Relationship Not Working? Change Your Dance Moves

He still isn’t home. It’s 10pm and Carla’s not happy; the grey tick marks on the What’s App message shows her message to her husband has been delivered but not read. Why doesn’t he care enough to check in with her?  She’s finding it hard to focus on the work she’d promised herself she’d get done tonight.

Finally, at 11.30pm, Rich walks through the front door. Carla notices the strong pull to fall into the habitual pattern. Where have you been? Why didn’t you respond to my message? The bitter disappointment, the accusations, the ensuing argument.

But she does something different tonight. She looks up, greets him with an open smile, and asks if he’s had a good evening. They sit and chat on the sofa. There’s warmth, affection, simplicity, a chance to connect.

He hasn’t done anything different. But she has – and it feels so satisfying.

She’s just changed her dance moves.

When your relationship isn’t working, identify the default dance moves

relationship not working change dance movesThere’s a dance in every relationship. Whether with your partner, mother, brother, daughter, in-law or friend, there’s Their Move and then Your Move.

Rich does the Late Back move and Carla responds habitually with the Where Have You Been move. It’s their familiar dance and it never ends well; Carla always ends up feeling disempowered and dissatisfied.

Can you identify?

Your loved ones does or says THAT THING that pushes your buttons and you respond with your default move. You show up as anything but the best version of yourself and your response further erodes connection.

When a relationship dance isn’t working – when you’re experiencing stress and frustration – check what dance move you’re doing.

Then change your relationship dance

The great news is that your dance move is 100% in your power. It takes two to tango. If you don’t respond in your habitual way, the dance of disconnection can’t continue.

Rather than the attack-defence, attack-defence dance, decide to change the dance. When they say or do THAT THING, try a different move. Do something – anything – that’s different and notice what happens.

Be supported as you do your relationship differently

If you want to love your nearest and dearest better, find out how one-to-one coaching can help.

2 replies
  1. Su
    Su says:

    Thanks, I knew this but have been getting frustrated on my husband’s days off and just needed a reminder. Your way of presenting these ideas is good.

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