more idiotic advice to fuel your relationship insecurities

I stumbled across some absurd nuggets of wisdom about relationships on the Channel 9 Today website: 

      According to relationships expert, Dr Dina McMillan, the way a couple sleeps together can unconsciously show the way they feel   about  one another and the state of their relationship.

Sleep positions are a good telltale sign of the way someone feels about their partner – it certainly can’t be faked! Although there are no strict rules, there are some general perceptions of the following sleeping positions, based on the body language shown:

“The spoon “

  • One person sleeps on their side and the other lays closely behind with an arm around the first.  
  • This is the most common sleeping position among couples during the earlier years of marriage.  
  • Meaning – Closeness indicates security and the position is considered to be more erotic due to this closeness.  
  • Benefits – Believed to increase intimacy and reduce stress.

“Loosely tight

  • Bodies are positioned in the same way as the spoon but there is a small gap between the bodies.
  • Despite the gap, couples usually touch hands or knees or other ways to compensate.
  • Commonly seen in couples who have been together for about 5 years.  
  • Meaning- Security and intimacy.  
  • Benefits – Believed to increase intimacy and reduce stress.

“The honeymoon hug”

  • Couples face each other and are in a full body hug. Every part of the front of their bodies is in contact with the others.
  • Common among newlyweds.
  • Meaning – Complete commitment to one another. The person who initiates the position shows they are dependent on the other.

“The royal hug”

  • One partner (usually the man) lies face up and the other partner lies with their head and shoulders resting on their partners arm.  
  • Meaning – This position shows the man as superior and the woman as submissive and dependent on her lover. The positions shows an honest and truthful commitment between the pair.

“Zen style”

  • Partners lie back to back with buttocks touching.
  • Common among couples that have been together for a long period of time.
  • Meaning- Lying back to back shows a need for independence. As they are still touching they show they are still bonded.

“The leg hug”

  • Partners sleep in their preferred positions but one has a leg hooked around one of the other’s legs.
  • Usually when couples are recoiling after a fight.
  • Meaning- An obvious withholding of emotion by both parties but the link shows they still have a connection.

”The cliff hanger”

  • One partner sleeps on one edge of the bed and the other takes the other edge.
  • There is no contact between the two and they face in opposite directions.
  • Meaning – This position shows tension or disconnectedness in the relationship. However it may also just be a way of each giving the space to get a good night’s sleep.

But what if we have a preferred individual sleeping style that’s dissimilar to our partner’s?

“If our style doesn’t match our partner’s they may feel we don’t care about them, or believe that emotionally we aren’t a good fit,” Dina says.

“If you have a certain way you have to position yourself to get enough sleep, it’s important to communicate that with your partner. If they suggest you hold some issues that are tied into this, don’t just dismiss it. Give it some thought.”

HOW does this kind of bullshit pass for ‘expert’ knowledge? Of course I immediately thought, ‘how do my partner and I sleep?’ and discovered that we are without a doubt ‘cliffhangers’. Of course, this triggered waves of doubt about my relationship with my partner until I woke up and reminded myself that these people are idiots and people generally fall asleep in whatever is the most comforable position. I mean, if I had it my way, I would sleep in a single bed and my partner in another – I’ve even thought about separate bedrooms. And this says nothing about the frailty of our relationship….I just value undisturbed sleep! The idea of sleeping with another person just doesn’t make sense to me.

Interestingly I have had this ‘separate bedroom’ discussion with a few girlfriends who agree with me but know that their male partners would not agree to it. A lesbian friend, on the other hand, sleeps in a separate room to her partner and their relationship is rock solid and has been for about 10 years. I think this says a lot about how heterosexual relationships are meant to be based on sex and interdependence.

My partner too, recoils at the idea of sleeping separately. So together we sleep. Unless he snores it’s not bad – I generally sleep well anyway. We bought a queen size bed last yeat and put the double in the spare room – now we have even more room to separate us as we hang on our respective cliffs!

Oh, and the heteronormativity and patriarchal tone of the article makes me want to vomit.

This position shows the man as superior and the woman as submissive and dependent on her lover. The positions shows an honest and truthful commitment between the pair.”

Um…doesn’t a superior man and a submissive woman represent a gross imbalance of power more than it represents ‘truthful committment’??? 


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