Growing up, Mom and Dad shared a great, big king-sized bed. It fit a mountain of pillows, a couple of snuggly cats and all the stuff that pissed them off about each other's sleeping habits. Snoring, kicking, sheet-hogging, blanket-yanking, etc. etc. Man, if I had a dollar for every morning during my childhood that my mother snapped at my father about his snoring the night before....
Maybe Mom could have taken a cue from Huffington Post blogger Kira Craft (full disclosure: I used to work there as an editor), who admits sleeping side-by-side with her beloved is "impossible." Explaining how sharing a bed is difficult for anything other than sex, she writes that she worried something was wrong with her, some kind of intimacy problem, perhaps. Craft asks herself:
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How could I love my partner and not want to sleep in the same bed with him much of the time? Sharing sleep is one of the most intimate experiences of our lives, and it felt like a shortcoming on my part that I could not merge in this way.
But the benefit to couples sleeping solo seem obvious to Craft: fewer fights! The fluffiest pillow is yours and yours alone, you can read as long as you'd like, not to mention ix-nay on the oring-snay. And she says sleeping in separate bedrooms might even be more romantic:
I appreciate how separate bedrooms give me options. I can be with my partner because of desire, not necessity. Separation can banish the mundane. It's refreshing to be able to focus more on the quality of time spent together rather than the quantity.
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Point taken! "Separate bedrooms" doesn't always mean the marriage is on the wane–in fact, it might even be hotter that way. Go watch an episode of The Tudors, a sizzling drama about Henry XVIII and his many mistresses and wives. You'll soon notice King Henry's got his own bedroom, as does the queen, as does each mistress. When King Henry comes a-knockin', hot sex scenes ensue! Nowadays, some couples who can afford multiple bedrooms also sleep separately. An elite few even go so far as to basically live separately: My ex-boyfriend's parents, though married, once lived in separate apartments in a NYC building, going over to one or the other's apartments to share meals and quality time together. (Considering my ex-boyfriend liked to fall asleep listening to a super-obnoxious hippie-dippie CD of waves crashing on the shore, sleeping separately would have continued for a second generation had we not broken up.) Clearly sleeping separately is more common than people acknowledge in polite company, perhaps because of the on-the-way-to-divorce-court stigma attached to "sleeping in separate bedrooms."
What do you think about separate bedrooms: not intimate enough or just what the sleep doctor ordered?