I recently slept with a close friend.
By that I mean I literally fell asleep next to a good friend.
We were only inches apart…
But no intimate touching, kissing or sex of any kind took place!
Here’s the problem:
I wish it had taken place.
It was awkward (at least for me)…
I’ll get more into this further down, but this experience with my friend was really awkward.
I was holding my breath and hoping against hope that she would reach out and touch me.
She didn’t, apart from flailing an arm while she fell asleep that smacked me in the mouth.
I’d been hoping more for a kiss!
This is what I’ve concluded about this situation: it all depends on context, and the list below gets into it.
Which of these are true in your situation depends a lot on the relationship you have or don’t have with your fellow bedmate.
1) You’re just friends and that’s all you’ll ever be
What does it mean when you sleep in the same bed but nothing happens?
The most usual explanation is that it means one or both of you are not sexually attracted to each other.
You may not necessarily be friends, but to the extent you do have a future potential to connect, it can mean you don’t have physical chemistry.
One or both of you simply aren’t feeling it at that time.
So no matter how close you get, nothing really happens? This is a sign that your connection isn’t going to go beyond the intellectual or emotional stage.
Being friends is perfectly good, if that’s all you both want.
However, if you or your friend want more then remaining just friends is either going to be built on a false foundation or at least unsatisfying to one of you.
For the sake of honesty and sincerity, you’ll have to face whether or not you have feelings for your friend.
2) You’re too shy to make a move (or they are)
Secondly, if you sleep in the same bed as someone and nothing happens, it can mean that one or both of you is too shy to make a move.
If you find that you’re kind of holding your breath or desperately wishing they’d reach out and run a loving hand over you, they may be lying there wishing the exact same thing.
This is the classic scene out of the movie where two friends or colleagues realize they like each other but are both scared to make a move.
The subtle part of this is that if only one of you is holding back it can still block anything from happening.
For example, if you make a move and go in for a kiss but your bedmate shies away or puts up their hands to ward you off, you may interpret that as rejection.
By all standards it is indeed rejection.
However their reaction may simply be the result of surprise or their own shyness.
In this way, even when one of you has the nerves to make a move it can still backfire.
3) Talk to an expert
When I had this experience I felt pretty confused.
My attraction for my friend is significant, but I also felt like maybe I was overstepping some boundary in wishing more had happened between us.
That’s what motivated me to look for more answers than what I was getting.
So I reached out to a site called Relationship Hero where trained coaches and love professionals help you sort through this sort of stuff.
I was skeptical at first, who wouldn’t be?
Talking to a stranger online about my crush on my best friend and how sleeping with her didn’t go the way I hoped?
I was embarrassed, and I also wondered how this coach could manage to sort through it all and offer me something actually usable and useful.
But she did.
In fact, her advice was highly helpful and she ended up helping me understand a lot about my own emotions and what had happened with my friend.
If you’re looking for help in this kind of a situation I really recommend connecting up online and talking to a love coach, you’ll be surprised how helpful they actually are.
4) You’re not at that level yet
If there’s potential between the two of you and you sleep together but nothing happens, it means you’re not ready to make a move (or they aren’t).
It basically means you’re not at that level yet.
It could be that one or both of you need a bit more time or comfort to get closer to each other and establish that physical connection.
You may have a really close emotional connection or friend connection, but that won’t always translate over easily to sex.
In the same way, you may have a sexual connection with someone that takes a long time to translate into the more emotional and intellectual aspects.
This doesn’t mean nothing is ever going to happen between you, just not yet.
So, in this type of scenario what should you do?
Well, like I said, I was hoping more would happen and it didn’t…
That’s what brings me to point five…
5) Patience versus passivity
There’s a huge difference between patience and passivity.
Patience is when you sense that potential is there with someone but you know and accept that you’re just not at that level yet.
Passivity is when you’re feeling awkward about making a move but not comfortable just being friends…
However in order to avoid possible rejection you choose to not make a move or stick with the safe route and hide your desire.
I totally get that, because I have been that guy.
But I have a warning for you in that case:
If you keep hiding how you really feel, you’re ultimately only betraying yourself.
You have to be honest with yourself first if you want others to respect you.
It’s really the first rule of love and romance.
So if you slept together and nothing happened and that’s OK with you and you sense that it needs more time, awesome.
But if you slept together and you can tell that one or both of you are just scared to make a move or are not into it and you’re choosing to just hit the snooze button, watch out.
You’re going to end up heartbroken.
6) Solving the riddle of love
Love is difficult for all of us, and there is no easy answer.
It can feel like a riddle with no answer, drenched in tears and unrealized dreams.
Rejection, unsolved puzzles, broken hearts…
I know the feeling, because I’ve been there.
But there is an answer.
The answer is actually not where many of society’s biggest gurus and self-help coaches want to point you…
It’s not about being positive or trying harder or “raising your vibrations.”
The answer actually starts with radical honesty and about understanding what’s happening in your relationship with yourself and with others.
It’s something I learned about from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê.
He talks about how to find love and intimacy in this mind blowing free video, and also explains why so many of us end up self-sabotaging without realizing it…
…Or ending up in relationships that become a waking nightmare.
