When I Moved In With My Boyfriend, This Was The First Thing I Upgraded
Sharing the same roof and bed can be amazing, but not if you don't address this common conundrum first.
After a whirlwind romance, I recently moved in with my boyfriend.
There were so many things about getting to share a space together that I was excited about. He’d lived in this lovely condo alone for the past five years and now I was his roomie. As a great cook and avid fisherman, his freezer was always chock full of wild salmon that I’d now get to enjoy as his live-in partner.
But, after the moving trucks were gone, I quickly realized that my handsome bachelor had one major problem: He only had one set of bed sheets.
There was nothing horribly wrong with them — they were your average polyester microfiber sheets — but they weren’t exactly luxurious. Maybe that’s normal for many single guys, but I’ve been a full-time travel writer who’s been spoiled with a hotel life of freshly laundered, high-thread-count sheets on the reg.
And with only one set, I was suspicious about how often my boyfriend was actually washing his…
I was moving into his domain, so I wanted to be cautious about making any major changes. But if we were going to spend seven to eight hours (sometimes more on weekends…) in bed together every night, and if he ran hot while my feet were always cold, then the sheets? Oh, they had to go.
It wasn’t a hostile takeover, though. I positioned upgrading my man’s — now, our — sheets as a relatively innocuous first step to living together. Plus, he told me he needed “a female touch” at his place, so the bedroom seemed like the perfect room to start.
“Sharing a bed with someone else is both comforting and strange,” says Laura Doyle, relationship coach and New York Times bestselling author. And no truer words have ever been spoken.
Being so physically close to your partner signals your brain to release the “cuddle hormone” known as oxytocin, Doyle explains. “Oxytocin then stimulates the release of other feel-good hormones, making you sleep deeper and wake up more refreshed.”
Meaning: Those hours spent snoozing next to each other can be really important for your relationship and your bond, which is why I was taking our sheets so seriously.
In fact, picking out new bedding together can be a nice way to mark the important milestone of moving in together, says Vivian McCormick, co-founder of Canadian linen company, Flax Home.
Jessica Alderson, relationship expert and co-founder of personality-type dating app So Syncd, agrees, adding that talking about your bedding likes and dislikes can actually be a great way of establishing compromise in your relationship — especially if you two have different preferences when it comes to mattress and pillow firmness, temperature, and sleeping positions.
“When communicating with your partner about your bedding preferences, start with a positive and then clearly state what isn’t working for you and why,” Alderson says.
“For example, instead of simply saying that you’re cold at night, explain that being cold at night is impacting your quality of sleep which is affecting your mood on a daily basis,” she adds. Your partner will be more likely to empathize and take action — and you should do the same.
Maybe the solution is having separate blankets that suit your individual needs or sharing a blanket with one partner using an additional sheet to keep warm.
“There is no right or wrong way to sleep as a couple, but if you are both happy with your bedding, it can make your bed feel like a kind of sanctuary or safe haven,” Alderson says.
And when you’re consistently getting a good night’s sleep, it really does make it easier to show up as your best self during the day, which can lead to a smoother and happier relationship.
While I’ve gotten used to sleeping in different beds in hotels all around the world, nothing beats coming home to my man and waking up in a pretzeled tangle of limbs, love, and linen.
Since I like environmentally-friendly companies with transparent supply chains, I chose Cozy Earth’s super soft, viscose, Bamboo Sheet Set ($255.20, cozyearth.com) and Flax Home’s antimicrobial linen bedding ($425 for bundle, shopflaxhome.com) that helps regulate my boyfriend and I’s temperature.
McCormick recommends alternating between at least two fitted sheets to extend the longevity of your bedding, since these pieces can wear faster due to friction, especially for people who toss and turn in their sleep.
She also has a hot tip for keeping your shared bedding looking and performing its best.
“While getting into bed when your sheets are fresh out of the dryer is the best feeling, fabric is weaker when it’s warm,” McCormick says. “Try to pull bedding out of the dryer and let it rest a little while before putting it back on your bed.”
So far, it’s been smooth sleeping for me and my man. Upgrading his sheets was one of the best moves I could’ve made to have us both adjust to our new live-in life together.