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Advice

My boyfriend doesn’t like sharing a bed – or his life, either

  • Author: Wayne and Wanda
  • Updated: March 24
  • Published March 24

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Dear Wayne and Wanda,

I saw your post about a new boyfriend not wanting to share a bed with his girlfriend. You guys described two categories – A and B. I am definitely someone who loves to share a bed and be with the person a lot.

My boyfriend, however, is the opposite. We have been together for 14 months and I am still struggling with not sharing a bed. We share a bed on holiday and it is always fine. He has stayed at my place once in the past year and I have stayed at his a little more, but only around once a month and sometimes not at all. It is making me feel very bad about myself and sad. I think the more I bring it up the less he wants to compromise.

We have had quite a few struggles; he is a very private person and I have only met a few of his friends. He likes to keep things very separate and I am the opposite. So I feel like I am his girlfriend when I am with him, but the rest of the time he is doing his own thing and I don't feel involved. He is also friends with most of his exes/lovers, and I find that hard too.

I have suspected he has Asperger's and have mentioned it to him before. He said his mum has thought that in the past (I haven't met his parents), but I don't want to make excuses for every decision he makes. I love him but I feel very upset because it almost feels like it could be my best relationship, if only these two main problems regarding sleeping over and feeling more involved in his life were different.

I am not sure what to do. I would love to get some advice from you.

Wanda says:

I was once involved with a guy who refused to sleep over. He always had excuses: he needed to be up early, or he had things to do at home, or he wasn't feeling well, yadda yadda yadda. At day's end, I realized there was one main, prevailing reason driving his decision: he simply didn't want to spend the night.

Why, exactly, is up for speculation. Maybe he was a horrible snorer and was embarrassed about it; maybe he truly was overwhelmed by commitments and felt a sleepover was irresponsible; or maybe he was more into the hook-ups than the hang-outs, which was hard to admit to myself but emerged in time as a very real possibility.

Suffice to say, it didn't work out with us. The funny thing is, at other times in my life, I would have been happy with someone who just wanted to drop by sometimes and leave – but I simply wasn't there anymore. Rather, I was ready for a partner, in every sense of the world, and it sounds like you are too.

In a way, the refusal to sleep over is potentially symptomatic of a larger problem, and a real relationship-crusher at that: a refusal, plainly, to compromise. Anyone who brings a "my way or the highway" mentality to the table is not in the right frame of mind to be a balanced partner in a committed, grown-up, communicative relationship.

Wayne says:

True that, Wanda. Sharing, or not sharing, a bed together seems to be the tip of the iceberg of issues here.

And true that, letter-writer. Sometimes we can get so fixated on the potential of a relationship that we ignore the red flags, warning signs and mushroom clouds all around us.

Yes, this guy could be Mr. Wonderful and you guys could be a power couple. But, sorry, he isn't, you guys aren't, and he doesn't seem interested in working to get there with you.

The reality is, you aren't a priority in his life and he isn't going to make you one. You should be. You deserve to be. So cancel the fairy tale, stop daydreaming and take a look at reality — this guy isn't right for you and that's his loss. Let him do whatever it is he does when he isn't having you around and spend your time finding someone who loves to be with you in bed and everywhere else.

Want to respond to a recent column, point out a dating trend, or ask Wanda and Wayne for wisdom regarding your love life? Give them a shout at wanda@alaskadispatch.com.

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