How close is close?

So it would seem that to have a REALLY happy relationship, you’ve got to sleep no further than one inch apart from your partner.

If only someone had told me that ten years ago, I wouldn’t have embarked on this folly of a relationship and marriage. All those years I’ve wasted not having a REALLY happy relationship because I sleep in a separate room to my husband, which is quite a few more inches than one, away from his.

And the quizzical thing to me, is that I thought my relationship was REALLY happy. It seems REALLY happy – we love each other deeply, enjoy spending time with each other (and sometimes we enjoy spending time alone), we laugh and cry together, we argue and make up, we love going on holidays with each other, we both laugh at how stubborn the other can be, we make each other gin and tonics in summer, we make goals for our life (and sometimes reach them), and recently we managed to paint the inside of our extension together and build Ikea furniture.

But we can’t sleep one inch apart from each other.

Are we doomed? And why am I talking about this?

Well back in April a flurry of stories populated the ‘newsbite-osphere’ (I may have made that word up) about a research carried out at the Edinburgh International Science Festival (not to be confused with the Edinburgh Comedy Festival – where I think the research really belongs)

This was the outcome of the Festival research…

happiest couples

It seems that Professor Richard Wiseman based his claims about close sleeping and relationship success after surveying 1000 people at the festival.

Now….. I know I’m not a professor or academic Dr or anything like that, but ‘1000 people surveyed at a festival’????? Does that REALLY constitute a good enough basis on which to tell everyone that if you’re sleeping more than one inch apart each night you’re relationship isn’t going to be ‘the happiest’?

Well, I surveyed 10 people in my street this afternoon and they said “No”. So I think I’ve comprehensively debunked his findings.

What did the survey ask these 1000 people? What were the conditions under which they were surveyed? How were the 1000 people chosen? Were there any enticements or representations made before the survey was taken? So many questions we will never know the answers to. And such irresponsible scientific pontificating about what makes for a happy couple.

Such recklessness¬† makes me feel like………


If I was a person who was in a REALLY happy, healthy relationship but struggling with a partner who kept me awake night after night and I read this ‘research’, I might feel a little crappy. I might think my REALLY happy relationship would be jeopardised by my thoughts that sleeping separately from my partner (so I could get a good night’s sleep and function optimally each day) could be a practical solution to our problem.

See how misguided Professor Wiseman is in making such grand claims? (sorry Prof Wiseman)

If I was to ever choose to visit the Edinburgh International Science Festival (instead of the Edinburgh Comedy Festival), I would seek Prof Wiseman out and, in my kindest, most politest way, remind him that people can be happy, REALLY happy in their relationship, even if the decisions they make about their relationship are different to other people.

And that’s as close to the truth as it gets. Which is REALLY close.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top