I'm not sure if my parents knew, but I often overheard them arguing at night.
Regardless of how heated the quarrel got, they always emerged from the same bedroom when the sun came up.
While I knew fighting among couples was normal, it wasn't until a decade later – when a friend confessed she'd relegated her boyfriend to the couch for forgetting her birthday – it occurred to me sleeping separately from a partner was, too.
We're told, after all, never to let our heads hit the pillow on an unresolved row; that occupying different beds is the surest sign a couple's relationship is on the rocks.
Our sleeping quarters hold huge cultural and social significance.
In the construct of monogamy, the bed symbolises fidelity and togetherness. The Bible instructs us to "let the marriage bed be undefiled", and in modern vernacular, we tell each other to put disputes "to bed" and be especially wary of who we "get into bed with" in business.
Though drifting off together began as an economic necessity rather than a romantic inclination (it wasn't unusual for entire families to share a mattress to conserve finances until the 1800s), today, most of us get into bed with a partner because we want to.
There's also an indisputable social pressure attached to sleeping beside a significant other. The stigma tied to admitting you inhabit separate beds, or more rebelliously – discrete bedrooms, is so great, most of us regard it as something to be handled with shame and secrecy.
An engaged friend recently admitted, with a hint of embarrassment, she and her fiance have their own bedrooms.
"The thing is, our sex life is amazing, and I sleep like a baby. Plus, we have enough space from one another to avoid unnecessary arguments. But I rarely tell anyone because of the judgment I get," she sighed.
However, despite our preconceived notions around the sanctity of bed-sharing, research suggests this unconventional arrangement holds water.
For starters, science is pretty clear on the fact we overwhelmingly sleep worse with someone else in the bed.
A study published in PubMed found people suffered more sleep disturbances when their partners were next to them than when they caught their Zs alone.
Though ironically, when asked to rate how well they slept, the same study participants reported having a better night's shut-eye with their bae.
This may be because, the annoyance of navigating duvet-hogging and snoring partners aside, we're ultimately creatures of attachment.
Physical intimacy and closeness not only feel good to us – we crave someone to curl up beside and unpack our day with as much as we do sleep itself.
But here's the real kicker: that which we desire most in a relationship (read: security and comfort) rarely coexists with that which keeps us attracted to a partner (read: passion and sexual intimacy).
It's a frustrating contradiction some sex therapists refer to as the "intimacy-desire paradox". In short, this hypothesis proposes the more comfortable we are with someone, the more our sexual desire for them is likely to decline.
Which makes sense, given desire is essentially the result of wanting something we don't already possess.
Add to this, research that shows sleeping beside someone not only impacts the quality of our slumber, but reduced sleep is a leading cause of lowered libido, and you have a recipe for a lacklustre sex life.
Admittedly, having separate bedrooms isn't going to be for everyone, but it may be worth considering a middle ground, especially if your sex life is experiencing a plateau.
One partner taking to the couch after an argument may not be the worst thing to happen to your relationship, nor would the odd vacation in the spare room.
You'll probably get a more restful night's sleep and be in a better mood toward your significant other the next day, and you're also likely to experience a renewed sense of desire as a result of recreating space between the two of you.
While it's an awfully romantic notion, never sleeping apart isn't a guarantee for relationship success, or a sign your love is superior to couples with less conventional arrangements.
It certainly didn't pan out for my parents, who, after many restless, resentful nights sharing the same bed, are now (very happily) divorced.
In truth, the secret to maintaining your passion isn't adhering to a social protocol around how you should go to bed each night.
It's ending the day in a way that's innately true to you and your partner – whether that looks like completely separate bedrooms, or curling up together with the knowledge you certainly won't get your best night's sleep, but it will be your most content.