You’re laying in bed with your significant other, and you just so happen to be spooning them. Have you ever wondered what this means? Actually, whether you’re a male or female changes the meaning of the spooning position. Neat huh? But what if you’re not a spooner? According to relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet, “During sleep, you cannot fake your body language. This is the time when you are honest, vulnerable and your sleeping position can reveal a lot about your relationship.”
1. The Spoon
Ah, the spoon: the most common position for all couples, especially for people married three-to-five years. According to psychiatrist Samuel Dunkell, “When a woman assumes the posterior position, it may indicate she is the more giving partner or that he needs special nurturing.” The Spoon provides the most amount of contact with your partner, ensuring physically closeness. It’s not necessarily erotic, instead, it’s “a comforting, safe cocoon,” says Shirley P. Glass, psychologist and martial therapist.
2. The Honeymoon Hug
The most intimate of sleeping positions. This less-common alternative to The Spoon tends to occur during periods where intense feelings are present, such as after lovemaking or the beginning of a relationship. Some couples maintain it throughout their relationship, but, according to Elizabeth Flynn Campbell, a New York psychotherapist, “[the couple] could be overly enmeshed, too dependent on each other to sleep apart.”
3. Like Shingles (on a Roof)
This position denotes strong egos and a sense of entitlement, according to Samuel Dunkell, a position that tends to be quite popular. Normally, one partner is laying on their back while the other rests their head on the person’s shoulder, making him or her a dependent, compliant partner. Shirley P. Glass notes “there’s a high level of trust here,” as this snuggling position has a “strengthening sense of comradeship and protection.”
4. The Sweetheart’s Cradle
A more amped up, intimate version of the above, The Sweetheart’s Cradle has one person holding the other instead of having a head simply anchored on a shoulder. What you end up with is a very caring, nurturing, intimate position, creating a sense of protection and safeness.
5. Loosely Tethered
Remember when you first started dating or were married and there was a lot of physical closeness, even at the expense of your preferred sleeping position? As time goes on, though, people take this position, which is basically The Spoon with more distance. It signifies trust, allowing for more space and comfort without sacrificing affection. Ultimately, this position represents balance.
6. The Leg Hug
This position can really represent two things. First, it could mean that a couple isn’t entirely comfortable showing physical affection, so it comes off as it “accidentally” happens, like a foot touched another one. Second, it can be the complete opposite. It could “suggest familiarity, comfort and a daring quality as well, almost like a secret code.”
7. The Pursuit
This is basically spooning, but one person chases the other. Imagine that someone retreats to the other side of the bed with their back turned to you. The Pursuit is when you approach that person and spoon them. This, too, can mean two things. The resulting spoon, according to Samuel Dunkell, can be labelled as “illegal Spooning” because the person retreats and wants their space. Alternatively, the person distancing themselves wants to be pursued, which becomes an invitation or a game of cat and mouse. Yes, knowing which one you should do can be difficult, but that’s part of being in a relationship, as you begin to learn your partner’s body language.
8. Zen Style
This position is most prominent in a couple that has been together for quite sometime. As time goes on, there tends to be a need to re-establish independence and personal space, especially since closeness is established and not as exploratory. The Zen is a compromise between connectedness and independence, creating physical contact without clinging.
9. The Cliffhanger
This position is a lot like The Pursuit, but this time there’s no chase, as the other person doesn’t wait for it. It’s basically like a “cliffhanger”: you’re left wondering what’s happening. You’ll begin to wonder whether there’s something going wrong, why the person is withdrawing: Anger? Sadness? Resentment? This is when you have to analyze your significant other and see if that person really needs their space. Over time, they’ll roll back. The alternative, according to redbook, is that your significant other is comfortable enough to know they’d rather get a comfortable night’s sleep than snuggle and listen to your snoring.
10. The Crab
This is another potentially ambiguous sleeping position, one with multiple meanings. If you’re currently going through a rough time in your relationship or have had some disagreements, this may be your or your partner’s way of signifying that there are problems, creating a need and a way of pulling away from each other without acknowledging it. It could also mean that you’re hurting. Just like how you change positions when you’re sitting, you create new positions when you’re in bed. Or, really, you or your partner could be creative sleepers.