When I tell people that my partner and I sleep in separate bedrooms they usually have one of two reactions:
Reaction 1: That is so weird.
Reaction 2: That is amazing. Can I do that?
My boyfriend and I moved in together almost a year ago, after about 18 months of dating. We both had great living arrangements with roommates and alternated between hanging out and sleeping over at one another's houses. We had briefly talked about moving in together "someday" but didn't have a deadline since we both loved where we were living independently.
That changed when one of his roommates decided to move out, and I was starting to despise one of my roommates, who spoke to me in a condescending tone and liked to have loud sex in the bedroom next door. My boyfriend and I had a big talk about what it meant for me to move in with him and what it would mean for our relationship.
"So are you going to turn Ashley's room into an office and the two of you will sleep in your room?" our friends asked.
Oh, no. We'll be sleeping separately.
We decided that having different rooms would be the best for us and now, a year later, the list of reasons to have our own rooms has just gotten longer, more concrete and our living arrangement makes us even more awesome as a couple.
My boyfriend sleeps like a tornado — there's no other way to describe it! And as a result, he doesn't sleep well with anyone else in the bed because it inhibits his Tasmanian-Devil-like movement. With two separate beds, this is never a problem, and we both sleep more soundly.
There's a Door to Close
Have you ever lived with someone in a one-bedroom and felt like you could never be alone? When you have your own room, that's never a problem because you have a space to call your very own. Feeling grouchy? Just head to your room and close that door. If either one of us wants to be focused, have solo time, or work on super-sneaky-cute projects, we have a space to accomplish that in.
Everyone Gets Their Own Closet
I have pretty dresses in my closet. He has smelly hockey gear in his. Our two wardrobes never need to meet/fight for space/smother one another, because they each have their very own home. The pretty dresses are especially thankful.
You Can Do Your Own Thing
When you're on separate schedules, want to stay up late to finish something, or need to get up at 4:30 a.m. to be on set, you're not bothering the other person. You don't need to tiptoe around the bedroom trying to find the clothes you set out the night before or be concerned about disturbing the other person. I came home fairly drunk a few nights ago and didn't bother him at all when I rolled into bed; he didn't even know what time I had come home (but snuggled with me in the morning when I was feeling the effects of the night before)
It Alleviates Unnecessary Conflict
My room is usually pretty tidy. His is reminiscent of the aforementioned tornado. But it's never a "thing" for us because our rooms are separate; everyone stays happy because they are responsible for their own space. If one of us makes a big mess in our own room, there doesn't need to be a discussion or a fight about it since we are separate. There's no nagging to tidy things up or to pick up laundry; what we each do in our own rooms is our own business.
Any time I want to snuggle, cuddle, have sex, cry or talk, I know he's right next door. Unlike when we lived apart, I know he's never far away. We'll knock on each other's door (or send a text to see if the other person is still awake), do our thing and then go back to our separate beds for sleep time.
I was at a wedding last summer and was chatting with a bridesmaid's husband. Our living arrangement came up in conversation, and his eyes got wide as he said, "You can do that?"
Yes. Yes, you can.
While sleeping in the same bed and sharing the same room has become the societal norm, one of the great things about being an adult is that you can do whatever you want! If you want to sleep in separate rooms, you and your partner can make the decision that is right for you.
I couldn't imagine our living arrangement to be any different, and I truly believe that having separate rooms has strengthened our relationship. It has encouraged communication, given us both our own space when we need it and creates a necessity for us to be intentional about our physical time together. While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, it seems to be working pretty well for us, and I believe that it contributes to a happy, healthy, extra-awesome relationship.