Complete Woman
Jan – Apr 2004

The Morning After
By Tracey Porpora

Whether the guy sleeping next to you is the remnant of a torrid one-night stand or the one you hope to marry, the morning after a sleepover with a man can be filled with an array of awkward moments. For the reason, you’ll need to know how to best handle those inevitable situations that arise in the aftermath of you shacking up at his place or him crashing at yours.


Should you stay for breakfast or even ask about it? With the exception of the embarrassing stomach growl where he might be forced to ask if you’re hungry, no mention of breakfast on his part means mums the word on inviting yourself to a morning meal at his place. . “Don’t bring up the topic of breakfast,” recommends Steven Sacks, a relationship coach, speaker and author of The Mate Map: The Right Tool for Choosing the Right Mate (Banner, $24.95). “It’s rude to invite yourself for a meal, but if he makes a sincere offer, then consider saying yes.”

Taking Off
Should you leave—or maybe leave a note—at the break of dawn before heading to work? While this scenario occurs all the time in the movies, tiptoeing out before he wakes up isn’t the best idea if you want to hook up again in the future. “Only sneak out and leave a note if you don’t want to see him again,” suggests Dr. Ava Cadell, a clinical sexologist and author of 12 Steps to Everlasting Love (Peters Publishing, $17.95). “If you want to see him again, but have to leave, wake him up—even better, wake him up with a kiss.”

Morning Makeout
Should you hang out to see if he wants to do a command performance? How can you tell how he feels. “If you both wake up in each other’s arms, kissing and turned-on, the command performance will happen naturally,” suggests Cadell. If that’s not the case, read his body language. Any morn of cuddling or affection is often a sign he enjoyed the previous night’s festivities, and he may be trying to give you subtle hints he wants to continue where you left off.

Making Yourself At Home
Should you shower and get ready or is that too much? Unless you have to go straight to work, wait until you get home to shower. “It’s a very personal thing to use someone’s shampoo and towel,” suggests Lisa Daily, author of Stop Getting Dumped (Penguin Putnam, $11). “It may be way too soon to be borrowing his razor or toothbrush. He may see this as a relationship progressing too fast between the two of you.”

How He Feels
Is there a way to tell if it was good for him? While he may not be bursting with emotion the morning after, if he simply appears comfortable with you lying beside him, it’s often a good sign. “The best signal for whether or not things have gone well is if he continues to treat you the same way after you sleep together as before you slept together,” explains Daily. “If there is some sort of personality change that’s a bad sign.”



Not Feeling It
The experience was awful…how do you get him to leave? Here’s where “a little white lie” will serve you best and spare his feelings. Tell him you’re sorry, but you just remembered you have an early business meeting or brunch date with a friend in a half hour. “If you never want to see him again, tell him your feminist studies group is on its way over in 15 minutes, and this week’s topic is ‘Men as players, how to catch them in the act and reform them in the eyes of the Lord,’” advises Brenda Ross, a relationship advisor for

Lovin’ It
It was great! Should you make breakfast or invite him out for breakfast? If he appears to be in a rush, don’t put him on the spot. But if he seems relaxed, you may want to ask, “What are you plans today?” “This is an inviting way to open the door to asking him to breakfast without being too aggressive,” offers Liz Kelly, a dating coach and author of SMART Man Hunting—How To Get Out There, Get Dates and Get Mr. Right (iUniverse, $14.95)

Hot Hostess
Should you let him shower and get ready at your place? If he asks, don’t say no, but you shouldn’t offer up your best towels for him on a morning-after encounter until you’re dating regularly. “Showering at someone’s house is a ‘couples thing.’ You don’t want to give the impression that you’re trying to push the relationship forward now that you’ve had sex,” cautions Daily.

Getting Some
Should you do a command performance? When he stays at your place he’s the one who eventually has to leave. So if he doesn’t appear to be in a rush, he likely wouldn’t mind a replay of the previous night. “if you want a command performance the best strategy is to stay in bed,” Sacks suggests. “Put few subtle moves, like cuddling or touching his arm and see what reaction you get.”

Seeing Him Again
How do you know if you’ll hook up again soon? If he says at least three positive things to you there’s a good chance he wants to see you again. “If he gives you one compliment, he might be trying to be polite, but no one goes through the trouble of expressing three compliments or actions without want to see you again,” offers Cadell. However, one signal he’s not interested is the patronizing pat on the back as he exits. “That pat on the back when you’re hugging is a huge body language sign that says he’s not comfortable,” explains Daily.

Handling It
When it comes to morning-after etiquette, experts agree you can avoid many awkward moments by simply reading his body language. “It’s best to have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude in these situations,” Kelly relays. “Actions speak 10 times louder than words in the dating game. It’s important to read these non-verbal road signs before making a move the morning after.”

In addition, it never hurts to be polite and cordial, even if the experience wasn’t great for you. “Basically, you can’t go wrong if you follow the golden rule, which is ‘treat other as you would like them to treat you,’” details Ross. “If you don’t think it’s going to work out with this guy, then exit graciously. If you feel a spark, you probably don’t have to do much except enjoy the moment.”