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The Morning After: How to Leave a Hookup Gracefully

You did it. You went home with someone. Whether it was the fruition of a semester spent spitting mad game or a total closing-time accident, you opened your eyes to sheets that weren’t yours, a room you didn’t recognize, and a face that definitely wasn’t your stuffed panda’s.

So what now?

Leaving a hookup’s house has the potential to be extremely awkward. But we often forget that it also has the potential to show your new bedfellow what a cool cucumber you are. Here are some tips, some learned the hard way, to help you breeze through the morning after exit with ease.


The night before:

1. Set an alarm

I sleep like the dead and could easily sleep until noon, leaving my suitor to panic and check for a pulse. If you know you want to jet at the first sign of dawn, prepare yourself for it. That way, you can mumble something about having to go to work if you feel the need to abandon ship, or hit snooze if things went well and you’re interested in some A.M. cuddle time.

2. Gather your clothes

There is nothing more embarrassing than leaving articles of clothing (see: heinous granny panties) at a hookup’s house because they were flung across the room in a fit of passion. Don’t set yourself up to grope around in the darkness for a lost bra. Put your clothes in one place so you never have to have the “that’s fine, I’ll just go commando, let me know if you find them” conversation with someone. Spoiler alert: it’s the worst.


The morning after:

1. Hit the showers

I have never said “I woke up like this” and been pleased with what I saw. I look like a sad troll after a night of partying, and chances are that you might too. Find the lavatory and freshen up. Wipe excess makeup from under your eyes, tame your hair, and swish a glob of toothpaste around in your mouth to fight the morning breath. Not exactly the belle of the ball, but better than the walking dead.

2. No shady-bouncing

If they’re not already awake and you’re going to leave, have the courtesy to say a farewell to your hookup. No one likes to wake up to an empty bed feeling cheap and used. It doesn’t have to be a drawn-out affair, but acknowledge your partner. A short *poke poke* “Bye” will suffice.

3. Everyone likes feedback

If you enjoyed yourself, let them know. It doesn’t have to be an Olympic-style point system, but a small comment means a lot. Say something like, “I had a lot of fun last night” *coy smile*. But don’t lie. If you are one and done, don’t say something you don’t mean just to fill the silence. It will only be more awkward later when it’s clear your intentions are not true.  

4. Respect their schedule

If they have somewhere to be, don’t overstay your welcome and make yourself at home. It’s more than a little creepy to come home and find your hookup still lingering in your bed. Ahem.

5. Know your door time intentions

Your hookup walking you to the door has the potential to be disastrous if not properly thought out. If you’re feeling the chemistry and the moment feels right, linger close for a kiss. If you want nothing more than to GTFO, walk with a purpose and create some distance. Take control of the situation and let your body language tell them what you want. An unsure stance invites awkward half hugs and “maybe should I kiss you?” stares. When in doubt, take a firm step outside, turn, and smilingly say goodbye. And for the love of God, do not go for a fist bump. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s not. It’s really, really not.


After the fact:

1. Don’t ignore them

College students aren’t dumb. It’s obvious that you don’t have a hundred important text messages that you must suddenly, feverishly read as you walk down the street past your hookup. Take a breath, relax, make eye contact, and smile. You don’t even have to say hi. Just acknowledge that they exist. It’s the least you can do after seeing them naked. They’re probably just as awkward as you are so just fake it ‘til you make it, sister.  

2. If you’re interested, show it

“Hard to get” is not a thing. It’s a social construct that stops women from being sexually empowered. If you liked what you had and are interested in seconds, let them know. A recent study found that boys are actually very dumb and don’t pick up well on female signals. A verbal confirmation may be all that he needed to go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? If he says he’s not interested then move on, thank you very much; he’s not worth your time and you’ve got bigger fish to fry. Step aside, peasant.


Image Credit: 1, 2

Lover of burritos and inappropriate laughter in class. Captain, Panther Women's Rugby Football Club. Studying American Sign Language and Linguistics, Class of 2015. Once finished an entire Chapstick. H2Pizza
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