Dancing Out of Your Comfort Zone

Photo by Flickr user rachaelshapiro

A number of years ago, in response to the negative consequences of marital neglect, my spouse and I made the commitment to go on a date twice a month. If we weren’t going out with another couple, our typical date was to eat and enjoy seeing a good movie at our plush Warren Theatre. We might go out for a latte or glass of wine if the movie wasn’t too late. Our night out was comfortable and didn’t require a lot of extra energy.

For one of our recent dates, I made a suggestion that we do something different. Actually, my husband claims that he made the suggestion.

“Hey, how would you feel about going dancing tonight after dinner instead of going to a movie?”

“We could do that.”

The adventure was in motion. We decided to debut out dancing shoes at a popular neighborhood Mexican restaurant and dance club, Margarita’s. Margarita’s house band Lotus had been a steady draw of customers for almost a decade; the place was always packed on the weekends and did a good business during the week. My husband called Margarita’s a place where divorced middle-aged people go. I thought that was a little harsh and inaccurate, as we saw another married couple Joe knew as we walked in the door.

With almost all the seats taken, we ended up sitting on two bar stools right outside women’s restaurant. We were on the upper level on the balcony looking down onto the front door. I actually thought it was a pretty good spot, as we were able to see everyone as they come in. I was surprised by the racial diversity. It had been a while since I had been out in Wichita. There were a fair number of black people. My husband said it was a sign of good music; blacks don’t go to places with bad music. He had a point.

Feeling a little awkward and waiting for the right song, we finally ended up on the dance floor to Michael Jackson’s “Pretty Young Thing”, which happened to be a personal favorite of mine back in the day. We danced to one more before sitting down. Shortly after our mini dance we went home. We tried not to get home too late because our babysitter had to attend a relative’s baptism early the next morning.

“See, we did it. We went dancing!”

“Yes it was a good start.”

I don’t put marriage in the category of being the kind others notice and admire, but like everything else, it is a work in progress. The reality is that having an exceptional marriage is a humongous evangelization opportunity. Everyone notices a beautiful marriage, and a couple that exudes love and respect for each other, particularly over decades. Even those God has called into the celibate life through a vocation or a call to the single life can appreciate the harmony of a couple living out their sacrament of matrimony to the highest quality level.

Having that exceptional marriages starts with following sound Christian principles and teachings but also being willing to step out of the comfort zone with each other…like going dancing.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Do something with you spouse that takes you out of your comfort zone or compliment a married couple with an extraordinary marriage.