Before you freak out, hear me out. And ya, definitely wasn’t trying to rhyme (or whatever) in that sentence, haha.
I used to judge couples in movies (or real life) who sleep apart. “Geez, is their relationship over? Is that what I have to look forward to? I’d never be like that!”
Pfft. Here’s just one more example of why judging others is foolish.
One of my newest (and favorite) relationship hacks is to sleep separately.
If that seems counter-intuitive to you — I hear you.
But it’s fabulous! Let me explain.
Last August, my partner had the first of two surgeries, a knee ACL reconstruction, which required 4–6 weeks of recovery time. During the first few weeks, we were forced to sleep apart quite a bit.
If you’ve been through any type of intense recovery time with a partner, you know what I mean. It can be brutal for sleeping schedules. Thankfully, our guestroom doubles as his office/personal space making this arrangement much easier.
During that time, we slept apart for sanity and to maintain peace. He couldn’t get comfortable being in pain and knowing he might keep me awake and I couldn’t sleep with all his repositioning. Therefore, sleeping apart was a matter of necessity.
It didn’t happen too often but it happened enough we took notice.
So leading up to his second surgery (ankle on the same leg) in November, we decided ahead of time to spend nights apart as part of our frontloading (more on frontloading in a future blog) if we needed to.
However, I had already begun to notice that sometimes it was nice to wake up by myself. That sometimes I slept better without him. And that sometimes it felt REALLY freeing to sleep alone.
Mind you, I love my guy. I call him “Pelucho” which means teddy bear in Spanish because he’s so damn cuddly. I love his belly. I love having him close. I love waking up to him.
But I was really enjoying sleeping alone, too. And when I talked to him about it, he agreed.
Before this experience, the only times we slept apart (after moving in together) was when we fought, which gave the very act a negative connotation. But when done in agreement, it was anything besides.
Then I stumbled across an Instagram story shared by Erin Claire Jones, a Human Design guide & leadership coach, who shared that she and her partner always sleep apart. She said they only slept together when they both wanted to. And yes, they live together.
Whaaaaaaat? My insides screamed… I had to spend some time feeling into that philosophy. But it made sense! And it gave me the language to explain what I intuitively felt.
Side note, Human Design is a pseudoscience combining astrology, I Ching, Kabbalah and the Chakras. Bottom line, it maps out the way energy moves through our body and has become one of my favorite tools to use in my personal life and with my clients.
So why do they sleep in separate rooms the majority of the time? Because it gives their energetic bodies time to fully regenerate.
It turns out, our energetic bodies are always recalibrating when we’re around someone else, so the only legitimate break we get is when we’re alone.
Hence, why sleeping alone can be such an excellent experience. Not to mention it provides variety and gives someone space — things I’m ALWAYS a fan of.
But after learning about the energetic reasoning, I was honestly hesitant to bring it to my partner’s attention. What would it say about our relationship if we actively chose to sleep apart sometimes? Would I be putting our relationship in jeopardy? Would it mean we don’t like each other anymore?
We’re taught so much BS about how to manage our relationships, what they should look like, and how they should act that we often can forget — we are the ones in charge. And what works for us is exactly that — what works. And that’s the only thing that’s important.
Sleep together or apart. Cool. Be in a monogamous relationship or open one. Cool. Live together or live apart. Cool.
Do what works!
And my partner agreed. He was happy to know that either of us could elect to sleep alone if we needed to and appreciated that it wouldn’t cause problems or be seen as a negative. We both like our freedom.
I’m telling you, folks — give it a try.
The truth is that we all need alone time. And hey, what’s better than enjoying the full real estate of your bed alone when you’re used to sharing that space with someone else? Nooooot much! haha
Last night, on a Saturday night, I elected to sleep alone. I was cranky and irritable after many terrible nights of sleep.
And today, I woke up rested, relaxed, and excited for my partner to come crawling back in bed with me for Sunday morning cuddles.
Win-win if you ask me!