The agony and the ecstasy of: Sharing your bed
I have been single for six years. Six. Long. Years. Don’t get me wrong, I dated men (read: losers) during that time, but none of them lasted longer than a few months. These flings started with sharp highs and dissolved into pathetic lows.
For this reason, I often found myself sleeping alone and I loved it. I loved not having to choose a ‘side’, but parking myself on the diagonal. I loved monopolizing the blankets and pillows. But what I loved most of all was the glorious stillness and silence.
However, after a very long time between relationship drinks, I now find myself sharing my life with a new man… and therefore sharing my bed. I am simultaneously loving and hating it and here’s why:
- Possessive positions: I sleep on the left side of the bed, I always sleep on the left and have no interest experimenting with the right side (demonstrably the inferior side). My man also favours the left. Too bad for him. As soon as we transitioned from dating to coupling I informed him that he now favours the right side. He’s very sweet and gifted me the left without a fight. Which is just as well, I was ready and willing to make like a dog and urinate around my side, claiming it as my own. I strongly recommend doing the same. If it turns your partner off… congratulations you’re single and can have your side permanently!
- The sound of (no) silence: My man falls asleep in .03 of a second, while I stare at the ceiling for several hours. It doesn’t help that his heavy breathing, slowly but surely, descends into snoring. I hate it. I hate it so much. To prevent resentment, he welcomes a reminder in the form of an elbow, and sometimes that buys me enough time to drift off myself. Sometimes. I do think that there should be a self-help group for partners of snorers. We share a common pain that others do not understand. We could meet on Thursdays and nap together.
- Doona thievery: As soon as we’re asleep, we somehow turn into blanket goblins. Inevitably, during the night, I will now wake up sans doona. Assuming that my man has stolen it, I reach into the darkness to snatch it back. When I find a corner, I yank with all my might! (I should also admit that about 60% of the time, the doona is just at the end of the bed and what I’m actually doing is wrenching my man’s share away from him. Sorry, Honey.)
- Safety in numbers: I like just having someone there with me. I enjoy being alone, but there is something about the presence of someone in your bed that makes you feel like the world is still spinning. I’m prone to bad dreams and often wake in a panic. When I see my man next to me, my mind stops spiralling for a moment and I can calmly realise that I’m safe in reality. And I see that there’s no room for the big, bad demons of my dreams… the bed is only a queen size after all.
- The muddle of the cuddle: Most people enjoy a cuddle. So when someone is kind enough to voluntarily stay the night, you get bonus snuggles. This delicious encounter of the cuddle kind makes you feel warm, builds trust and releases endorphins. The only issue is agreeing on the amount. We all having varied cuddling thresholds. What if you were an all-night snuggler? (or the suffocator, as I refer to them) and you began dating a zero-tolerance cuddler? Imagine the horror and disappointment! Personally, I like a quick cuddle before sleep, then retreat to our respective sides (where I prefer not to be too close… I don’t wish to inhale his exhalation or overheat by accidentally touching his furnace-like skin) but then I return again in the morning for a spooning. Therefore having my cuddle cake and eating it too.
- And spooning leads to forking: Sharing your bed is also convenient if you want to have a slumber party for two and get laid. Obviously.
But I suppose you have to take the good with the bad. And I do. Voluntarily.
These are my agonies and ecstasies of bed-sharing, what are yours?