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Murder on the Dance Floor...Ever given a thought to the flukes of character or quirks of behaviour that you can - or can’t - overlook in a potential partner? I thought about this recently when a friend, Melissa, 41, [personal details changed] prejudged a "Mr Potential" because he had some bad moves when they went clubbing - like dad dancing as she described it.
Melissa got chatting to him at a party and was definitely attracted to him. But when they hit the dancefloor his dancing turned her right off. I gather he was a bit of a "dad dancer" - old-before-his-time and embarrassing on his feet.
You might be thinking, "How could she cut out a potential love interest for something as small as this?" Because in the grand scheme of relationships does dancing really mean anything? And anyway, how often would she go out dancing? Probably once or twice a year, so Melissa wouldn't be confronted by his flailing arms often.
My immediatee response was the same as yours. And that's not the first time I've thought someone made a rash romantic decision. I've heard of many instances where a person ruthlessly decides in the space of an evening, for an apparently petty reason, that he/she's not worth pursuing.
But here's the rub - until a new partner’s had the chance to build up some sort of social standing in your eyes they risk being eliminated at the first round if they do something attracting negative social attention. And we've all gaped, open mouthed at really bad movers on the dancefloor. Melissa would’ve sensed this and backed off from negative social attention. Sadly for most it’d take confidence of steel not be affected by the stares of others.
If Melissa had met this man in other circumstances and gone for drinks, followed by a dinner date, another time gone to a film, etc., they may well be in a relationship. The moral of this story is to be aware of dad-dancing amongst other quirky behaviours when you first meet!
An edited version of this was published in The Times
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