Melina Sedo wrote about sex in tango, and as I contemplate new romantic endeavors, I have been thinking about the trouble involved in dating within a community. Now, I don't think tango is unique in this instance: workplace and school are also environments where becoming involved with another community member can potentially be tricky. I imagine this is true of any reasonably small social group. Relationships of all types have trouble with dividing lives afterward, and determining new social boundaries. The smaller a group that is involved, the more interwoven relationships, expectations, and needs will be.
So, does tango present a unique problem? Informally, most people seem to think so. In talking with others, I generally hear 1 of 2 responses:
- (Minority) I only date tango dancers, because (not enough time, shared interests, social circle).
- (Majority) I never date tango dancers, because (too much time, outside interests, bad experience).
Second, tango creates intimacy for an extended period with a group of people. This creates feelings in many cases within the community ("Tango Crushes"), and can cause problems of time/intimacy sharing across the group. Equally, it can cause trouble with a partner outside the group ("Why do you need intimacy from all these other people?")
How do you manage the barrier between communities, the level of intimacy in dance, and the various time commitments?
(Also: it strikes my analytical side that there might be an interesting paper here ... considering a group of people with some characteristics, how does the size of the group affect the forming/breaking of personal bonds? Perhaps some sort of simulation, where you have some chance of interaction ... how do you measure group function/disfunction resulting from dating/breaking up?)