6 Smart Solutions If You Don’t Want to Share a Bed With Your Significant Other (That Won’t Ruin Your Relationship)

published Feb 16, 2021
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I’m nowhere near facing down a future of sharing the same bed with someone for the rest of my life, but just the thought of it fills me with anxiety. I’m a restless sleeper with intermittent bouts of insomnia, and when I do feel able to sleep, I’m known to starfish. Sharing a bed with someone, even a bigger bed, means keeping myself up at night worrying about getting in the other person’s space — or worse, them getting into my space (yes, I am ready for commitment).

So when I hear about couples who don’t share a bed (most presidential couples didn’t until the Fords!) or even a room, I think, “there is hope for me yet.” For starters, it can be healthy for you and your relationship, as long as you have the space to do so. I mean, I certainly have better relationships with people in general when I’m well-rested on my own terms. Not only that, but it’s completely normal. There are plenty of reasons it isn’t possible to share a sleep space, aside from being an insomniac bed hog like me — snoring, health issues, room temperature preferences, mobility concerns, clashing work schedules, and many more situations can be at play.

Naturally, there’s a whole Reddit thread of people sharing their experiences with separate sleeping. “LPT [life pro tip]: It’s ok to tell your partner that you don’t prefer to sleep in the same room/bed as them, and it doesn’t have to mean that you’re not getting along. Having a sleep space that you find comfortable can actually make you and your partner happier,” user RockleyBob wrote. The responses are helpful, thoughtful, and downright interesting. Here are some of the best tips people shared:

Push two bigger beds together to have the best of both worlds.

“My partner and I couldn’t agree on whose bed to use when we moved in together because we both have beds specialized to our own specific back problems. We ended up push[ing] our beds together so we could cuddle before bed and then split to sleep. We love it and everyone we tell gets a good laugh at our ‘double’ bed!

Edit: It’s so interesting hearing that this is actually pretty normal for a lot of other countries! We were super poor just coming out of college so couldn’t afford a sleep number like some people are suggesting and it seemed like a pretty simple solution. For those wondering, we do have two queens pushed together with separate sheets for each bed. The bedroom is gigantic and still has a couple feet leftover on each side!” —Feracron

Or just use two comforters.

“My spouse and I each have our own comforters (so our bed has 2) and it’s been a huge game changer.” —starshollowdreamer

Keep a regular nighttime routine for when you sleep apart.

“We sleep in separate bedrooms, and I think it’s been a game changer. He snores, I’m a light sleeper/mover, etc. A vicious cycle.

We have a bedtime routine where I’ll ‘tuck him in’ (snuggle in his bed for a bit) and a morning routine where he wakes me up for snuggles. A parting and reuniting ritual, so to speak. :-)” —to1the1google1

When in doubt, cuddle together and sleep separately.

“When my son was born almost 6 years ago I was working 60 hour weeks and he never slept for more than 20 minutes at a time. So I started sleeping in the guest bedroom. We live in a different place now and we [ed. note: my partner and I] still each have our own bedroom, it’s awesome. It allows me to have my music and gaming stuff in my bedroom and be able to happily game for hours after she’s gone to sleep without disturbing anybody. We get along great and cuddle together in one bed or another every night but we have just learned that we love having our own sleeping space.” —PansexualEmoSwan

Designate a cuddling and/or sex bed.

“Pick a bed each night for cuddles and/or sex.

After that get out of my bed or me out of theirs. I am an insomniac and even with drugs I am an incredibly light sleeper when I finally get to sleep. My partner’s breathing will wake me, let alone snoring, movement, trying to touch me. I spent several nights before I figured this out, just awake hating the person in my bed, no matter how much I loved them. Separate bedrooms are a lifesaver.” —emeryldmist

And while it might not work for every person or relationship, make sure to communicate clearly about it so it doesn’t cause hard feelings.

“My s/o and I have our own rooms and it’s awesome. We both value space and have very open communication about it. It also means that when we want to sleep together it’s intentional. We ‘invite’ the other one over, keeps it super cute.” —_teknoghost_