Why You Need To Keep Work Out Of The Bedroom, Because It May Be Hurting Your Relationship More Than You Think
“What are you doing, Gigi? Are you on the phone right now?” My partner lifted his sleep mask off his eyes with one hand, and rubbed my back with the other, disgruntled and ruffled from sleep. It was midnight and I had just grabbed my phone from the nightstand to a bar where I was hosting a happy hour for women in the sex industry. I had woken up, suddenly overcome with the need to make sure the space I had reserved was on the books. I do sh*t like this a lot. I check my email until right before I fall asleep, I write articles and take interviews during the day from my bed. My bed is my office. Isn’t one of the benefits of freelance supposed to be that you get to work from bed, in your robe?
My partner has a serious problem with all of this bedroom/boardroom overlap. He says I’m not supposed to conflate the two places because it could affect my sleep/life/energy etc. I brushed off his concern up until the midnight phone call incident. My body literally had no idea that I was in bed. It did not associate my bed with relaxation and sleep. I could feel in my bones that this was not good for my health or my relationship. It turns out, my partner was correct. Ugh, it stung to admit that.
You should not be bringing work into the bedroom, because while it’s comfy AF, it can really screw up other aspects of your love life. Here’s why.
You Can’t Pair Bond If You’re On Your Phone
If you’re letting work permeate your sacred bedroom space, your relationship could take a hit. For real. Polly Rodriguez, CEO of women’s sexual health and wellness brand, Unbound, advises that you unplug an hour before bed. This has been supported by bountiful research. Studies have shown that blue light (your screens) affects your sleep patterns and health.
“The time before falling asleep can be ideal for bonding, which is tough to do if you're playing Snake on your phone instead of snuggling with your significant other," Rodriguez tells Bustle.
According to a study published on NCBI, touching, cuddling, and spending time together helps promote pair bonding, which is essential to strong relationships. If you’re working in bed, checking email, playing games, and making calls; your bond with your partner literally weakens.
Your Phone Completely Warps Your View Of Your Own Life
One unexpected (but honestly so accurate) problem with bringing work into the bedroom is how it distorts your view of reality and your own self-worth. I know that when I get an email from an editor or am asked to do something cool, I feel totally validated. Just as easily, if something I pitch is rejected or a proposal is not accepted, I feel like sh*t about myself for days.
Ira Israel, a counselor and licensed psychotherapist tells Bustle that work is often what we derive our personal value from and this is an unhealthy way to derive validation. Work is, after all, never permanent and always in flux. You don’t know what is going to happen at your job so, using your job as your sole source of extracting confidence is a dangerous game.
"We need to learn how to shut off our devices, connect face-to-face to other people, and not feel as if we’re missing out"
The direct link to this misplaced self-importance? Your phone, of course. “Our mobile phones are on most of the time, we are over-connected and there’s something Pavlovian about the beeps and vibrations that is similarly unhealthy — primarily because it gives a false sense of importance, as if we are going to miss out on something extraordinary if we disconnect,” Israel says. “We need to learn how to shut off our devices, connect face-to-face to other people, and not feel as if we’re missing out on any of the infinite things that are perpetually occurring in the world of which we are notified via our phones. People need hugs, not Instagram or Facebook Likes.”
Taking work out of the bedroom will help you recalibrate how you get your self-esteem. You should gain confidence from more than just work. You should feel loved by your partner and by yourself … and this should make you feel just as fabulous as a raise.
Focusing On Your Work Life In Bed Might Hurt Your Sex Life
When we finally get to see our partners after a long day, it’s therapeutic to unleash your bottled up feelings about Janice in accounting. Just be careful how much and how often you’re talking about work at home. “Casually sharing the day’s events and things that transpired with a loved one is normal and healthy; harping or droning on about your professional life in bed is definitely the opposite of sexy or intimate,” Israel says.
You’re going to tell your partner everything about your crappy day at the office. I mean, duh. That’s part of what being in a relationship is about. The problems start when *all* you do is talk about work. You’re not going to be jonesing to get down with the sex when all you can think about is that passive aggressive comment your co worker, Jerry, made about the project you’re working on.
Go home, unleash, take a step back, and let all of those emotions go. Kumbaya the hell out of your bedroom and keep the sh*tty work stuff out of it. You have plenty of time to worry about it tomorrow.