How To Forget Those Morning-After Fears
Last night was a very good night.
You met for a lovely dinner. You stayed for dessert. Then you shared a taxi, then some wine and then you fired up the tunes. One thing led to another... and it's the morning after. If you slept, you woke up in a loved-up haze — that is for the 30 or so seconds it takes to panic and realise he's going to wake up any minute, too, and see you looking like Ozzy Osbourne in your smeared makeup. Worse still he might try to get a kiss in with that morning breath.
Ah, the morning after. Such a mixed bag of emotions.
But before you run for your mixed bag of makeup, consider this: popular culture is filled with scenes of self-conscious women who do pre- or post-hook-up primping, from the character of Marie in Nick Hornby's High Fidelity to Kristen Wiig as Annie in Bridesmaids. And in both cases, they were busted. Rob, in High Fidelity, complains Marie is much more uptight than the wildcat he expected her to be, and John Hamm as Ted wonders aloud why Annie, his "number three," is wearing lip gloss first thing in the morning.
So what does this tell us?
Men might be judging us, but often not how we expect. Anecdotal and academic evidence suggests that men rate women as good in bed when they are playful, spontaneous and accepting. (And incidentally, these attributes won’t just make us better at love, they will make us better at life.)
Meanwhile, recognising that men are visual, we overestimate and fear their physical assessment. It's reacting to those fears — our fears — that sets off their alarm bells. Whether they think we're vain, uptight, or simply uncomfortable, it's our self-confidence that matters most in the light of day.
If the trick to successful endeavours is starting the way you wish to continue, then why not begin the morning with your new man feeling stress-free, comfortable and close?
Open your eyes
Let's face it, it was a long night. Things got sweaty and your eye makeup is no longer intact. As you frantically wipe away (and actually make worse) the remnants of kohl and mascara from your lower lids, remember that few men are makeup experts. If he even noticed, he probably thinks the look is intentional and sexy. Note that the morning after smudge is ironically almost identical to the smokey eye most of us struggle to achieve when it's purposeful.
Brush your teeth
You're right — morning breath can be downright disgusting. But he has it, too, and there are very few things in life that can't be softened with a joke. Either cop to it, get up and do a quick brush, hit that emergency stash of gum or decide that in the moment, kissing him matters more.
OK, so that dress is inappropriate for daytime. Who cares? He likes a dishevelled look because he knows that if you're spotted with him so evidently in last night's clothes, it's an admission of exactly what you are to each other. Secondly, your ability to carry this off walking tall and with a bit of dignity shows you are empowered and deserve some respect. Don't act awkward as you start the day: This is no walk of shame.
Take a shower
There's one thing men love more than a woman with tousled bed hair — and that's a wet woman with wet hair. Remember that since the 1970s, men have been weaned on films showing the promise of shower-fresh women (think locker room or sorority house). Don't underplay anything here.
Eat your breakfast
We're hoping you're at the start of something special here, so we'd hate for you to run out the door so fast. Stay for breakfast. Eat it and enjoy it without worrying aloud about the calorie count. For extra points, cook it. Men love a woman who loves her food. They love her more when she makes the kind of food they love.