How to Avoid Being Awkward After Hooking Up

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It happens to the best of us. We all have that one friend, co-worker, classmate, etc. that we always had a little chemistry with, but you never imagined something happening between the two of you. And then, one night, (maybe with some alcohol involved) you hook up. Now what? Here’s how to deal with awkwardness from each kind of hookup.

1. The Good Friend

The scenario:

We all know how it goes. You hooked up with that friend who you kind of always thought was cute, and while it was fun, you’re not sure where you stand.

The awkwardness:

You don’t know how to act around one another due to the relationship being changed.

How to deal:

Try acting casual and address it! Friends tend to hook up with one another due to mutual attraction and spending time around one another a lot; it happens to the best of us. But don’t forget you were friends first! According to relationship expert Jasbina Ahluwalia, matchmaker and the founder of Intersections Match by Jasbina, you should try to remember that “you're an empowered woman—it's only awkward if you make it so!” Pull your friend aside and have a chat about what happened and if there are any feelings other than friendship between the two of you!

2. The In-Class Attraction

The scenario:

You ran into the cutie who sits next to you in your British Lit class at the bar Friday night and started flirting, which led to going home with him or her.

The awkwardness:

How can you possibly talk to them and casually sit next to him or her while learning about Shakespeare?

How to deal:

Ahluwalia says, “Inner game is crucial to defusing awkwardness: Often our feelings of awkwardness are due to feeling self-conscious, perhaps seeing him reminds us of rejection (i.e. his failing to call or pursue us after the hookup). So when you cross paths with your hookup, smile, wave, acknowledge them, give a quick hello—don't avoid eye contact or ignore them. Remember, you're an empowered woman—it's only awkward if you make it so.” Sounds like some solid advice to us!

3. The Time Two Interns Were Attracted to Each Other

The situation:

You stared at this person longingly every day, never thinking there’d be a mutual attraction. And then one night you hook up and don’t know how to face him or her!

The awkwardness:

You don't know how to keep things professional and work with him or her on a daily basis without having flashbacks of that night.

How to deal:

“If your hook-up is a friend or co-worker, talk about expectations afterwards—are you both on the same page regarding whether the hookup was a one-time thing, or the possible beginning of a relationship?” says Ahluwalia. “Talking it through together (without defensiveness or drama) sets expectations and minimizes awkwardness going forward when you both know what to expect. Clearing the air in this way will likely make it easier to resume your friendship or co-worker relationship.” Pull him aside one day in the break room and just ask what happens next!

4. The Dorm Floor Inbreeding

The scenario:

The gorgeous floormate you met while moving in on your first day of college has finally knocked on your door for some Netflix and chill.

The awkwardness:

How can you go to floor meetings or do laundry without an awkward run-in?

How to deal:

When these types of situations occur, usually it’s the girl who is embarrassed for what the other people in the building will think of her for having Joe Smith creep out of her room in the morning. But, embrace your sexuality! Dr. Ramani Durvsalua says for these particular situations that “we live in a culture that expects women to be sexual creatures, sexualizes them, and then shames them when they have sex. Don't allow that culture of shame [to] impact your behavior after a hookup happens.” Put that scarlet letter away! We can assure you, the next time you cross paths in the elevator it won’t be as bad as you think.

5. The Frat Bro Hook-up

The scenario:

You go to a big Greek school where frat parties are the places to be come Friday night. So what if one time you hooked up with a frat bro?

The awkwardness:

That one cute frat guy you were always eyeing finally talked to you. But now you aren’t sure how to go to the frat you go to all the time, and even have friends in, after hooking up with him! Will he remember you? Will he say hi? Should you? The questions can go on and on!

How to deal:

According to Dr. Durvasula, just accept what happened and move on! “Hold your head high, be warm and comfortable, and as it is quite possible that he may also feel a bit awkward, your comfortable stance can also help defuse the situation. Also—imagine 10 years down the road, by then it will be a quaint and faded memory; that kind of visualization can also defuse it and turn it into something less 'unseemly' and something that just happened.” The next time you stroll into that frat basement, hold your head high and just pretend no one saw you make out with an almost stranger for 30 minutes!

6. The Boss Awkwardness

The scenario:

You’re a camp counselor every summer and your shift leader, who happens to be a college senior, has started to eye you up. You hook up one night, but he’s kind of your boss.

The awkwardness:

How can you handle looking at the person who is supposed to tell you what to do after you’ve hooked up?

How to deal:

Actually, this time, you both were in the wrong. Awkwardness like this happens when you did something you weren’t quite supposed to! Dr. Carole Lieberman, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist and author, has just the advice to spare you the awkwardness with people you come across after hooking up. “Avoid hooking up with them in the first place. It’s awkward because you either feel ashamed because you know it was all just a lie, you really didn’t have feelings for him, or you feel disappointed that he never called. And you feel sad that you don’t have someone more meaningful in your life to have sex with.” But, never fear! Her advice on such a crime of passion is simple: “When you see him again, smile and be friendly, but not seductive.” He’s your boss, after all, so try to be as casual as possible without any confrontation.

We all deal with awkward stages after hook ups. It’s hard to avoid feeling weird around that guy or girl at work you always joked around with but never imagined anything would happen with. How to make things not awkward is up to you and how you handle the situation. And just remember, it takes two to tango, so odds are you aren’t the only one wanting the awkwardness to go away!

About The Author

Rachel DeFeis is a senior at the University of Delaware majoring in English. She hopes to get into publishing and/or editing after she graduates, but right now she spends her free time binge watching television shows on Netflix, being a loyal (yet frustrated) Giants fan, reading books, spending her paychecks on coffee and daydreaming of traveling the world. In five years she sees herself living in New York City where she'll meet her soulmate by either awkwardly running into him or fighting over who gets the last pair of black gloves at Bloomingdale's. Although, maybe that last part just shows she's too obsessed with the movie Serendipity. Coming from the Seaside Heights, NJ area she wants the world to know one thing: no, we don't all fist pump, fake tan or call it the "Jersey Shore". You can follow her on twitter @racheldefeis. 

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