Hello, world. My name's Stephen LaConte, I'm a writer here at BuzzFeed, and sometimes I give our readers advice.
So I've invited you to message me on Instagram and Twitter (@StephenLC in both places) with your biggest problems — and I'm solving 'em right here on BuzzFeed, one DM at a time. Let's get right to it.
Today we have this woman who isn't sure what to make of the fact that her boyfriend was so insistent on sharing his bed with a visiting male friend. Our letter writer wanted to crash at her boyfriend's place for the night and was told that she'd need to sleep on the couch. Here's what she wrote to me:
You've asked two different questions in your DM here: 1) Is your boyfriend's request to share a bed with his friend "normal"? and 2) Is it something you should worry about? Let's start with the first question!
Is your boyfriend's behavior "normal"? Well, probably not, if we're using Google's dictionary definition of the word, which is "conforming to a standard." I think it's safe to say that your boyfriend's bed-sharing routine is not the standard for straight male friendships, at least in America. A variation from our society's norms, for sure!
But "normal" shouldn't be the goal here, because "normal" doesn't tell us anything about whether the behavior is good or bad. For example, if we're judging things solely by how standard they are, the "normal" thing for a straight guy to do in this situation would be to outright refuse to share a bed with another man, maybe even dropping some casual anti-gay language in the process. Toxic, fragile masculinity is "normal" in our culture — but I think you should be glad that your boyfriend doesn't abide by those rules.
Platonic, nonsexual friends should be able to share beds together without raising an eyebrow, and sometimes it just makes good, practical sense to do so — like when a person is traveling and doesn't have a bed of their own to sleep in, as is the case here. Perhaps you've shared a bed with a female friend on a trip before. It's common among women.
And I don't think this is some indication that your boyfriend is secretly having an illicit affair here, if that's what you're worried about. Call me naive, but I think if your boyfriend were having sex with this guy, he'd be a little more discreet (and a little less bullish) about sharing a bed with him.
And that brings us to your second question: Is this something you should worry about? Well, I certainly don't think you need to worry about the actual act of your boyfriend sharing a bed with another man, for all the reasons I outlined above. BUT...
...I do have some questions about how this whole situation was brought up with you, and whether you were treated with respect in the process. You mentioned that your boyfriend said he'd be "very upset with you" if you came between his plans, and that he "already thinks [you're] dramatic." I don't have enough context to know exactly how those statements were made or whether they're a sign that your boyfriend is being unkind to you. But I am left wondering about them.
So let's put aside the questions about bed sharing and ask some different questions instead: Is your boyfriend good to you? Does he respect you? Do you trust him? Do you typically feel comfortable sharing your feelings with him without being labeled "dramatic"? Are you happy in the relationship?
If you can answer "yes" to all of those questions, great! Let him share the bed with his friend (and maybe just crash at your own place that night instead of resigning yourself to his couch). But if you answered "no" to any of the above, well, that might be a problem more worthy of your focus than the sleepover.
TL;DR: I'm not really worried that your boyfriend is secretly hooking up with his bedtime bro, but I am worried that he might be a jerk.
That's all the advice I'm giving today, folks, but if you've got any words of wisdom for our DMer, share them in the comments! I'll be reading...
Want more advice and updates on previous DMers? Follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@StephenLC in both places). And if you want to submit a question to be featured in the column, DM me — just be sure to read the rules below first.