Most of us have deal breakers when it comes to dating. One of my top five is snoring. I will not date anyone who snores. Because I am not ashamed this position, I often encounter people who think I am being petty and picky. My attitude towards them is usually “Whatever”.
I’ve never understood people that regularly get less than 8 hours a night. That’s because I love and need a good night’s sleep. I try to average 7-8 hours a night, not just because it keeps me focused mentally, but also, because I work on television everyday and looking tired on air is never a good idea.
About 10 years ago, my long running streak of a perfect night’s sleep streak was annihilated by a man I was dating. He was a snorer. A serious snorer. In fact, I am convinced the noise that came from that man’s face would equate to what it would be like to place your head inside of a giant timpany (the base drum you hear in 2001 Space Odessey song) as the percussionist pounds away endlessly with all of his or her might, “BOOM BOOM, BOOM BOOM, BOOM BOOM, BOOM BOOM!!!!!”. As luck would have it, we moved from “Hello” to “Let’s be exclusive” pretty quickly before I realized how serious the snoring was. And once I knew, we were already spending practically every night together… at my place, because he loved to stay at my place. And despite his deafeningly loud and long lasting snoring, at first, I was happy to have him there in my bed. After all, he was smart, handsome and successful, and tall. What more could a girl want? At first, I just tried to sleep through his snoring, but because I am such a light sleeper that just did not work. Next, I tried every type of ear plug available. But the snoring was so loud, the ear plugs were just pointless. Eventually, once he fell asleep, I would just go and sleep on the couch… in my own apartment… night after night. It was kind of humiliating. Even though he knew his snoring was keeping me up, he still spent the night at my place because he was more comfortable there. I was so irritated with him, but I never discussed it with him or insisted that he spend his nights in his own bed. For the entire year we dated, I rarely got a good night’s sleep. Eventually, I realized we were not all that compatible and honestly, he was a jerk. But because I felt he was a ‘good catch’ I hung in there, trying to make it work. That effort combined with my lack of good sleep began to numb my feelings for him. When we finally did break up, I was just glad to get him out of my life and out of my bedroom.
To this day, I often kick myself for not loving myself enough to fight for the sleep that I needed and wanted, and for not loving myself enough to walk away once I realized how toxic this relationship was. I honestly don’t know if my ‘rule’ not to date men that snore is about the actual snoring or more about the fact that I refuse to ever again compromise my happiness and what is important to me just so I can have a man in my bed at night.
I understood more about why I behaved the way that I did in that relationship after reading a recent article on Oprah.com about something called the Disappearing Woman’s Syndrome. The article describes this Syndrome as when, while in a relationship, women “lose track of what you stand for, what you believe, what is important to you and what makes you happy”. For me, it was my sleep. For other women, it is their efforts to eat right and workout, their relationships with friends and family, their pets, their own children, their work or their dreams.
In the same Oprah.com article, psychoanalyst and author of Loving Him and Losing Yourself, Beverly Engle explained why we women sacrifice so much of ourselves. “Women, as it turns out, are also biologically hardwired to value connection over confrontation in relationships. This means rather than standing up for herself, a woman will try to smooth things over or bite her tongue to keep the peace.” Engel elaborates, “she’ll pretend to agree when she doesn’t really agree, she’ll go along with things she doesn’t really believe in, and if she does that long enough, she’ll no longer know what she feels.”
I believe, what can also happen when a woman right before a woman reaches the state of “no longer knowing what she feels”, is that a woman will snap out of it. She will become so unhappy with sacrificing so much of herself that she will act out directly or indirectly. It’s probably why so many men claim that their women “changed” once the two got married.
A man I know recently asked me if I had to choose between my two adorable dogs and having a good man, which would I chose. My response was I would chose my dogs. Because, I added, a good man, would not require me to give up something that I love. I want to fall in love with a man that loves me for my authentic dog-loving, sleep additcted self. Until then, I’m going to continue to be fabulously single.