In a perfect world our partners support all of our goals, dreams and pastimes unconditionally. But the world isn’t perfect and unconditional support is not always the case – especially when it comes to pole. We know pole is the best thing in the world (and hell if you think we are giving it up) but not everyone has that view. Sometimes our love for pole, tunnel vision, or dare I call it, our “obsession” with pole, isn’t always reciprocated by our significant others. And if that’s the case, how do we find a way to incorporate our love for pole with the loves of our lives?
“nobody wants to feel like a pole widower”
First off I think it’s important to identify what the level of disconnect is – or rather how does your significant other really feel about pole? Second I like to look at why they harbor ill pole feelings and are we somehow contributing to those feelings? Lastly, what can we do to help them understand, accept and embrace our love for pole?
The feelings our significant others have about pole run the gamut. We know what pole means to us but sometimes we don’t truly know what pole represents to the people in our lives. Indifference, pride, moral issues, jealousy, time sucker, crazy obsession, are all terms I’ve heard my friends’ partners use to describe their feelings towards pole. Once you’ve figured out what pole means to them, then you can begin to attack the reasons and hopefully make changes to incorporate your partner into your pole world, or at least reassure them that they are as important as pole.
There are many reasons our loved ones may not love pole. While we might want to spend every waking moment thinking about pole, looking up videos on Instagram and taking classes, sometimes we might not truly realize how much time we are spending on pole and how much time we aren’t spending with our partners. I have found that there tend to be 3 main issues with our loved ones not being supportive of pole:
TIME: I don’t fully understand the obsession with video games but I do know LOTS of men and women who love them. I’m fine with my husband enjoying them but if he spent hours a day playing them, talking about them, showing me videos of them, talking to others online about them and not as much time with me I’d be over it real fast.
JEALOUSY: This goes hand in hand with time issues. people become jealous for so many reasons. When we spend so much time on pole sometimes people feel like pole is replacing their relationship. We might not even realize that we’re not including them in our pole life. At what point does your pole practice become intrusive in a relationship. Or does it?
MORAL ISSUES: I have actually heard someone say “I don’t want my girlfriend to be a stripper”. Crazy, right? Not that I think there is anything wrong with being a stripper, but come on dude just because someone takes pole dancing doesn’t mean they are going to start stripping. Lots of people take Barre class yet I somehow doubt husbands and boyfriends are asking them if they are going to become a ballerina. Sometimes our significant others have an actual deep seated moral issue with pole but rather than be honest and own their feelings they act out and don’t really address the issue.
Clearly pole is a huge part of our lives, so how do we incorporate our significant others into it? My solution was to go big and open a studio with my husband but there are many different ( and cheaper) routes you can take to cohabitate with your two loves. Here are just a few…
If your partner feels like you are obsessive, spend less time “sharing” your pole adventures with him/her. By no means am I saying you need to dial down your love for pole but just realize that he/she may not be as interested and doesn’t actually have to be, share your love for pole with your pole friends.
Try to schedule pole activities during times that he/she isn’t around or times that don’t interfere with possible couple time.
Set boundaries so that pole doesn’t become the other woman (or the other man).
If your partner is jealous of pole, bring them into the fold. Invite them to a pole show.
Ask for their help with your comp routine.
Make sure to participate in non pole activities together. This one is key. It’s not all about pole – I mean it should be – but it’s not.
Show an interest in their hobbies and ask to be part of them.
Have sex. Okay I know I’m going to get crap for this one but what I really mean is spend more quality time with your partner. You like them, right? That’s why you are dating, married or whatever. If you would really rather spend all of your time doing pole that might be something to think about as well. A while back I saw a post on Facebook asking if you had to give up sex for a year or pole for a year which would you keep? So many people said they would chose pole over sex! I. Want. Both. So does your partner, remember this.
If your partner has stripper issues, these are harder waters to navigate. Reassure them that pole is for you and it’s a class with other students – not a job. Explain to them that pole is just another form of dance. Try having a candid conversation with them as to what their fears are and don’t be defensive. Their feelings, right or wrong, are their own.
When the moments of encouragement do happen (and they will) make sure to let them know their support is sexy, makes you feel strong and is appreciated. Showing gratitude goes a long way to creating a bond, making pole a positive for them.
Here’s something I hadn’t even thought of: I had a conversation with a friend’s boyfriend who was actually annoyed she never asked him to pole with her. Clearly not every guy is going to be into this but ever noticed how at parties guys always gravitate to the poles in the room and not just to watch the women dance? Guys like pole too! If your partner is open to your poling, if he/she watches videos with you, comments on them, spots you, knows what a Fonji is why not take it a step further and invite them to a class? You will be surprised how far a tiny bit of encouragement will get you. My student Ellie’s boyfriend, Max, has started taking classes with her and it’s been great for both of them.
“Ellie started doing pole pretty early on in our relationship, so it was just this new activity that she enjoyed. As time went on I became more interested in it and decided to take a class for myself. I really enjoy the social aspect of it, how it’s more than just a physical activity – it’s a real community of fun ,supportive people. Taking the class made me see how people do pole for self empowerment more than any other reason – it’s given both of us a lot more confidence. I also have a greater appreciation for exactly how hard it is, and I know why Ellie’s sore all the time. Plus having a pole in our living room is a great conversation starter.”
In the end I think the key to a strong relationship is living a life together, also having separate life and respectful communication. Invite your partner into your pole world but respect them if they don’t jump right in. Enjoy and nurture your pole practice while acknowledging your partner’s needs. Talk to them about why you love pole so much but make sure you listen to what they have to say. Most importantly, find a partner who respects and enjoys what you do, always respect and enjoy what they do and hopefully your passions can grow together.
*I would love to hear how everyone incorporates their partners into their pole life. Share it here!
Love & Glitter