Conscious relationships, whether they be platonic or romantic, are a dance.
To dance well with a partner, there must be a shared understanding of leadership and followership such that in each moment of a harmonious dance, someone leads, and someone follows.
If both dancers lead, there is resistance.
If both dancers follow, there is confusion.
While traditional gender roles may or may not be useful in this context, I do believe polarity and acknowledging the masculine and feminine, the moving and surrendering, aspects in all of us is important.
For the dance of conscious, or intentional, relationship to be mutually meaningful and nourishing, it requires that both partners bring a shared level of presence and awareness to the dynamic.
Unlike traditional partner dancing, where one dancer, usually the man, leads the entire dance and the his partner follows, the dance of conscious relationship not only allows but requires much more space and fluidity.
What adds to the feeling of flow within a dance is when both partners are actively engaged, and when neither dancer is overly attached to leading or following.
A key insight to keep in mind is that in order for a romantic relationship to continue in meaningful and healthy ways, at any given point, someone must be leading.
It doesn’t matter if that tends to be one partner in particular or if there is a graceful ebb and flow between the two dancers.
This could mean that when one person is under resourced, stressed, and is perhaps unable to guide the dance, their partner gracefully takes over and leads.
Sometimes the leader follows, and sometimes the follower leads.
But at all times, someone must be leading.
Otherwise, we can quickly find ourselves in stagnation and the passion within a partnership slowly dies as polarity weakens and both dancers are left with a sense of wondering what went wrong.
The best conscious relationships are when both partners meet as equals and are actively present and aware of who is leading and who is following in any given moment, all the while being generous in allowing their partner to lead when appropriate and to follow when it suits.
A dance between two partners who have equal and mutual responsiblity in co-creating a shared experience of movement, play, and joyful connection.