Monday, March 22, 2010
Get to Bed
Pretty early on in my current relationship I noticed a troubling trend. I'd wake up in the morning, roll over to kiss my boyfriend, and get a face full of cold, unused pillow. My first instinct used to be panic. Where was he? Did he go out last night and never come home? Was he eaten by wolves? Cannibals? Or, dear god, could he have run into an ex-girlfriend and decided to run away to French Guyana with her?!?!?! *SCREAM OF RAGE.*
Invariably, though, I'd truck out to the living room and find him, slack-jawed on the sofa, remote in hand, the same episode of The Office repeating itself to infinity on the DVR. *Sigh of relief.* The boyfriend was not missing or dead or cheating (obviously his death would be preferable to that) but the fact remained that, for whatever reason, he had not come to bed.
His explanations were always completely valid: he'd fallen asleep in front of the television, was restless and didn't want to toss and turn and wake me up, needed some space. As valid as they were, it rubbed me the wrong way.
In general, I think physically sleeping together is crucial to keeping your relationship fresh. A few solid nights of boy-on-couch tends to put a cramp in the sex department. After all, you can't have sex with someone who's in a different room (unless you're into short-distance Skype-sex, in which case, you go, girl.) Aside from that aspect, I know that I need the affirmation of feeling someone next to me. Maybe, "need," isn't the right word. Want. I want to feel someone next to me. More specifically, I want to feel the person I love next to me.
My father and his girlfriend no longer sleep in the same room. She is a light sleeper, waking at the drop of a hat and long ago they decided to go it alone, for her sake. I don't think my dad really cares one way or the other, as long as he can have a beer with dinner he's a happy camper. But, to me, that really signals a relationship's decline. First you move one room away, then it's that much easier to move one house away, one town away, one state away. I know, I know, that's slightly dramatic, but that's where my mind goes. I don't want to be the type of couple who lead separate lives and wash separate bedclothes. Some of that, I'm sure, comes from being frightened as a child by my father's situation. Most of it is because I need (want) that physical closeness.
I need it, even though my boyfriend (and lots of other people who claim that sleeping separately has improved their marriages) may not. It's something we've talked over, fought over, and still haven't, "fixed." Do any of my gorgeous Girlfriends-in-Progress have words of wisdom on this? How can you encourage your SO to get to bed!
Picture courtesy of http://www.momlogic.com.