Hi there, Catie here. We’re going to be writing a few logistics posts that cover the day to day chaos of our poly-relationship. Every family is different and works these things out for themselves, it’s another of those “there is no right way” things.
Lena: One would think that something as simple as sleeping wouldn’t be a big deal. But you know it is.
Anyone who has ever slept with someone else in the same bed will tell you, nothing is as good as sleeping alone. 😉 This applies to partners, siblings, parents/children, parents/furry children. It doesn’t matter. Because things happen… foot to the face, elbow to the face, pillow to the face. And that’s just to the face. There are plenty of other body parts that get hit, too.
For years, Paul and I shared a bed with the furry children. That would be three cats and two dogs. It made sleeping… less than ideal. But I loved them and wanted them with me.
And then Paul says, “We should ask Catie to move in with us.”
Catie here, I do not sleep with pets, I barely like to sleep with people.
I wasn’t really sure how this would work out, but after some thought, Paul and I decided to get a king size bed. We didn’t tell Catie until we surprised her. One day she came to visit, and Surprise! Plenty of room for all three. 😉
Ohhh that’s why they got the giant (but somehow still not big enough) bed.
(Side note: Catie needs personal space. Another of those polar opposite things. I need people, she needs solo time. Inviting her in for sleep was a bit of a shock for her. We can do all kinds of things in bed, but sleep…?! Yikes!)
I need all the personal space. All of it. I sleep best when I’m alone, just me and a David Attenborough documentary on Net.flix.
It took a year to convince her to actually sleep at the house. And even longer for her to move in. She had good reason to worry.
Yes, yes I did. And was it only a year? Damn I’m a sleep hussy. I think I remember the first time I stayed over, a drunk driver missed the curve and hit the 6ft fence around the neighbor’s yard. Then they proceeded to drive off. I didn’t really want to sleep over but getting killed by a drunk driver wasn’t exactly on my to do list. Paul and Lena were lovely but it was nerve wracking. I snore a lot and hog blankets (another perk to sleeping alone, the blankets are all yours!!) Unrelated, how on earth did that guy manage to drive off? He had to have taken out 3 sections of fence and there was wood everywhere. I hope he didn’t make it far…
For the record, we don’t do it on purpose, but when Catie sleeps in the middle, she wakes up often because Paul and I are both facing her. We’ll be fast asleep, but she feels us “staring” at her.
This staring happens frequently and drives me slightly nuts. I know they don’t mean to but being woken in the night (again) is frustrating. I’ll admit it, more than once I’ve called them both fuckers out loud and then jiggled the bed until one (or both) of them rolls over. Nothing makes me feel more trapped.
Funny side note: When Paul’s mom realized that the three of us were a unit, the only comment she made was about poor Paul sleeping in the middle. “It gets so hot in the middle.” No worries, Catie and I are the ones who take turns in the middle.
Oh my, her poor sweet boy, he’s always so hot. He’d be much too hot in the middle. If she knew half of what her sweet boy got up to from the edge of the bed, never mind the middle…
Lena and I bravely take turns putting ourselves in harms way. That Paul is great at ruining your nights sleep (sometimes for the 2nd or 3rd time) by hitting you with the pillow he hugs to go to sleep. Again unintentionally, he’s asleep.
When you speak with your partner about expanding your circle, this might be one of the things you’ll want to bring up. Not, “Will he/she move in?” That’s a decision for later on, after a firm relationship has established. The question is, “Will there be sleepovers?” I don’t care what anyone says; sleeping next to someone is nerve wrecking. It should be discussed ahead of time.
A couple years in and things have gotten better. I have to admit that I’m still not the biggest fan of co-sleeping. I have options, there are comfy couches in both the basement and the living room. I sometimes I take advantage of them. I occasionally daydream about escaping to a hotel for a night or two of uninterrupted the-whole-bed-is-mine sleep. I don’t do it, but I do think about it. I spend a lot more time in bed now, I think because the quality of my sleep is overall kinda crappy. I rouse when Paul gets home and comes to bed, pillow hits, staring contests, people rolling by bouncing (wtf?) are all hazards I’m still trying to learn to sleep through. I used to get to sleep at 1 or 2 and get up at 7 refreshed on a solid 6 hour block sleep. Now? I get to sleep around 11:30 or 12, woken up around 2:45 when Paul comes to bed, again a couple hours later by pillow hit, again when Lena wakes up before the sun (she thinks she’s being quiet) and then I doze until my alarm goes off. I’m probably still getting 6 hours of sleep but it’s broken up and I’m always “aware” of others. This isn’t bad, I love those others.
As a single thinking about sleepovers with a couple, talk about how everyone would feel if you need to leave. I’m pretty sure most people would be able to shrug it off but there could be a few out there that will feel hurt. If this is the case, you might want to consider leaving sleepovers off the table for a long while. If you do decide to take the plunge after talking it out, be sure to ask if there is a comfortable sleep-friendly place you can escape to just in case sleeping in a pig-pile isn’t as fantastic as you thought it would be. And don’t be shy if you are uncomfortable, it’s terrible trying to face the day after a lousy nights sleep. Trust me, I know.