It's late at night. You and your boyfriend or girlfriend just finished watching a movie, and you're both tired. So you both go upstairs to your room, change into your pajamas, get into bed together, and chat until one of you gets too tired and falls asleep.
I know a lot of couples who would never imagine doing this (and not just because their parents would force them get married in the morning). But those same couples wouldn't think twice about doing the same thing while talking on the phone in their own homes and in their own beds.
The more youth I talk with, the more I see how common this late-night activity is for dating couples. In fact, it seems to have become the norm, almost universally practiced and accepted. In fact, many people might even see it as cute or romantic.
So, what's the difference between doing this in person or over the phone? Why would people be uncomfortable with one but totally okay with the other?
Some would say that being in bed together is too much like having sex. Others might say that they wouldn't want their bf/gf to see them in whatever they wear (or don't wear) to bed. Still others might say that talking in bed together late at night seems too intimate to be appropriate for a dating couple.
But, are they really that different? I personally don’t think so. I would argue that there is little difference between being in bed and talking in person or talking over the phone. The intimacy of this activity does not come with simply being in bed together or wearing skimpy clothes. The intimacy comes from the actual act of conversation -- sharing thoughts, feelings, and dreams late at night, a time when you're usually more vulnerable, sensitive, and unguarded. That's why it feels so intimate...because it is.
One of the great joys of being married is getting into bed with my wife and talking with each other as we fall asleep. (Although, she often wants to talk much longer than my eyes are willing to stay open.) It's enjoyable because it is very intimate. And I believe that's the way God intended it. It's a deep, relational intimacy that’s meant for a husband and wife.
But when a boyfriend and girlfriend snuggle into their own beds with phones in hand, they’re not just talking about the day’s events. They actually trying to imitate the intimacy that really belongs in marriage.
This is another example of what I write about often – one of the "we" dating activities (evidence of a dating identity shift) that so many dating couples are trying to accomplish. It’s a way dating couples try to live out “fake” marriage when they’re only dating.
Unfortunately, talking on the phone as you fall asleep isn’t cute or romantic or even very healthy for a dating relationship. So, text a goodnight to that special someone long before you get ready for bed and as you fall asleep cuddle up with a good teddy bear instead. (Mine is a white one named Dude.)