Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Life is An Oprah Episode - Slow Dancing

I embrace change.  I really do.  But, it seems to me that one of the things from the past that has changed, is, that no one is doing much slow dancing. Often associated with middle schoolers, the slow dance has taken a back seat to what we used to call "fast" defined as various types of bumping, grinding, and generally booty shaking.  I love all of that, but, I must admit that I miss slow dancing.  

When I go out these days to a club, especially where there is live music, I want to dance.  In a crowded bar/club one can slide their way onto the dance floor and get their groove on.  It's a fantastic way to meet new people, relieve some stress and get some exercise. But, I do miss slow dancing.  It is a somewhat slippery slope for me, because, quite frankly, I hardly ever will slow dance with someone I'm not attracted to.  I've always been that way, going way back to school dances as a teen ...where just about every fifth song was slow. Usually, I would go to the ladies room if someone was approaching me to dance and I did not want to be with them.
Think about it.  When slow dancing with someone you are physically very close to that person.  Think about it.  If you care about someone, if you are attracted to someone, it is one of the sexiest, well, actually, one of the most sensual experiences to share with them.  Holding each other very close, feeling every movement, at times, feeling the other person's heart beat, feel them breathe, you may find a rhythm that can define the relationship.                     Oops, sorry, I zoned out thinking about it..:)

I know some of my readers are still in their twenties, and I have wondered what their take is on slow dancing.
And, I've mentioned this before, but, today's relationships seem to be less intimate than they were about ten or fifteen years ago.  Again, not talking about physical intimacy, although, I am not sure that there is more of that going around than before.  Taking the time to really get to know someone should not be contingent on texting or emailing.  Defining expectations in a relationship seems to be rare.....something that crosses all age groups these days.  It's okay to put in all "out there" and not hold back what we want or what we feel.  For me, I am an eternal optimist and really believe that the more things change, the more they stay the same; just different packaging.

There are so many songs that I love to slow dance to, and some of my favorites are:
"Can't Help Falling in Love "  - Elvis
"Unchained Melody"  - Righteous Bros.
"Someone to Watch Over Me"  - Ella Fitzgerald
"Unforgettable" - Nat King Cole
"Come Away With Me" - Nora Jones

With spring approaching and everyone starting to feel the "blahs" dissipate, I challenge everyone to find a partner and slow dance.  Just once. And, once more.  Maybe we all need a new "Prom".

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Life is An Oprah Episode - "Breaking Up is Hard to Do"

Although far from being a relationship expert, my experience in breakups has provided me with a repertoire of  drama that surrounds the breakup.  What are the causes of a breakup?  How do we heal from it?  And, when exactly do we walk away?  I believe that relationships need to change and grow once you reach a plateau.  Otherwise, in my view, it's time to let go.

Currently, I am not in a relationship with anyone except myself, which, I think finally puts me in a far better place to enter into a relationship, if, the opportunity presents itself.  I live by very simple rules when it comes to a relationship:  It must be HEALTHY, it must experience JOY, and there must be KINDNESS.  While every involvement cannot promise anything except the present moment, and there are no guarantees to forever after,  investing time and energy to hold on to something that is unhealthy and joyless, is emotional suicide.

I have several friends and also a family member that are in the middle of breakups, marriage or other.  One of my closest friends has been married for over twenty five (25) years, yet, for the past fifteen+ ( 15+) years, has been living with her husband as a roommate.  On the surface, there is nothing wrong with that if it works for them, but, truly, I never thought of it as workable.  They are both great parents who love their kids, and their kids worship both of them, but, I can't help but wonder if they are setting the stage for their kids future modeling their marriage as normal.  I am not judging my friend, and she knows that, and she will acknowledge how stuck she has been all these years.  She is involved with someone else now, and is planning to divorce, but, there isn't any real joy in this relationship either.  It will still be a difficult transition for her, because, there is a certain amount of comfort in not having to make changes and to let go of the status quo, even when unhappy.  Have all those  years with her husband been wasted?  Maybe.  Their kids are great and caring individuals, and that is no small thing, so perhaps they have benefited from their parents misery on some crazy level.  Time doesn't heal; it's what we do with the time that does the healing.

I also have another close friend who is on the fence as to whether or not she should end a relationship of two (2) years.  In this case, the issue is trust.  She knows her boyfriend had cheated on her, and after the fighting, took him back.  Problem reared again, and she believes he has again cheated on her.  As to why people cheat in a relationship requires individual analysis, the reasons can vary from someone just being narcissistic, having fear of real intimacy, or just not be strong enough to say no.  What I've told my friend is this:  she has to determine for herself is she is feeling the joy from the relationship, or is now all her energy being placed on the fact that trust is gone.  If her boyfriend would own up the the lies, only then, can they move past it.  And, only if the choice made is to wipe the slate clean.  That is very hard to do, as I know from experience.  Yet, what seems to an obvious answer,  my friend is having a difficult time making the decision to sever the relationship, knowing it has taken such an unhealthy turn.

Life is a series of letting go.  Letting go of people, of places, of things.  It's hard to look past what is right in front of us, because, we think the bogeyman lives on the other side.  I have made a promise to myself that wherever a relationship might take me, I will no longer let it take me to a place that is unhealthy and joyless.  And, kindness, every day, in every way.....and, I love to play Geisha :)

In spite of a popular quote: "...parting is such sweet sorrow",....I believe another quote:  ..." parting is dumb sorrow, it is going home, leaving yourself behind."