It’s your partner’s response to an innocent question that you regret asking.
You didn’t expect the number. And now, you’ve lost hope in your relationship’s future.
Because you totally can’t agree to a 7 a.m. wake-up call every morning.
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Beware the silent relationship killer: incompatible sleep habits.
The thought crosses my mind as I prepare to judge Saturday’s Valley Interfaith Promise Bed Race on 14th Street and Broadway. Action starts at noon.
Unfortunately, once you enter the relationship world, it’s hard to see rolling beds without remembering at least one romance that even Red Bull couldn’t save.
Few couples have identical sleep habits. Once your initial bliss subsides, reality hits: “I hate talking about Tarantino movies until 2 a.m. I’m tired.”
Conflicting sleep schedules might be especially prevalent in towns like Columbus, where a military lifestyle often forces daters into the world of obscenely early wake-up calls.
No one is immune to an alarm clock’s romantic wrath. Even journalists.
When changes to my boyfriend’s work schedule recently made him change his daily wake-up time to 6 a.m., I never imagined it would wreck havoc on our relationship.
That is, until his new early bedtime left me -- a natural night owl -- watching infomercials alone during the late-night hours we’d usually spend together.
Of course, when matters of attraction are involved, you rarely view sleep solely as a health necessity.
If your partner won’t stay awake for another movie, it’s certainly a reflection of your desirability, right?
What’s more, conflicting sleep schedules have a way of highlighting all sorts of other incompatibilities.
It’s hard to accept changes in the time you spend together without wondering if there’s a better match for either one of you -- someone who embraces the alarm clock settings you despise.
This is when I’m supposed to advocate a miraculous compromise gift-wrapped with a conclusion like, “With a few sacrifices, you and your partner can savor dreamland together every day.”
But sleep isn’t too conducive to compromise.
Need proof? Nearly 1 in 4 American couples report sleeping in separate beds, according to National Sleep Foundation research cited in the Chicago Tribune.
And my relationship? Despite my usually stellar problem-solving skills, I’ve accepted the demise of our late-night conversations.
With luck, the hours we spend awake are enough to put the frustration of our sleep disputes to rest.