We have all been there. That semi-attractive friend of a friend you've had a mild crush on looks even better five drinks in. You are laughing, flirting and cannot believe how much you have in common. What?! He likes Taio too? This is clearly destiny!
Flash forward to the next morning. After realizing that he is not Prince Charming, just that semi-attractive friend of a friend, you slip out and realize you have to somehow get back to your place and here enters… the notorious walk of shame.
More from YourTango: 15 Tips To Spice Up Your Sex Life (From Men)
Walk of shamers usually stand out. They are usually up earlier than the rest of their demographic, likely wearing night-appropriate clothing and are often displaying a "Did last night really happen?" guilty face. If it has happened to you, you known the roller coaster of emotions it can bring. First, a little rush from the exciting naughtiness attached to a usually highly entertaining story to share. The next day or two, you may experience actual dread that you may see your hookup when you are not sure you are ready to face him after the "incident." Finally, even though you may not be sure if you want to see him again, you are disappointed when he doesn't call, which then can lead to feeling guilty about the experience and promising yourself that will never happen again—which it usually does. How To Combat Post-Sex Regret
I am not a judgmental person and would be a hypocrite if I pretended that had never happened to me (ask me about the Halloween Cookie Debacle of 2009). Even as a dating coach, I am the last person who is going to tell you what is or is not appropriate for your love life. I am leaving that to your Mom. I am, however, going to say that if you are walking away feeling like crap and it is taking a toll on your confidence somethin' just ain't right.
Here are three ways to make sure you turn your walk of shame into a stride of pride every time.
More from YourTango: 7 Mistakes That Kill Relationships
1. Ask yourself: why did you do it?
Was he too cute or funny to pass up, or were you downright lonely? Was there a little too much booze a flowin? Was it for fun or a shot at love? There is nothing wrong with doing some exploring in your love life, so long as you are ALWAYS emotionally and physically safe—but if you find yourself heading for a hookup to fill something inside of you that is feeling sad, lonely or empty, you are going to end up feeling worse. 4 Ways To Avoid The Regrettable Hook-Up
2. What are you expecting?
Are you expecting a night of a fun and kissing, or a new boyfriend? Whenever you lay on the expectations that this guy could be "the one" just because he wanted to take you home after grinding to Rihanna on the dance floor, well, it most likely is exactly what it is. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but expecting that he is going to call and want to start a relationship is going to get you a ticket on the crazy train. 6 Secret Places To Meet Men
To really make this advice work, you need to follow these action steps to complete today's challenge.
Right now, I want you to:
Understand that it's your responsibility to own your choices. If you choose to take home Mr. Right now, recognize the choice for what it is. There are no guarantees of romance, relationships or even a second date from this one experience. Not that something more can't grow; but it's NOT a guarantee.
Within 7 days I want you to:
Now that you've made your choice about where you stand on the pros and cons of walks of shame, stick to it. If you're worried about sticking to your guns, find a wingwoman to help you. If you're open to an occasional walk of shame, kick the judgmental voice out of your head.
By the end of the challenge I want you to:
Give some thought to what you're looking for out of these experiences. You don't have to become relationship-focused, if you decide that's not what you want right now, but there's something to be said for understanding your motives. If you're in it for fun, great. If there's another motive, you want to know what that is.