When I was growing up, my parents would always point to my maternal grandparents' separate bedrooms and sigh, shaking their heads. The message was clear: Separate beds meant no sex and were a sad truth about their marital state.
In their case, maybe it was true. But 20 years later, almost eight years into a marriage of my own, I can say without hesitation that separate bedrooms would be living the dream.
Shhh ... Don't tell my husband I said that.
Actually, he knows. He always jokes that my only stipulations for our next house are a backyard and enough bedrooms for three kids and each of us. And it seems I'm not alone. According to The New York Times:
Nearly one in four American couples sleep in separate bedrooms or beds, the National Sleep Foundation reported in a 2005 survey. Recent studies in England and Japan have found similar results. And the National Association of Home Builders says it expects 60 percent of custom homes to have dual master bedrooms by 2015.
Yay! It seems the only place I'm alone is in bed!
The perception has always been, of course, that separate bedrooms mean separate sex lives, but I disagree. Why can't we have hot sex in one bed and then retire to our respective beds?
Sleep experts seem to agree that more quality sleep happens when partners sleep apart and even our closest evolutionary relatives -- chimpanzees -- sleep apart. The men sleep alone and the women sleep with the babies.
I don't think our relationship would devolve into some sexless 1950s sitcom; I think it would be hotter than ever if I didn't have to face the prospect of being awakened three times by his heavy arm landing on my head or the covers being torn away. Sometimes my husband sits up in the middle of the night because something startled him or he talks in his sleep or he gets up to use the bathroom. And I'm not one of those people who falls easily back to sleep. When I am up, I am up.
When I think of the sleep I've missed from sleeping next to my hubs for a decade in a double bed, it makes me sad. His solution is to get a king, but mine is delicious separate bedrooms. Mine will have a desk for work, a chaise for cat-naps, and a fluffy pink bed with seven pillows. He can do whatever he wants in his room, too.
See, this idea is fantastic if only for the decorating possibilities. We can meet in the kitchen for martinis and then say the words we, as a married couple, thought we never would again: "Your place or mine, honey?"
Would you do separate beds?
Image via MarriottSandestin/Flickr