As romance writers we are all aware of relationships and what makes and breaks them (at least in the fantasy world.) What about in real life? What would be a deal breaker for you when it came time to commit? We all know about being compatible and sharing similar backgrounds, having similar physical interests, value systems, ideas about finances, family, religions, and cultures. But what about the hidden things, like the little traits, or big traits, or annoying habits that might be cute or even overlooked early in a relationship or only come to light after a significant amount of time together?
I had dinner with a group of people recently. It was a mixed group of men and women, young, older, married, and single. One of the single ladies, in her late twenties, shared that she needs to get out of a relationship because she can’t sleep in the same room as her love interest. When we all asked why, she said, “He makes noises and I don’t like them. I like him, but after a few months together, I’ve started to resent him because I can’t get a full night of sleep.”
Well that of course made us older guys and gals laugh. Marriage and sharing a bed, with babies, children, cats or dogs, and sometimes all at the same time is just something you got used to. Maybe. Some of the noises we get used to are because we’ve shared many years together. And some noises only come about as we age. And then for some of us as we get older there’s hearing loss so we really don’t notice too much. We all suggested starting the night out together, and once ready for actual sleep, going to separate rooms. The young woman said that doesn’t help, and it has actually created a bigger rift in their relationship because he’s old fashioned and demands they share the same bed. Well, we older single ladies balked at the word “demands,” and some of us even said “to hell with old fashioned” but we let her continue with her story.
Pretty soon she was blushing and stuttering and her voice was drowned out by all of our questions as to what exactly were these offensive noises. Some of the guys came up with farting, tooth sucking, teeth grinding, talking in your sleep, nightmares, clicking of the jaw, and snorting. Not one guy mentioned snoring. : ) The women came up with snoring, restless legs, throat clearing, stealing the covers, and the famous farting. Everyone agreed that the latter could be forgiven… for the most part. Nobody thought any of these would be a deal breaker except maybe really, really loud snoring because where in the house can you go to get away from that? Besides that, there are treatments available today, and sometimes they even work.
So we waited as the young woman’s blush receded. She finally said, “It’s like all of the above. And he’s a mouth breather too, and he drools.”
We all looked at each other and said, “Run, honey. Run.” Then the nurse in me said, “Awww, what about his adenoids? Be honest. Tell him again about the problem, oh, and suggest an Ear Nose and Throat specialist before you give up.” So what about you? Are you picky about the sleeping habits of your loved one? Or, does he have a problem with YOUR night time noises? Would it ever be a deal breaker for either of you?