Personal Advice on Proper Bedroom Etiquette
My girlfriend and I live together. We are a young, hip couple (she is hipper than I) starting our life together in Los Angeles. She has an excellent job. I am working two internships and a part-time gig down in Dana Point Harbor (the commute is pleasant but technically impossible to make in under one hour given the miles traveled and speed of the morning freeway). Things go generally all right. And then we sleep.
For those of you still dating and living separately I write this to congratulate you on your success. When dating first opens that bedroom door both the carnal antics and the exhaustion thereafter is fresh, passionate, and–locked in the embrace of your partner–satisfying. Fast-forward to when/if you are living together. Stop the tape on that word, “living”. You are living together–not making whoopie, not playing house, not going away on a vacation but paying bills, grocery shopping, arguing about whether or not the lease permitting and your relationship ongoing to adopt a pet, watching her rearrange the furniture, not dusting properly, and trying to convince her that leaving fruit out in the summer will attract flies but being told, “Au contraire, ma petit, you do not clean the vegetables out of the sink.” (My girlfriend is not French but she sometimes speaks their language.)
At the end of what are sometimes very long days the two of you are prepared for bed. You may be angry with each other or blissful. At this stage it does not matter. What matters is that you are no longer staying the night nor are you reuniting after weeks without physical contact. On a hot night the two of you may have no desire to sleep even remotely close to each other. Spooning may be too much of a chore for one or both of your elbows. The romance has not died, though, the relationship has simply entered a more practical era.
And you come to find that a full bed is not so full as you once believed. One of you grinds her teeth, incessantly, won’t stop, lashes out when woken. One of you has a habit of curling into a ball, body unconsciously trying to squeeze her off your space. One of you has come to bed late but love precludes you from pushing her away from the middle so your arms have somewhere to go when you’re perched on the edge of the mattress. And one of you (but oftentimes both of you) will wage a war with the snooze on your alarm clocks. I guarantee one of you will be a lighter sleeper than the other. And this, only this, might just be enough to bring the relationship to a screeching, apocalyptic end.
This morning I smothered my girlfriend’s phone alarm. I caught hell and there were harsh words exchanged but in the end things will be all right. I did it, after all, because I love her so. The phone had it coming and never pays the rent.