… Or you’ll end up marrying them.
But seriously, I contend (possibly hypocritically) that you should not date your dance partner.
POINTS TO SUPPORT MY HYPOTHESIS:
1. It is very difficult to find a dance partner that will work long-term.
They have to dance the same style, be the correct proficiency level, have a complementary height to yours, have a matching commitment in time, money and energy, and be able to communicate with you. If you find someone who fits most or all of THOSE requirements, you should rejoice.
A) In case you forgot: you still have about seven more characteristics that you’d like to have in a romantic partner. If you hold out for those 7 extraneous facets, you will be missing a great opportunity to practice your favorite hobby. AKA: STOP LOOKING FOR A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK.
B) If you ignore the fact that you have extra requirements/wants/needs in a romantic partner that your dance partner doesn’t have and decide dating your partner is too convenient to pass up, you will soon find yourself stuck without a dance partner OR a date to the dance. THIS IS THE WORST SCENARIO.
2. It is very difficult to focus on improving your dancing when you want to make out with the person next to you.
While you’re staring googly-eyed at the dame/dude across from you, your instructor just gave you some invaluable information that you didn’t hear or your two hour practice session became one “rumba and makeout” session.
A) And while there is a lot be said for chemistry, it doesn’t always transfer onto the floor (in other words, couples that are together don’t always have great chemistry when they’re performing).
3. You know that really annoying person in group classes that always points out things you’re doing wrong…
Or thinks you’re doing wrong, or whose breath smells really bad, or always tweaks your shoulder in promenade position? Imagine that emanating from the person you have to have dinner with later. And be nice to later. Because you’re dating. IMAGINE IT! RIGHT NOW!
4. Imagine the scenario above, but…
You’re already having a fight about where to go for dinner. If you think that this isn’t going to affect your practice session for the worse… you are a better person than I am.
5. If you have a friendly, or even business-like, approach to your dance partnership, it’s infinitely easier to detach yourself from YOUR FEELS.
Taking each other’s criticism and setting an effective practice schedule can be black and white in a non-romantic relationship: here is what’s happening. Even setting goals becomes easier, since you won’t have to discuss all the feelings from that last practice/Foxtrot/competition. (I hear that’s what you have to do in a relationship.)
6. Don’t date, or want to date, your dance instructor.
But, I’ll talk about that next time.
Of course, stuff happens and we often fall madly in love with our dance partners, despite our greatest interests. Some of us will break up after several months or years together (maybe it was just the dancing: the often romantic physical movements, the music, the perceived intimacy, the general proximity to one another…) aaaaaaaaand some of us get married.
But my point still stands: DON’T DATE YOUR DANCE PARTNER.