I gave a recent story in The Atlantic only a cursory glance on publication as I was caught in the throes of busy work period. A few friends alerted me to the story, but I only re-read it this morning when another story linked to it and extrapolated on the key theme.
And it’s one of my favourites……
SLEEPING SEPARATELY IS GREAT BECAUSE YOU HAVE A PROPER NIGHT’S SLEEP BUT IT’S NOT AS GOOD AS SLEEPING WITH YOUR PARTNER WHICH IS SO MUCH BETTER …
The message is subtle, but leaves readers with the clear message that the couple who snuggle and compromise through each night have a closer, more intimate relationship.
Joe Methven, the author of The Atlantic article, references scientists and relationship experts to support his theory that while he had a great night’s sleep on the couch by himself and felt better, it’s still better for his relationship to put up with the disturbances of a snoring, pregnant wife and child that kicks him because it means they are closer.
While Methven’s article presents a view that I find slightly biased (and I’m sure people may similarly accuse me) it was the next article, discussing Methven’s, that irked me and pushed my inner cynic button.Flannery Dean, in Chatelaine, discusses Joe Methven’s Atlantic article and finishes with this:
“But Methven’s final point will hopefully resonate with most. He concludes that the real reason we find comfort in one another’s arms may be because we love one another and ultimately desire intimacy and affection over a blissfully uninterrupted slumber. (note: she actually says discomfort, but I am assuming, as did a commenter, that she meant comfort)
Sounds like a pretty solid answer to me.”
Solid? – like “consisting of one substance only”, “completely good, with no mistakes or bad parts”, “strong enough not to break or become damaged easily”
Or solid as in better? And if I have not yet convinced you that Flannery’s opinion is just a little skewed towards suggesting that those who sleep together are a couple of rungs higher up the ladder of ‘great relationships’ she then finishes her article with:
Do you secretly prefer sleeping alone?
Why does it have to be ‘secretly preferred’? This suggests that sleeping separately is an elicit activity that requires subterfuge and secrecy. Perhaps something to be ashamed of?
My position on the ‘sleeping together/sleeping apart’ is firmly in the camp that neither is better than the other. I never feel that my sleeping arrangements are BETTER than anyone else’s.
They are DIFFERENT. That’s all. They work for me. They work for my husband. They work for US.
But my relationship is no LESSER than that of a couple who share a bed each night. No less closer, deep, real or successful. Just logistically different each night.
I share my life with my husband – just not my bed.
Megan Ferguson says
Me needing to sleep alone has been a deal breaker in many of my relationships. I tend to bring it up before becoming intimate with the person, just they are not caught off guard when I’m not in the bed when they wake up.
My best friend even told me to get over it, and compromise. My compromising only leaves me tired, grumpy, and definitely not pleasant to be around. I am a very affectionate person, and willing to compromise in every other part of relationships. Just not willing to compromise sharing MY bed.