Though the traditional saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" dates back to the 17th century, a new approach to it is trending in luxury homes: separate master bedrooms.
It may sound a bit unattached, but in the housing market, it's appearing as a high-end amenity for well-off couples who have different sleeping patterns or habits. At the top 10% of the nationwide market, listings for homes with multiple master bedrooms are, on average, 9 percent pricier than those with just one master, reports the . Even more, nearly one out of three people seeking homes that are $2 million or more have expressed interest in dual master bedrooms, according to a 2016 survey.
"I've gotten past the point of people thinking we are really freaky and weird," Stephanie Stern, a homeowner in Studio City, told the Journal after she took over her 4,700-square-foot home's master bedroom. "It makes it so nice. I don't have the pressure when I'm reading at night of him saying, 'Turn the light off' — and when he wanders around in the middle of the night, he doesn't wake me."
Her husband joked in return: "I got sick of the black-and-blue marks from those elbows when I was snoring."
But is it really so strange or unheard of to sleep in separate rooms? According to a 2015 survey by the National Sleep Foundation, nearly . One estimated it was closer to 30 to 40 percent of couples.
In addition to appealing to those who have dough to spend on two master bedrooms, the concept attracts those who are perhaps past the honeymoon stage in their relationship, and who have a renewed interest in their own personal comfort when sleeping. Stern, who's 75, will celebrate her 24th anniversary to her husband this May.
"Separate bedrooms are a reflection of the fact that it's an older population with more disposable income, and that they value their sleep more—and are ready to invest more in it," Rafael Pelayo, a clinical professor of psychiatry and sleep specialist at Stanford Sleep Medicine Center, told the Journal.
The general consensus: It depends on the couple. Sleeping next to each other may be important to some couples, but cumbersome to others if one partner snores or tosses and turns.
"It's important to hold in mind that we all have different attachment styles, and the ideal sleeping arrangement may vary greatly from couple to couple," Amanda Zayde, a licensed clinical attachment-based psychologist in New York City told .
In other words, absence may make the heart grow fonder (and make the real estate prices grow steeper). Cuddling may also do the trick. It's up to you and your snookums to decide that.