Even if you’ve been married to that person for three solid decades, sharing a bed with another person is pretty much always hard. My parents are a prime example. They have such trouble sleeping together that my dad straight up bought a motion activated camera to record them and catch my mom flipping and flopping around. And while you probably don’t have to go to that extreme, I’m sure you think of all of the ways that sleeping with another person kind of sucks, right? Maybe your partner snores or takes up the whole bed or is a serious blanket stealer. Maybe you like a hard bed and he likes a soft one. It’s enough to make even the most in love couple consider adopting the 1950s trend of having separate twins beds instead of battling it out through the night.
But, at the same time, there’s something just so nice about sleeping with another person. Even if they’re not super cuddly, it’s reassuring to have someone lying there beside you. It’s nice to wake up and hear your partner’s breathing and, on cold nights, there’s nothing better than snuggling up to spoon your boo. The oxytocin boost that I get from even a couple of minutes of snuggling in the morning is enough to propel me into my workout clothes and out into the day.
So there are pros and cons of sharing a bed. Here are the nine stages of learning how to sleep with someone.
1. The Tangled Up In You Stage
You’re so flooded with love hormones that none of the usual annoyances even get to you. You spend half the night talking and fall asleep holding each other just because your body has given in to its biological needs. This stage probably runs parallel to the time where you’re still wearing only cute underwear and maybe even an adorable pajama set, even though you know you were granny panties or nothing at all when you’re home by yourself.
2. The Elbow/Snoring Stage
This is when things start to get real. You realize that your new love is a wicked snorer or that he runs in his sleep, like a dog. You’ve caught an elbow in a soft place at least once and while you still love cuddling, the actual sleeping is getting kind of hard.
3. The Starfish Stage
Your partner tells you that you have a tendency to “starfish,” also known as “take up the entire damn bed.” You feel bad about the fact that you’re keeping her from sleep, but not bad enough to figure out how to stop.
4. The Learning Not To Starfish Stage
After many nights of no sleep, your lover becomes a grouchy mess. This is the point where you decide you’re going to figure out some method — any method! — to help them get a good night’s sleep. It’s work it out or break up and you’re digging ‘em too hard to let them go. No more starfish it is!
5. The “It’s OK Baby, I’ll Take The Couch Tonight” Stage
You’ve realized that you’re the problem; apparently you’re an Olympic gymnast in your sleep. You offer to take the couch so that your partner can get a good night’s sleep, only to be totally pleased when the refuse because, “I love sleeping with you.”
6. The First Nightmares Stage
The first few times you wake up from a nightmare and your partner holds you and calms you down are some of the sweetest moments you’ll have in a relationship. Treasure them.
7. The Farting Stage
Hey man, some of us are just gassy. In the beginning stages of a relationship, you probably worked out some serious mind control ninja moves to keep those farts inside but at some point, you stop caring enough to squeeze your sphincter shut while you sleep. Let ‘er rip!
8. The Realizing You Prefer Sleeping Alone Stage
The first time you sleep away from your partner after you’ve been sharing a bed for a while, you stretch out as far as you can, take a deep breath of the fart-free air, and then sleep the best sleep of your life. You realize that you really do sleep better alone and just maybe prefer it.
9. The Realizing You’d Still Rather Sleep With Your Partner Anyway Stage
And then your partner comes home and you get one little cuddle in and suddenly all of the nights of lost sleep are forgotten because this, this, is what you want. Farts and all.
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