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How you spoon says a lot about your relationship

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

Couples who spoon together, stay together

Sleeping side-by-side, tucked together like two spoons, may seem like the most romantic way to sleep and experts say that your level of spooniness says a lot about your relationship.

Every night, my husband and I do a little dance before bedtime. He likes to spoon, but I feel like it gives me a crick in my neck and a sweaty back. So, we've come up with a compromise where we nestle together for a little while and then roll apart for the actual sleeping portion of the night. It's a weird ritual of scooching, adjusting, tucking and sometimes giggling, but it works for us.

My husband and I are not the only ones who've had to figure out how to make spooning work. Remember the infamous hug-n-roll technique Ross popularized on Friends? "Hug for her, roll for you! Win-win!"

Couples who spoon together, stay together
Image: Giphy

With 18 percent of couples reporting this sleeping method in a survey, spooning is one of the most popular sleep positions, especially for women (I'm weird, I guess!).

But all of this nighttime gymnastics may be good for your relationship according to relationship psychologist Corinne Sweet who spoke to the The Daily Mail. According to her latest research, the couples who spoon together, stay together. She explained that when "one partner takes a protective stance over the other" it leads to a feeling of safety, security and closeness and indicates a secure attachment to each other.

"People who enjoy spooning are really comfortable with the intimacy they share," said Jane Greer, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist. "They literally want to hold onto it throughout the night, feeling safe and secure by touching each other and staying connected."

It's that closeness, both physically and emotionally, that gives side-spooning it's real benefit: an increase in intimacy. "It's a very vulnerable position that's sexual, but says, 'I trust you,'" explained Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Success Signals: a Guide to Reading Body Language. Couples who spoon are less likely to be harboring resentment or anger towards their partner and therefore are more likely to feel up for a little moonlight mambo, the study found.

More: What other sleeping positions say about your relationship

There is more than one way to spoon, however, and each says different things about your relationship. There's the tight "snug spoon" that signifies a close, newer relationship — one that doesn't mind neck cricks and sweat pools, perhaps? But don't get all smug about your snug just yet. The more relaxed "loose spoon" is said to show a deeper, more mature relationship. (You know, similar to what happens to your real spoons when they've been used to scoop out hard ice cream too many times — they're happy, they're still a matched set, they're in the drawer together every evening; but they've seen a lot of life and so each have their own quirky bends and kinks. Ahem.)

That was where Sweet stopped dissecting but I think she forgot one: The super spoon, where the big spoon throws his leg over the top of the little spoon, thereby flattening her into more of a spatula. Not sure what that says about the relationship (or about the state of their kitchen) but I do know one thing: When my husband asks to spoon tonight, I'll happily snuggle up, secure in the knowledge that our relationship is solid — and also that I need more cooking utensils.

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