Even though you said you were weren’t weirded out by their secret stuffed animal collection, the fact that you’re sleeping with your back toward your new partner might indicate otherwise…
Yep, your body language says way more than you think—even when you’re sleeping. The way couples position themselves in bed can “speak to how they look to one another for support, how they lean on each other literally and emotionally and how comfortable they are with closeness and intimacy,” says relationship expert Dr Jane Greer, author of What About Me?
Of course, for some people, being a human pillow for someone isn’t always worth waking up soaked in sweat, so cuddling might be a no-go. And if you’re someone who prioritises comfort, that doesn’t mean you won’t still dream of your partner in a slow-motion montage.
But for those who are into touchy-feely sleepy time, here’s what your cuddling position might say about you:
If you and your partner sleep in this cuddling position it means you see eye-to-eye. Greer says couples who spoon are “merging their bodies together as one, so you may see them dressing alike or enjoying the same things, there’s a certain similarity” to them.
Head on chest
This protective sleeping arrangement “can speak to one person feeling very safe and secure in their partner’s arms,” Greer says. “They feel their partner can help support them, both physically and emotionally.” When it comes to personal issues and difficulties, this person can lean on their partner.
READ MORE: What’s a prostate orgasm – and how do I make it happen for a guy?
This position is reflective of a mutual respect for each other. Each of you is comfortable apart and cognisant of the other’s space, but you’re still there for one another. “You want to touch, but not to the point where you feel too enveloped,” or like you’re sacrificing your own comfort for theirs.
Though you and your partner have your own spaces, you crave a connection, Greer says.
While this cuddling position might seem reserved for the honeymoon stage, Greer says hugging while you sleep means you’re “really into each other,” and that doesn’t necessarily have to fade away. Couples who do this “don’t want to miss anything.” They might share their food, personal business and intimate details about themselves with each other.
READ MORE: 6 signs that your partner is way less likely to cheat on you
Arm draped across the other’s back
This position says “I’ve got your back,” Greer says. The person who’s doing the cradling is communicating an understanding that their partner might feel neglected or needs support.
If you realise your partner has suddenly taken to the other side of the bed, that might mean they are “much less comfortable with physical affection and touching” at the moment and could signal a problem.
But if this is a usual occurrence it just means that you’re confident in the relationship and don’t require “shared space,” says Greer.
Sleeping this way says you and your partner want to stay connected, according to Greer. It’s about “feeling secure that you’re holding on to one another.”
READ MORE: This vibrator feels like oral sex – but honestly, better
Different distances from headboard
Do you sleep with your head near the headboard, while your partner sleeps curled up halfway down the bed? “This is a reflection of their individual preferences,” Greer says. And the fact that these preferences aren’t aligned should not necessarily communicate to you that your partner doesn’t want to be close. However, if you’ve been feeling like you and your partner are in different places, this might be a clue.
This article was originally published in Women's Health SA.