A Beginner's Guide To Sharing Your Bed With A New Partner

One of the best things about meeting someone with whom you're totally smitten is sharing your bed with them. Our beds are our ultimate comfort zone, a place where we relax, where we dream, and where we take our box of pizza on those nights when we're feeling extra antisocial and only a 50th viewing of "Pride and Prejudice" will do. Beds are our sanctuary so letting someone share that space with us for not just sex but actually sleeping is kind of a big deal.


But as much as it feels good to be cuddled up in bed with a new partner, sharing a bed all night long isn't without its issues — especially if you've gotten into the habit of sleeping alone à la starfish position. Although a 2021 survey by YouGov found that 66% of people prefer sharing a bed with their partner, there's a reason why the same survey found that 7% of people like sleeping in separate beds and 9% would opt for different bedrooms in their ideal world — because it's not exactly easy! But before you jump into a sleep divorce, as they're called, give the whole sharing-a-bed thing a chance first.

Communicate your differences

While it may not exactly be romantic to discuss sleeping patterns and differences, if you and your partner want to be able to amicably share a bed, then this is a quintessential step in your bed-sharing journey. A big thing to talk about is temperature. Although doctors suggest somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit as the ideal for sleeping, not only does that seven degrees make a big difference for some people, but that range might not be optimal for everyone. What this means is that if you and your partner can't agree on the same sleeping temperature, someone is going to have to bundle up or strip down.


Another place where sleeping differences collide is with light and noise preferences. Whereas some people prefer a nightlight and sound, like white noise or something similar, others may need total darkness and silence to sleep properly. In these situations, someone is going to have to invest in earplugs and an eye mask, because it's easier to block out light and sound than decide on the perfect amount of it for both partners.

When it comes to these particulars, you'll find yourself using your negotiation and haggling tactics as you and your partner decide who's going to give up what they need and who is able to meet in the middle. Depending on how new your relationship is, this might even be your first official disagreement you'll have to resolve. Congratulations!


Invest in proper bedding

If your partner is sleeping in your bed a lot and you know they're going to be there even more because that's just how your relationship is evolving, then it's time to upgrade your mattress and bedding. Even the most madly-in-love couples need their space when they sleep, so looking into a queen-size mattress is something to take into consideration. If you have the space and the funds, you might as well go for a king-size. No matter what becomes of your relationship, you will never regret a king-size mattress. Real talk: the starfish sleeping position never felt so good as it does in a king.


Once you have a mattress that both you and your partner know will deliver the best dreams and even better sleep, it's time for bed linens or, more specifically separate bed linens. Not only do separate blankets and/or sheets prevent blanket-hogging problems, but if temperature difference is something that's plaguing your bedtime routine, then breathable fabrics that are used in cooling sheets and blankets are what you want on your bed. Or at least on the half of the bed of the one who gets hot at night.

Respect each other's schedule

Some people are night owls, some are early birds, and some have to be at Starbucks for their shift, against their will, at 6 a.m. As much as one may want to stay in bed all day cuddling and watching their favorite series on repeat, life beckons and schedules impede glorious hours of laziness. It's here that respecting your partner's schedule, whether it's for work or simply because they can't sleep past 8 a.m. on the weekends, comes into play.


While there are those who prefer to break their habits and try to sync up their sleeping schedules with each other, that's not always a viable option for everyone. Some people just simply can't adjust when they fall asleep and when they wake up. Experts suggest that adults get somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep, but similar to temperature recommendations for sleeping, that range isn't a good fit for every person out there. Getting the hang of sharing the bed with a new partner takes a lot of give and take, and working around a schedule that might be opposite of yours. 

Learn to accept what you can't change

The number one thing to implement when learning to share your bed with a new partner? Acceptance. People are going to snore, stay up all night, get up at the break of dawn, thrash in their sleep, and hit snooze 20 times every morning. No person is a perfect sleeper and not everyone will master the art of sharing a bed — which is fine! Humans are supposed to be imperfect, they're supposed to be a hassle. But when you meet someone great and fall in love with them, that person becomes your hassle — and you adore the dickens out of your hassle. 


Love means accepting that your partner isn't an ideal specimen. It means accepting their quirks and maybe even the fact that they need the thermostat at 80 degrees every night to sleep. While 80 degrees is certainly nightmarish for many, when it comes to love it's an acceptable idiosyncrasy that you should embrace with open arms — open arms and, perhaps, a fan directed exactly at your head.