There is an answer, and this video finally offers an actual, practical solution to the frustration and endless disappointments of modern romance.
Trust me, I was surprised to, because I expected this to be just another self-help thing about being positive.
But it’s so much more.
One awkward night…
First, the downsides of nothing happening…
It can be a sign of idealization and a romanticized version of love that never materializes.
The ultimate version of this for me is Beatrice from Dante Aligheri’s epic poem Inferno.
She is the ideal and a salvific figure who leads his tour of the afterlife and represents his yearning for the divine.
But Beatrice is never Dante’s woman in his real life, she dies soon after he meets her and their love remains unconsummated.
This kind of love is honestly sort of tragic to me. It’s deep in a certain way of divine love or agape as the Greeks called it, but it’s also sad, unrealized.
If you respect somebody and like them too much to touch them, you can end up in a chaste spiral of unsatisfied desires.
Let’s get into some other downsides of why a guy or gal might not want to make a move even though they’re into you.
7) One of you isn’t into it
The first downside of nothing happening when you sleep together is that it may mean one of you isn’t into it.
Whether that’s you or the other person, if one of you wants something to happen and the other doesn’t then it’s clearly disappointing.
If it’s you who’s not into it, you’re going to feel awkward about turning away any advances of the other person.
If it’s the other person who’s not into more happening then you’re clearly going to feel kind of rejected and disappointed.
When nothing happens and you sleep together it can feel like the relationship has now been fully defined as platonic.
Next time it seems even more unlikely anything will happen.
8) You or they are unsure how you feel
Then there’s the possibility that this other person likes you but isn’t sure how you feel.
In other words, you’re ready to make a move but they don’t know that or are too shy to try.
In this situation the answer’s clear:
It’s on you!
If it’s you who are unsure how they feel then you can relax the pressure on yourself a little, for sure…
But either way there’s a fair bit of clarity here that it’s up to you to make a move here and decide how this interaction will go.
If you want to be more than bed buddies you’ll probably have to show it.
Otherwise both of you are going to end up in the twilight zone of sleeping companions with unrequited love issues.
9) You or they aren’t over a past breakup
Now let’s get to the nasty emotional sh*t.
Another of the possible reasons for what does it mean when you sleep in the same bed but nothing happens is that one of you is hung up on an ex.
Past relationships can leave a really deep mark, and if this is happening then it explains a lot.
Maybe you both want to jump each others’ bones and be locked in an intense embrace.
But you or this other individual are heartbroken, and even your own physical or emotional desire isn’t enough to break the barrier of the ennui and despair you feel in your core.
It’s sad when this happens.
Often the only cure is time.
If you sleep with someone and nothing happens, maybe one of you is heartbroken and just not ready.
Hopefully with time and communication you feel ready to open up.
10) One or both of you are stressed and upset
Then we have to consider the possibility that something definitely could have happened or would have happened except one or both of you was not in a good state.
In my situation I’m pretty sure my friend and I were just both very wiped out from our night partying.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in love it’s not to overanalyze and let things happen naturally.
In the past I would jump to conclusions that had nothing to do with reality and end up sabotaging myself.
Indeed, sometimes you sleep together and nothing happens because you’re both just tired and stressed.
Rinse and repeat: tomorrow night you may be sleeping together in post-coital bliss.
The upsides of nothing happening
There are some upsides to nothing happening.
First and foremost, sometimes nothing happening is the chance to build a deeper container for the relationship.
Moving too quickly to sex can be like stamping an approval on a half-done application.
Instead, you’re getting to know each other and feeling it out before you go all the way.
That can be a great thing, just listen to those who’ve experienced non-sexual closeness during dates and other situations.
“We didn’t do anything, but we didn’t really need to because we had been so emotionally intimate that night by talking for so long and by sleeping next to each other while our bodies were in contact in a romantic way,” writes Jessica Blake.
“It was like we were getting to know each other on a subconscious and deep level.
It felt amazing and he felt that too.”
The thing about not having sex right away is that it allows the real emotional intimacy to build.
When it’s not all about physical you can see what the two of you really have to offer each other in terms of conversation and heart-to-heart links.
Here are the biggest upsides of nothing happening:
1) One or both of you is waiting for it to mean something more
There’s nothing wrong with patience.
Like I said, it’s a lot different than passivity.
If one or both of you wants this to be more than sex and is waiting to build your connection more that can be a great thing.
To be specific, it can be the difference between a meaningless hookup and a long-term relationship.
Being patient isn’t bad at all, especially when it’s about respecting the boundaries and desires of somebody else.
Respect is the best start of any relationship.
So is communication.
Having a hookup when you sleep together could be something one or both of you regret.
This torturous waiting could be the best thing for both of you in the end.
Just hang in there a little bit longer.
2) You don’t want your connection to be just based on physical
Physical intimacy is important, but it should never be the sole basis of a relationship.
Because if it is then moving on from it is as simple as sleeping with someone new.
The ties that bind generally go deeper than physical into the emotional and intellectual sphere.
