Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

Since I started college almost two years ago, I’ve been in a relationship with someone. Let’s call him Arthur. Most of the time, Arthur and I have a lot of fun together. In fact, a lot of the time I’m with him, it seems like I’m dreaming. But even when we’re just doing homework or watching Netflix together, he always makes me feel incredibly happy, safe, and warm. I just feel so comfortable when I’m with him. And when I’m upset about something and just want to hide from the world, Arthur is there for me.

That’s not to say that Arthur and I don’t have our problems. Arthur is definitely a bad boy, and he has a lot of habits that really bother me. For example, one time he took one of my socks when I was sleeping, and I never found it. I’ve also spent a lot of money buying things for Arthur, but he never really seems to appreciate it. Worst of all, I just can’t say no to Arthur. I’ll tell him that I need to go to class, but if he whispers, “Stay with me,” I stay. Every single time.

Although my relationship with Arthur might seem unusually dramatic, many people have experience with a relationship like this. Anyone who has ever felt an inexplicably strong attraction to a pile of pillows and fuzzy blankets understands the relationship between Arthur and me. Anyone who has ever spent hours simply lying in bed, even when they know they should be doing other things, comprehends how magical a great bed can be. In fact, the only thing that separates most people from me is that they haven’t named their beds. Yet.

I don’t name all inanimate objects or even all of my furniture, but I’ve chosen to name my bed because I recognize that many people, including myself, have a strong connection with their beds that they don’t have with anything else they own. There are countless articles on the internet with titles like “31 Reasons Why Your Bed Is The Best Friend and Sweetest Lover You Will Ever Know,” and “17 Things You’ll Understand If You’re Slightly Obsessed with Your Bed.” But there are no similar articles about dressers or desks, because the bed is the only piece of bedroom furniture worthy of personification. No other piece of furniture is capable of exerting such a strong influence upon us. It is only the bed that can keep us frozen in one spot for hours, even when we know we should be somewhere else. With the possible exception of the mirror, it is the only object we own that can make us feel real emotions, from relief to safety to happiness to pure and utter contentment. It is the only inanimate object that we actively seek out when we want to weaken a negative emotion that we’re feeling.

As useful as beds are for this purpose, I wonder if it’s healthy to use our beds as a way to hide from the world and the things in it that bother us. Of course, sleep itself is vital, and I’m certainly not questioning how important it is to get enough sleep. But I am wondering if crawling into our beds when life becomes overwhelming is an effective way to deal with our emotions. Even when it seems like we have no control over our current situation, there are often many small steps we could take to lessen our load or our stress levels. Taking refuge under the covers prevents us from doing so. And so, while I know that I will never, ever be able to break up with Arthur the bad-boy boyfriend, I will do my best to make sure that all the time I spend with him isn’t stopping me from taking care of my responsibilities. I owe it to myself, and I owe it to him too. After all, he’s starting to get a deep depression right in the middle of the mattress, and even beds deserve a break.

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