One-night stands can be tricky to walk away from, especially the bad ones. When your hook-up lays there in his or her afterglow talking about how awesome it was, and you're there thinking 'Get me out of here,' extricating yourself from this potentially awkward situation is tough.
You don't want to seem rude, but when the beer goggles are wearing off and that lover's breath begins to sour, all you want is your own bed. One-night stands are an etiquette minefield, but you can exit the situation with class.
Vanessa*, from Vancouver, had crushed on her downstairs neighbor for a year before they spent an evening together which ultimately led to sex. The sex was over in seconds, and Vanessa's crush on the guy evaporated. "I just wanted to get out of there but I knew I'd be running in to him in the hallway," she says, "so I stayed over and massaged his ego all night so I didn't feel like a horrible person for wanting to cut and run."
The 'should I stay or should I go' conundrum is a common concern for those who are unaccustomed to just hooking up, but Caroline Tiger, author of How To Behave: Dating&Sex says that unless you're in a relationship with this person, there's no obligation to stick around and sleep.
If you do sleep over after the sex or you let them stay at yours because they missed the last bus home or it was -20 outside or whatever, you need to decide whether you'll carry things on through breakfast before showing them the door.
Esther, a one-night stand veteran from Calgary, prides herself on being a good host the morning after the night before. "I make coffee and toast, offer the use of my shower and send them away with a peck on the cheek and tell them thanks for everything," she says.
According to Tiger, that's exactly the way you should handle the situation. "If you're the host of the one-night stand, I think it's polite to provide some coffee and a small bite of something to eat in the morning. It's just what you do when you have a house guest," she says, "but this is politesse, not an obligation. And if you're the guest and the other person isn't offering, don't demand your caffeine. Just ask directions to the nearest coffee shop and go."
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