You may be able to replace a beautiful body easily, but replacing a beautiful soul is a lot more difficult!
Wanting to wait a bit and not have the connection just be based on physical desire is a potentially great sign.
The only real risk is that one of you is being dishonest about what you want or not comfortable with the pace things are moving at.
But if you’re both willing to wait then delaying the sexual and intimate aspects of your connection can actually be a good thing.
3) You’re respecting each other’s boundaries and taking your time
Taking your time in general is not a bad thing in a relationship or a budding sexual or romantic interaction.
Our fast-paced modern life has made patience a rare virtue, but I think that I’m still a romantic about it.
I mean that if you’re both really interested in each other and there’s something real there, then that’s eventually going to emerge.
Letting it be what it is for now can be a way to exercise self-control and have faith in the future.
If there’s something there in terms of desire and partnership, sometimes letting it percolate can be the best option.
I know that’s easy to say and much harder to do, but if you give it a try you’ll find this has many advantages.
A note about sexual confidence
If you’re like me, then you’ve struggled with sexual confidence.
Sexual confidence is basically how confident and good you feel about being a sexual being.
I was raised to feel embarrassed about sexuality and about intimate topics.
Many people in Western cultures are raised this way: to believe sex is bad, dirty or something that people do in secret…
One of the reasons why you might find yourself struggling to make a move with someone you like is that you are worried about rejection or feel ashamed of sexual desire.
If this is the case I want to say something really unambiguous:
Desiring another person is nothing to be ashamed of!
Your sexuality isn’t “bad” nor is it something to be guilty about and hide in the dark.
Sex is how life is created.
We’re all sexual beings, and even asexual people have a relation to sex (they don’t care about it or enjoy it).
Psychologists like Sigmund Freud even posited that most of what motivates us is the desire for sex contrasted with a subconscious desire for death or rest.
My point? Sex matters a lot!
If you sleep with someone and nothing happens, that might just mean there’s nothing between the two of you:
But it could also mean you have guilt or shame around sex, which isn’t fine.
If you desire something to happen, make that clear to this person.
If they reject you, so be it.
At least you made your intentions clear and respected your desires.
Sleeping with people is hard!
Here’s the next thing that I want to mention:
Sleeping with people is hard.
By this I am saying that literally sleeping is difficult when you’re with someone else.
Even married couples sometimes experience difficulty sleeping together, hence the stereotype of the husband and wife each having their separate lamps and turning away to sleep as they finish the chapter in their book.
Falling asleep in close proximity to someone else is difficult.
We have snoring to consider…
Restlessness and tossing and turning…
Getting up to go to the bathroom…
The emotional and mental states of each person as they try to fall asleep and go through various memories and thoughts.
Sleeping together isn’t easy!
My point about what does it mean when you sleep in the same bed but nothing happens is this:
Something has happened.
You slept in the same bed.
This is already a sign of significant comfort, and in the right context it can be a really promising sign of future sexual or romantic compatibility.
If you sleep together and actually manage to get some REM and dream, you’ve already crossed a hurdle that many couples have trouble with.
Nothing may have happened sexually, but temperamentally you just managed to get through the night without any major interruptions or issues.
That’s a great first step.
If nothing happened physically, don’t worry.
At least you managed to sleep in close proximity to another human being. It’s not that easy and even serious couples often have trouble with it.
Casual encounters that are followed by sleeping together are also fairly rare.
Your sleeping together may, in some ways, be even more meaningful than you having sex together. It just depends a lot.
This has a lot to do with context…
In other words, it has a lot to do with the situation in which this is happening.
Why were you sleeping together?
Who is this person?
Where were you sleeping?
Did you actually sleep or just lie there wanting to masturbate?
Did you kiss prior to sleeping or just go straight to sleep?
Did he or she reject you or you never made a move?
There’s so much to consider here…
The importance of context
What context were you sleeping together in?
With my friend and I, we were bunking up after a late night out. We were both somewhat drunk, sure, but we were also tired.
It’s the first time we’d slept together and I admit I’d built up quite a bit of expectations.
All those times I’d wanted to tell her how I feel but hadn’t…
The sideward glances and little touches that meant so much to me but which I honestly had no idea about what they meant for her…
I’d built up so many expectations that I’d become jittery and unsure about what I was doing.
The voice in my head was telling me to make a move but my body and instincts were telling me it could ruin the friendship we already had.
So I froze up.
I know I did, and I beat myself up for quite awhile afterwards.
I thankfully got to speak to people who understood what I was going through and how to approach it…
But I admit that the aftermath of being frustrated about sleeping with my friend was a confusing time.
Destined to be ‘just friends’?
Are you and your bedmate destined to always be “just friends” or to remain non-sexual acquaintances?
Or is there something more below the surface?
I know I feel it, but I don’t think she does, or at least I’m very unsure.
In my opinion if you sleep in the same bed and nothing happens there are two main things it means:
You’re just friends and that’s how it’s always going to be! Accept it, love it, embrace it!
You’re into each other and want to get intimate but one or both of you are too shy to make the first move! So make the first move!
Good luck, my friends.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.