Compression and Stretch

The anxious-avoidant dynamic is a failure of compression and stretch.

In dance, if your partner leans away, you need to lean away to come into stretch.

If your partner leans in, you need to lean in to come into compression.

Both of these leave your connection weighted-in where you can really feel it.

But if when your partner leans away, you lean in, your connection disappears and the dance is on pause. The connection collapses because you're no longer sharing weight. You're chasing their weight rather than balancing together.

It can be hard to believe that leaning out will be safe. Picture two people holding hands and leaning as far back as that will allow. If they let go or slip, they fall on their asses.

It can be hard to believe that leaning in will be safe. Picture two people with their heads on each other's shoulders leaning as far in as that will allow. If they fuck it up, they fall on their faces.

Not to mention how hard it is to transition from one of these states to the other, or how hard it is to maintain either state.

Both of those couples I had you picture there were dancing a very extreme dance. Don't start there in your relationship. Start from the place where you're fully responsible for your own weight and play with bouncing it into and away from your partner in sync. Close your eyes and feel when their weight moves away and when it begins to move back in.

Let your body respond to that until you feel the rhythm between you. Until you can trust that you know how you respond to one another.

(p.s. this bit has nothing to do with who's leading and who's following and applies in dances and relationships that aren't playing with the lead/follow dimension)

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