Sleeping “red flag” of a young couple
A young American has caused a stir online after revealing she has a separate bedroom for her boyfriend.
Dog walker Carsyn Soto, 19, has taken to TikTok to defend the controversial sleeping arrangement at the apartment she shares with longtime boyfriend Ben Schmidt.
“When you and your boyfriend finally move in together but want separate bedrooms so you can still have your own space and decorate however you want,” she said, sharing images of their adjoining bedrooms.
The viral clip received an overwhelmingly positive response online – although some critics claimed the unusual arrangement was a ‘red flag’.
His TikTok was inundated with supportive comments, with many pointing out that the arrangement was crucial for shift workers, those struggling with mental health issues, people with unique lifestyles and those who simply prefer spending time alone.
“Separate bedrooms are actually super beneficial if your partner snores, talks in sleep, sleepwalks,” one TikTok user agreed.
“My boyfriend has ADHD and I’m NT (neurotypical). We have separate bedrooms so he can create as much organized chaos as he wants without driving me crazy,” another said.
“This situation has definitely made it easier for my boyfriend and I to handle arguments because we can be in our own energy.
“To be honest, it’s great. Sleepovers in each other’s rooms, but still your own space,” others said.
TikTok users described the single bedroom situation as “healthy”, “awesome” and “smart”, with one commenter calling for the “normalization of separate sleeping spaces”.
Others wondered where the custom came from and why it was still a common expectation of couples.
“Why is it that if you’re dating you have to sleep in the same bed,” she said.
“I’m married and have my own room and it was the best decision ever, I’ve never slept better.”
Prior to the 1950s, separate beds were generally considered the preferred and healthiest sleep option for couples, but later came to be seen as a sign of a broken marriage.
Former NRL star Benji Marshall and his podcast host wife Zoe are well known for sleeping in separate beds for over 10 years, with Zoe telling news.com.au that sleeping apart was ‘paradise and prevented a build-up of resentment between the two.
Other iconic celebrity couples, including David and Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Brad Falchuk, reportedly slept separately, with the Beckhams having “separate his and hers sleeping wings” of their London home.
Relationship psychologist Rachel Voysey said there are many benefits for couples sleeping apart when they “intentionally” choose to do so.
“A good night’s sleep will make you much less irritable, much more empathetic, and in a much better frame of mind to be in a relationship,” she said.
“There’s pretty good research to suggest that (sleeping apart) improves communication, when you’re tired your empathy is reduced and you may be less compassionate.”
The expert also revealed that sleeping apart can improve a couple’s sex life due to the increased sense of romance and desire due to the space.
“There’s the excitement of getting back together, the intimate part of your life can be more exciting, there’s this newness and the fun part,” she said.
Voysey said the risk associated with sleeping apart stems from a lack of communication between couples and additional “rituals” such as a “hug good morning” or something that reconnects the couple after sleep.
Voysey thinks health, life-hacking and sleep movement trends have been a catalyst for the reassessment of sleep habits, especially for people under 30.
On top of that, the expert said she’s witnessed a change in couples’ expectations and the stigma of sleeping apart.
“The younger couples I see are much less constrained by relationship expectations and norms, they’re moving away from tradition,” she said while pointing to the increase in open, polyamorous relationships.
The unconventional sleeping style drew criticism from viewers who said the arrangement made a partner feel more like a roommate or friend than someone in a romantic relationship.
“No it’s weird, stop trying to normalize”, “never”, “red flag” and “tell me your relationship is drifting without telling me”, commenters said on the subject.
One TikTok user, Abigail Jenkins, said she and her partner recently opted to have separate bathrooms, which was “life changing”.
American relationship coach and TikTok influencer Matt Cama shared in a similar video that he and his partner believe “space creates even deeper levels of love and connection in a relationship.”
The pair said it was important for couples to miss and want each other’s company, with more desire and attraction in the relationship.