• Sherri HIner

In Healthy Relationship Size Matters

Years of sitting in the mattress store has given me (Sherri Hiner) time to think about life and many other things. Funny enough in my life (as the Mattress Lady) everything revolves around mattresses. So subsequently, when reading an article about long lasting relationships and the art of touch, I knew somehow the mattress world had something to do with people touching or not touching. So I began my research in to the demise of relationships, mattress size history, and its correlation. To get the data, I went to the source, people. Each customer was asked the uncomfortable question about size and duration. It lead me to my final conclusion size makes a difference in the quality and duration.

Benefits of Positive Touching

The articles I have read talk about the benefits of positive touch. Starting from when we are babies, touch is vital to our development for our physical, emotional and eventually social health. Touch is one of the first senses developed. The need for positive touch with the connection, and reassurance it can bring, is literally in our genes. These studies have shown that touch can be decoded as a form of nonverbal communication. Touch can communicate tenderness, compassion, anger, love, gratitude, happiness and fear within mere seconds.

Just the physical act of a kind and warm touch lowers one’s blood pressure and releases the “love hormone,” oxytocin. Touching is also a key factor to a lasting relationship. According to married researchers and authors, Dr. Charles & Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz, “to touch someone you love is to acknowledge their presence and to communicate your desire for them”.

That’s why the most successfully married couples amongst us do it so often.” They even noted that touch outranks sex in characteristics of a successful marriage. The Schmitz’s believe it’s the “the accumulation of touching” or as Guerrero asserts, it’s the reciprocity of touch that increases intimacy and relationship satisfaction.

As we all should know there are varying different types of touch and some people prefer different types over others. Affectionate physical touch in relationships include

  1. Hand holding

  2. Hugs

  3. Foot massage

  4. Backrubs

  5. Nuzzling

  6. Stroking hair, side of face, ears

  7. Cuddling

Tips to use physical touch to increase relational intimacy:

Hug when your partner comes home.

When in a low-level spat, it is recommended facing each other and add some kind of physical contact (gentle physical contact). (Touch on the arm or hold hands) to help connect and potentially calm the situation.

WARNING: if this has become a full-blown argument, attempting to connect or touch during the heat of disagreement may not work out so well. Wait until emotions are at ease.

Bury your head in each others shoulders, cuddle or whatever you would like but take the time to touch.

Before we decided to supersize our french fries and our drink, the mattress industry took it upon themselves to upsize mattresses. Americans slept primarily on twin or double(full) beds into the 1940’s it was not until half way through the decade, manufacturers began to introduce larger mattresses (“queen” and “king”), but the bigger beds and the distance they created did not take off right away.

Our grandparents were faced with different reasons way it was important for more sleeping space, among them was the fact that Americans were getting larger themselves. An October 1963 article in Bedding magazine reported that in 1900, only 4% of adult men in the United States were 6 feet or taller. By 1959, the number was 20% and women were growing taller at similar rates.

After the war there was a boom of consumers that were eager to outfit those big houses in the sprawling suburbs with new furniture.

We becoming victims of advertising, believed the ads that were encouraging people to buy larger beds the mattress boom began. Next the mattress industry went even larger—pardon the pun—to encourage consumers to upgrade to new, larger-size bedding. The campaign was an enormous success: In 1953, king-size bedding represented less than 1% of overall bedding sales in the United States, according to an article in the October 1963 issue of Bedding. In 1961, it had risen to 5.5% and just a year later, it accounted for 10% of sales.

I need more, more information. Truly this is just a coincidence. As shown in the graphs and in reports that the divorce rate sky rocked as the mattress size increased. It started dropping again only because people slowed down on getting married, afraid it would not last. People smiled everytime I said it so, what else could it be? So I started asking people about their personal size and duration in the bedroom. People often look at me like it was none of my business, but how else would I find out the truth.

Karl was the first of hundreds:

I said “Karl, how long have you been married?”

His answer with a soft gentle smile “54 years.”

I followed with “what size mattress do you sleep on?”

Oh my gosh his eyes lit up and he had a huge grin on his face literally a sparkle in his eye “full size… (grin got bigger, eyebrow raised) and we never woke up mad”

Maybe it was just the answer I wanted, I don’t know, but I continued to ask.

“Iris how long have you been married” I said

“70 years” she giggled. (I had no Idea she was 90)

“What size are you looking for?” as I smiled and looked at her.

“Double, the twin just got to small” Iris said

“You mean you slept on a Double and you want a queen?” I resonded

“Honey I am 90, I know what I want, a Double”

“Well why don’t you try this one, and I will be right back”

I turned back around because there was no response only to involuntarily yell out “NO” and began to (nervously laugh and giggle and Scream) “what are you doing?” They were kissing each other climbing on each other at 90!!!.

I will never forget her words “honey, I don’t know what you do in your bed, but you told us to try this one out” She and her husband just started laughing. Needless to say it was definitely not for religious reason then had a lot of kids. They explained to me that when they were fighting, they would pull away for each other, but on a twin or a full there was know where to go so eventually they have to touch...and one thing would lead to another and that lead to 70 years of working on cars together and having a happy relationship.

I have literally hundreds of people that I asked, it was all the same thing. Some tried a King the “missed each other and went back to a queen”.

A lot of people that wanted a king usually had only been married 10 or less years or where just upsizing for the first time.

One customer ask me why I was asking these questions and I reluctantly told her, she responded “every marriage I have had a king, and the mattress was not the issue, we just drifted apart.” Hmmm. Could it be they were not forced to touch, and they woke up mad? Our once again am I blinded by the fact that I think everything revolves around mattresses.

Many of the people that were married over 45 years started on a full and stopped at a queen. It would amaze you how many actual still slept on a full.

One customer said after 25 years of marriage they switched to a king and after sleeping on it for 10 years they laughed because they meet in the middle every night.

I have pages of people's responses and it simple supports my theory as the mattresses got bigger, marriage and the security behind it began to demise, and it leads me to believe Size of the mattress effects how much we touch, and as we have read, the art of touch is key in a successful relationship. It is not my intentions to stop people from buying a king size mattress, it is my intentions to hopefully get more people to take the time to touch. So remember size does matter in the success of the relationship, and how long it will last. You should hope your partner has a small one, because it will lead to an easier journey to happiness.

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