Roll Over, Roll Over (And Then Get Out)

After a night out with some friends, you all stumble your way back to a flat and decide to just curl up and crash – but where do you all sleep? On the floor? The couch? Or even in the welcoming embrace of a warm bed? But here comes the hurdle of bed etiquette – who shares the bed, if it’s even shared at all? The time frame of a friendship needed to decide if bed sharing privileges are unlocked can vary between everyone. But, does it depend on the type of friendship, or the type of person?

I like my bed. Correction, I LOVE my bed. Even more so, I love being in my bed alone. Sharing a bed brings about far too many moments of awkwardness for me – accidental kicking, potential snoring, weird stomach sounds, the dreaded waking-face-to-face moment – there’s just too many possibilities for discomfort. I don’t know why, but I seem to think I’d turn into some crazed, loud, overly-flatulent octopus, and because of this, I feel extremely uncomfortable with the thought of sharing a bed with someone I don’t know very well. To fully allow someone into my life (my whole life being centred around my bed) I need to really like this person, so personally I wouldn’t want to share a bed with someone unless we’d been friends for over a year.

Now to be fair, I am socially awkward, I am an introvert, and to top off this lovely recipe for loner-and-future-crazy-cat-lady, I am anti-social so, for me, the main reason for my wariness of sharing a bed may be simply down to my inherent awkwardness and failure to function as a normal human being. Therefore, to fully search for the answer as to “when is too soon to share a bed with a friend?” I must ask people with more experience in normal society. Lugging myself into the dreaded outer world, I asked my more socially-adept friends how people who aren’t constantly berated by an acute awkwardness would react to sharing their bed with a new friend. Surprisingly for me, the general consensus was they’d be happy to share a bed with a friend they’d only known a short while, some even with friends they’d met that night.

Perhaps the comfort of sharing a bed is achieved by people who display affection and intimacy with more ease? Perhaps they aren’t afraid of their unconscious bodies betraying them and causing embarrassment? Or perhaps these people simply don’t think into the complex social implications of sleeping next to another human being quite as deeply as I do. Perhaps these people go about their lives without the nagging questions and critique of their every move in public? How happy these people must be. But not as happy as me, in my nice empty bed.

[Michaela Barton]

Image: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

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