When I was single I never understood why women in relationships couldn’t spend the night without their man. Many of these women refused to go away on girl weekends, 5-day Caribbean vacations, or spend a night at a sleepover like when we were single 20-somethings.
I remember how my cousin Yari nervously shook her leg while lying on a bed beside me. We were in a hotel room in NYC having a girls-night-in with my other cousin Dileyka and my sister, Adayna, who’d been visiting from Charlotte. Yari couldn’t sleep; for approximately 20 years she has slept beside her man every night. Feeling her toss and turn and fidget was torture, especially since I shared said hotel bed with her.
I remember thinking: women like this are so needy; they’re in a relationship and suddenly lose their badass independence. It’s like they’ve never slept without a man.
I judged. I assumed that this had to do with a dysfunction in their relationship and not something much simpler: love and costumbre.
You see, a few night ago I stayed at my mother’s apartment in NYC. And I missed Boo. I had just seen him earlier in the day, but living with him has changed things. I lay next to him every night, listening to him breathe…in and out…in and out. It has become my lullaby. We struggle with the blanket at night, and in the morning I jokingly accuse him of hogging the comforter as he accuses me. Sometimes in the middle of the night, when I have to go to the bathroom or when I am tossing and turning, I open my eyes, look at him, and smile. In the mornings, I feel him plant a kiss on my cheek and whisper “I love you.”
This is what I missed that night at my moms. Although I had a full-sized bed all to myself, and could stretch my legs and arms wide, and wrap the covers tightly around my limbs, I missed Boo.
After just one night away from home, I now understand why girlfriends that are in relationships rather spend the night cuddling with their man instead of partying it up in a hotel room in NYC. It doesn’t make them or me less independent or driven. It simply means that we’ve build a great life and traditions with someone that we love.