compete for girls. Their tango skills and ability to lead women became the medium they used. They would practice all month and than show off their skills. It wasn’t just about displaying their plumage however, it was also about not being taken for a month’s wages. Those who danced well, didn’t have to pay. What can I say, it is what it is.
If you ever want to really twerk some feminist noses, try suggesting that what women
really desire from men is to feel their edges, boundaries, limitations. Immediately the
claws come out and the sputtering begins. They conjure up images of oppression, abuse,
social control, and declare that women are strong, independent, empowered, and have choices.
The thing is, if you are truly independent, empowered, and strong, that is precisely what you will also seek in a partner.
Proverbs 25:28 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Words of wisdom there.
++This is repost from 2014