A lot of non monogamous couples have rules and boundaries in place. Most of the time they have them to try to protect the couple from external factors that they think would put their relationship at risk. Recently, for the first time ever, I met a man who had a no sleepover rule. It led me to think about what sleepovers have meant for me and my husband as we have explored non monogamy and why some couples are not cool with them.
For starters, my husband and I have never had a no sleepover rule. In our case, the logistics of a sleepover became necessary very early on when my husband met a woman in a city more than 200 miles away. His first date with her was a sleepover simply because it would have been impossible for him to drive home (and I guess we were too cheap to pay for a hotel room if I’m being perfectly honest).
After that precedent-setting date, sleepovers were on the table for us. That said, we did agree to have some boundaries around sleepovers — they could happen not too often and not after every date, but about once a month we agreed we could pack an overnight bag.
At the time, we didn’t really worry too much about the significance of a sleepover. We simply saw them as either a logistical alternative to a long drive or an opportunity to extend the duration of a date with someone we liked spending time with.
Since then, I have had sleepovers with a few different partners. To my surprise I have come to discover that sleepovers are not quite as simple as I first thought. In fact, I now think about the significance of a sleepover much more than I did in the earlier phases of our non monogamous exploration.
Why? Well, because a lot of stuff has happened because of sleepovers.
With one of my first non monogamous partners, I fell in love the night we spent our first night together. It’s hard to describe why, but that night his body felt warm and safe next to me. He held me and I felt wrapped in love. Overnight my body responded to his and essentially overnight I discovered what it means to be polyamorous. Falling in love had not been part of the plan when we opened up our relationship, so there was a big period of adjustment when I told my husband that my feelings for this partner had deepened significantly.