When a marriage is in trouble, some people consider counseling. Others vent to friends and family. Some married couples move into a new house or take an epic vacation, thinking a radical change is what their union needs.
But instead of all of that, what about first seeing a ballroom dancing instructor?
Sure, it may sound crazy at first — or perhaps like a cliché response more befitting a romantic movie than real life. But if you think about it, you’ll start to see a number of reasons why ballroom dancing could improve a shaky marriage — or add jet fuel to an already strong marriage.
Ballroom dancing is a pastime you can enjoy together. That’s important, for obvious reasons. If one of you is playing on a softball team while the other half of the union is scrap-booking or golfing, that’s not exactly going to bring you two together. If you don’t do much as a couple, ballroom dancing is ideal. It takes practice, after all, and so between lessons and trying to master the box step or free spin in your living room, you could potentially spend a lot of quality time together.
Ballroom dancing will get you out of a rut. That may be even more important for a healthy marriage. A study published several years ago in Psychological Science found that boredom is a significant reason for problems and tensions in a marriage. (That isn’t exactly surprising, of course — why do studies often seem to confirm what anyone could tell you?)
In any case, if you feel like you’re on a treadmill, driving the same commute every day, going to the same grocery store, doing the same activities over and over, well, you would think some ballroom dancing would break up the monotony, right?
Ballroom dancing is good exercise. Sure, you could both start going to the movies as a “let’s do something together” activity, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it means you aren’t talking and engaging for about two hours. And you’re being sedentary.
When you and your significant other are ballroom dancing, you’re both burning calories, and as numerous studies have shown, exercising can help a marriage. Couples end up being happier in their relationships and more in love with their partner when they exercise with each other, studies have shown. That makes sense, of course. When you exercise, your adrenaline increases; the same thing happens when you fall in love — your body releases chemicals that make you feel good and remain alert and attentive. When you are ballroom dancing together, you feel good — and you’re both doing something healthy, which will probably make you both feel even better about how you’re spending your time.
Ballroom dancing can bring you closer together. If you have a solid marriage, and you just want to polish it up, you should love the close proximity of ballroom dancing. If your marriage is on wobbly ground, well, this is your chance to get reacquainted with your partner.
If you’re doing ballroom dancing right, and your instructor will show you how, this is your chance to gaze deeply into your partner’s eyes and take his or her hand and put your other around his or her body; and as Fred Astaire sang, a couple can get close when they’re dancing cheek-to-cheek. There are a lot of truly romantic, sensual dances, like the rumba and tango, that you could find yourselves learning. And, of course, as the two of you find yourselves closer together on the dance floor, it won’t be long before you really will be closer together than ever — even when you’re each apart, navigating the commute and going back to the grind. So find your nearest Fred Astaire Dance Studio today, and re-light that romantic fire!