Ah, relationships: They're complicated little things. Everyone knows the key to maintaining any good relationship is healthy communication, but what role do all those things in your relationship that don't revolve around talking — like cuddling — play?
Fear not if your boyfriend isn't big on emotional overshare; the way he cuddles with you says pretty much everything you need to know about how your relationship.
You know what I'm talking about:
Remember that “Sex and the City” episode where Aidan ostracizes Carrie from his “nook” in the bedroom because he's pissed at her? She can tell something’s wrong just from the way he won’t let her rest her head in his armpit. Yeah, that's a real thing, according to science.
Body language is a key indicator of the way we feel. After all, haven’t we always been told actions speak louder than words?
It’s common sense, if you think about it. At night, our subconscious takes over, exposing our rawest selves and our realest emotions. The way we cuddle says a lot about our relationships.
Now, of course, you're not going to sleep in the same exact position every night; it's only natural to switch it up. But have you ever wondered why our bodies decide to switch up positions with our partners in the first place?
Well, the positions in which you cuddle are a sort of barometer that measures just how smoothly (or not smoothly) your relationship is going. And a sudden change in the way you sleep with your partner could be cause for concern.
Richard Wiseman, a UK professor, conducted a survey in which he asked over 1,000 people what their favorite sleeping positions are. He then asked them to rate the quality of their relationships to find out the link between the way they slept and the way they felt.
The findings of the study put some of my questions to bed (wink, wink): 86 percent of those surveyed who admitted to sleeping less than an inch away from each other claimed to be happy in their relationships.
Contrastingly, only 4 percent of those same couples surveyed enjoyed cuddling facing each other with all body parts touching (seriously, can anyone actually stay like that the entire night?).
So if you're in need of an indicator of how well your relationship is going, here's what the position you cuddle in with your special someone says about it.
If you and your partner sleep on opposite ends of the bed:
Uh-oh, this one means there could be trouble in paradise.
Sex expert Tracey Cox deems this the “pre-divorce” or the “post-argument” position (depending on how serious you two lovebirds are).
If you spend your nights hugging yourself because you're not feeling the love from your sleep buddy, you could subconsciously be trying to protect your heart: a physical reaction to an emotional problem that runs deeper.
Cox says, “Ninety-four percent of the happiest couples were those who reached out a foot or a hand, exchanged a word, a kiss or reassuring caress.”
Distancing yourself from your partner in the bedroom could mean you're dealing with emotional distance in real life — a breakup or divorce may be in your near future.
So if you're keen on making it work, make sure you reach out to him every so often throughout the night. Interestingly enough, only 2 percent of all couples sleep over two-and-a-half feet apart from each other.
If you cuddle wrapped up in and facing each other:
This one can get hot, sticky and plain uncomfortable (especially in those summer months), but it may just be the position most indicative of a loving, mutual, can't-get-enough-of-you partnership. Lying entangled in your partner's limbs is a sign of true relationship satisfaction.
According to Patti Wood, body language expert and author of “Success Signals, A Guide to Reading Body Language,” “It means your lives are intertwined, that you function as a pair. You probably finish each other’s sentences and take care of each other.”
If you sleep back-to-back with only your butts touching:
Don't worry: Sleeping this way doesn't mean you hate your lover. But, it could signify your desire to stay a free spirit, even though you're romantically tied down.
Wood says that bottoms touching demonstrate your commitment to staying sexually connected. Still, simultaneously facing away from each other shows both your and your partner's abilities to remain independent, appreciation of your own space and trust in one another.
Then again, wanting to face away from your partner could also just mean he's one of those obnoxious snorers mouth-breathers (is there anything worse?)
If you're the big spoon:
It can be fun to be the big spoon as the woman in the relationship. There's something almost nurturing about it.
But cradling your man in your arms could mean more than that; being the big spoon as the lady can imply you're protective — and maybe even possessive — of your man.
If you're a bit of a control freak, this may be the cuddle position to which you’re naturally more inclined.
If you're the little spoon:
As a lady and little spoon, your guy embracing you means he isn't afraid of security and intimacy.
Still, this position does mean sleeping against your guy's junk for the night — Wood calls this position the most “vulnerable,” pointing out that it is one of the most sexually tempting of the cuddle positions.
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