Four ways to handle morning-after awkwardness

February 21, 2017
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When it comes to one-night stands, the one thing guaranteed to not go soft on you is the awkwardness that arrives with the dawn. Relationships are tricky at the best of times, let alone when you’re wearing yesterday’s clothes and a 12 beer hangover.

There are basically two ways to handle the aftermath of a one-hit wonder. One: you can use tact and common decency to navigate a delicate social situation.

Or two: you can be smart about it.

Give them the Sherlock treatment

After spending the night with someone, you often find your head buzzing with questions. Where do we go from here? Did it mean anything to them? Did I really cheer myself on during?

With so many unknowns in the mix, you might think it’s worth simply telling the person what you want out of the dalliance.

Rookie mistake.

Honesty will not help you here. If the other person knows that you’re wondering what they’re wondering, they’ll stop wondering. Romance is not a game, but that said, you just fucking lost.

If you want to win, you’ll need to read between the lines. Pay attention to their body language – posture, eye contact, pupil dilation, it all helps. If you still can’t figure them out, casually initiate a Rorschach test.

If you think that sounds stupid, I’ve found the results to be surprisingly conclusive. For example, the ones who respond with “Why the fuck do you have a Rorschach test?” are guaranteed not to text back.

Psychology works.

Answer those burning questions

That cradle-robbing coach from Mean Girls was partly right; having sex might not be a death-sentence, but STIs are a real risk. So how do you know if the person you just banged is running a clean operation?

You could ask. You could also dance naked in front of your grandparents while singing ‘MILF’ by Fergie – it might be less awkward.

My advice? Go full NCIS on their ass. A strand of hair will do, as will the DNA they so foolishly left smudged on the rim of their coffee mug.

Whatever the evidence, it’s going into your pocket and off to the science faculty.

Be mysterious

Regardless of who caught or did not catch feelings during last night’s bout of pillow wrestling, maintaining an air of mystery can only serve to improve your standing.

If you stayed at their place and you woke up first, you’re in a strong tactical position. Simply get out of there without waking anyone, and you’re a living enigma.

Some people will advise you to leave a note. Some people are as weak as a 7-Eleven latte. Unless the note says “Bring the money to wharf seven at midnight,” it will only lessen the sense of mystery.

In the event you’re unable to make a clean getaway, you’ll just have to play it cool. If they ask you questions, answer either in monosyllables or with questions of your own. When possible, drop hints that you’ve been to dangerous and/or exotic places. For example:

Them: Would you like some coffee?
You: Quite.
Them: Do you take sugar?
You: Do the waters of Lagunas Altiplánicas run red like the blood of the vanquished?

Easy, natural and seamless.

Drop hints that you’re actually racist

If the two of you crashed at your place and you need to get going – to work, uni or a lawn bowls premiership – it can be a little awkward asking your one-time partner to move along. But if you explain the situation politely, they might just oblige you without taking offence.

Best not to risk it, I say. Far simpler to let them see you’ve subscribed to Pauline Hanson’s Facebook page, or hang up a poster that says “Kebab stores pay for people smuggling”.

If you need results quickly, here’s a line that always works for me: “Would you like your coffee white, or stuck in a taxpayer-funded purgatory of self-inflicted victimhood?”

BOOM – they’re gone, and they won’t think you’re rude for kicking them out.

No fuss, no muss.

Joel Svensson

Business major, journalism minor and freelance writer, Joel pretends to be clever at La Trobe University.

Image: Walk Of Shame official Facebook page