Attending a wedding

Expectation

The moment for dancing begins. Your partner leaps onto the floor with you in his arms. With one arm on your back, and his hand tightly holding yours, he gracefully glides you both across the floor in glorious circles, like liquid gold. The other (wooden) dancers make way in awe as you float effortlessly from corner to corner. You appear to be subtly shimmering.

Reality

You tentatively ask your partner if he will dance with you, then end up forcibly removing the beer glass from his hand and dragging him to the floor. You stand there with the other dancers and sway from side to side to ‘Red Red Wine’. When the song is finished he desperately tries to extract himself from your arms mumbling something about feeling like he is “at work”. You admit defeat and do the Casper Slide with somebody’s uncle.

Clothing

Expectation

Your partner may look dashing on the dance floor, but in his normal day to day life he wears a small selection of nice shirts and jeans. He keeps his dancing wear neatly in a suit carrier ready for the next competition or show.

Reality

On moving in together you start having second thoughts when you see the sheer amount of clothes, shoes and Latin shirts he owns. The huge double wardrobe in your bedroom suddenly becomes “his wardrobe”. You are demoted to the tiny wooden wardrobe in the spare room, which you are only allowed three quarters of because his tails won’t fit in his cupboard. While unpacking you accidentally throw a £120 ballroom shirt in the bin because you think it looks “old”.

OTHER GIRLS

Expectation

Your partner is a professional Ballroom and Latin dancer, which means he dances with many other women. You, of course, are delighted in his abilities and never feel an ounce of jealousy when he is in close proximity with another (equally bendy) female.

Reality

One dark night, in a moment of sheer madness, you ugly cry real tears because you believe he is in love with every woman he dances with. You deliver a long, heart-wrenching speech about your inner most feelings, and the connection between two souls, and didn’t Len Goodman once say the woman had to be able to feel the man’s balls while dancing? And how can you let all these women feel your balls while still thinking of me and our future? Your partner appears unmoved and asks whether the apple pie in the oven is ready yet as it “smells ready”.

Learning to dance together

Expectation

You have decided you would like to learn to dance, so you can dazzle fellow guests at every event you ever attend together. Your partner fully supports your decision and even gives you helpful hints and tips. When dancing together at your first low-key event he is kind and patient, even when you make a mistake.

Reality

You attend a charity tea dance at the request of a family member, and wonder whether your partner’s Latin hips will give an old lady a heart attack. A waltz comes on so you bravely take to the floor, with your partner guiding you. After you step on his foot for the 27th time, he sarcastically asks if he can dance with your brother instead. Your sudden hatred of your partner actually boosts your posture dramatically as you lean your head as far away from him as physically possible. When you snap at him to stop criticizing, he helpfully and politely replies “when you stop being so horrendous”.

Strictly

Expectation

Your partner is as eager to watch Strictly as you are, and counts down the days until it is next on the telly. Every Saturday night you cuddle up with a bottle of wine and a blanket and dance along to the opening credits. You both stay quiet during each performance and then listen politely to each other as you deliver your own constructive and positive remarks.

Reality

It takes a lot of hard work, sweat, tears, and empty promises but you have finally shoved your partner OFF the bloody PS4 in favour of Strictly on the big telly.
You settle down with your blanket and glass of wine, and send a silent prayer to God to ask whether Anton du Beke could not be too annoying tonight, so your partner doesn’t burst into a fit of rage.
You also politely ask your partner if he could possibly refrain from pointing out which of the professional dancers are actually “dicks” in real life.
The show begins and you think the woman from EastEnders is rather good isn’t she? You try to ignore the remarks of “shit posture”, “crap hold”, “what the fuck” coming from beside you.
You wonder how he can even tell what is going on when he is actually on his laptop and not even watching.
When Craig gives his remarks as judge, you decide just to mute it so not to start a shit storm of “Craig doesn’t know what the hell he’s on about, he has his notes written for him, blah blah BLAH.”

You decide next year to set up your own Strictly den in the bedroom, banning entry to any man who knows what the words “contra check” and “fishtail” mean.

That way, you can get some peace and say things like “Aw, Ed Balls is doing really well isn’t he?” without sudden raucous laughter from the seat across startling you and causing a wine spillage.