Bedtime expectation flip

Recently I noted that my girlfriend kept asking me to go to sleep as soon as she goes to sleep. For guys this can be quite frustrating because some like to work till late night. The same applies to me. So when she asks me to go to bed, we would argue for a bit, but eventually I would back down, because when the focus is lost it’s a mess to get back in that flow.

This was a problem, so I got back to the drawing board and came up with the “expectation flip”. The idea is so simple. She expects that I will come to bed the same time when she does for many reasons. Let's say she thinks it’s best to go to sleep at the same time and also, she wants me to comfort her. Both are reasonable expectations by general standards, but my standards are a bit different and thus it’s important to provide my expectations.

So I said in the early afternoon that I acknowledge that she wants to go to sleep together at the same time, but I want to do my work tonight and it will go beyond the usual bedtime. I wont go to sleep when she does. I provided her expectations of what will happen in the future. She felt that I was reasonable and adjusted her expectations. The evening was a delight and she loved when I came to bed and cuddled her.

The surprise was that not only the expectations got met, but the emotions that accommodated the events were positive, because when expectations are met people feel good.

The bedtime expectation flip will only work if you provide it in advance at the right time. Not two days before, because the expectations will die off. Not 1 hour before, because expectations are already created.

All the best,
Ariel A. Tabaks

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