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Going to bed may seem like a trivial thing to argue about, but Stassi Schroeder and her boyfriend, Beau Clark, already had their second documented bedtime-related fight this season on Vanderpump Rules. Beau frequently experiences FOMO (fear of missing out) and prefers to stay out late with friends, while Stassi feels JOMO (joy of missing out) and prefers to leave early.
The obvious solution would be for Stassi to head home and Beau to remain, but Stassi is adamant about not going to bed alone. Even when Beau returned with Stassi, she still wasn't satisfied, because he was visibly disappointed. It wasn't enough that he came back, but she also wanted him to want to be there, too. Talk about a lose-lose! This begs the question: Should you be able to stay out and hang with friends, even if your partner goes to bed?
Personal Space spoke to dating and relationship coach Crista Beck to analyze this complicated issue. She explained that although the dynamics of each couple are unique, for people in a healthy relationship (where there has been no infidelity), there is no compelling reason why both have to go home together. Here is a breakdown of how a couple can work through this type of disagreement, so they can avoid resentment on both sides.
Beck suggested a good first step is to talk about the issue: Discuss why the partner would like to go home together and address their fears about the other person staying out later. If that partner assures them it is purely to have fun with friends and not because they are interested in meeting someone new, that should be enough to trust them (if they have been faithful in the relationship).
Stassi and Beau discussed at length why she feels the way she does, but they still couldn't find a solution that left them both happy — especially because most of her trust and abandonment issues were from previous relationships. Once you find the root of the problem, focus on resolving it.
Resolving Past Issues
Beck explained that it is unfair to project anger you feel from past relationships onto the next person you date. It can become a deal-breaker if that person continues to “dominate with their own fears” and are unwilling to grow and heal. Therefore, it is really important to release the baggage — “We can’t assume that every person in the future will be like the old one. If we do that, we may chase a really good catch away.”
If you find yourself repeatedly "getting triggered" in a new relationship and can’t work through it on your own, Beck suggested seeking help from a professional coach or therapist to metabolize those issues. In Beau's case, he felt like he was being punished by Stassi for other people's mistakes, which is not how you want to feel in a healthy relationship.
Setting Realistic Expectations
Trust issues never disappear overnight, but knowing when it’s OK to loosen the reigns and not be so controlling is also important. Beck explained that when you are on a group vacation with friends, there is no reason a partner shouldn't be able to stay out later and have fun. “It’s expected that it isn't a romantic trip with just two people, they are out with their friends, and that kind of vacation lends itself to go with the flow.”
If it were just the couple, it would be concerning if one person returned to party after their partner went to sleep, but it’s a different story in a group setting. If you trust your partner, they should be able to have that freedom to enjoy themselves with friends. Being too controlling can create feelings of resentment and can push your partner away or become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Keeping Spontaneity Alive
Even if you aren't on a group vacation, Beck encourages couples to spend solo time with friends or stay out later than their partner if they are having fun. A partner may not appreciate going home alone every time, but it occasionally happening is not a big deal.
She explained that people in relationships should still be able to have fun independently too, and staying out late nurtures spontaneity. Going home early every night together can become mundane, so there’s nothing wrong with switching up the routine every so often. Allowing your partner to have that freedom and being supportive of them enjoying bonding-time with friends can also keep the spark from fizzling. Now there's a win-win.
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