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Morning-After Etiquette: When Is The Date Officially Over?

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Some dates end outside the movie theater, in the parking lot, or on the subway platform. Some dates end outside the front door. Others, (and these are usually the very very good dates) end the next morning. And that, my friends, is where things get tricky.

Assuming it’s your first time spending the night, it’s hard to know exactly when to take your leave, and when to keep things going.

Did the sun coming up signify the end of last night’s date and the beginning of a new, not date-related day? Or is it just an extension of the night before?

“It’s so dependent on the situation. If it’s a straight hook-up, I’ll probably have sex one more time, and then skeedaddle, because that’s what we’re both here for. If it was bad the night before, I’ll just leave. If I REALLY like the person, I will stay for breakfast.” One of my friends confided in me.

And one of my guy friends responded:

“If you’ve been on a few dates, theoretically you like each other, so you’d want to go grab some breakfast or have cereal together or something the next morning.”

Blogger John Ortved over at Glamour feels very strongly that come morning, the date is over.

“Yes, I write all day, but come morning time, I need to get to work. No leisurely breakfasts. No lazy morning sex. No cuddles while we watch last night’s John Stewart and do back tickles. Read: The date is over when I wake up.”

That seems harsh–isn’t it rude to have someone spend the night and not even offer them coffee? Apparently not.

I have never once invited a guy to have coffee or food with me.”, says my friend.

“If you have a coffee maker, I would think it’s polite to at least offer to make some. If you don’t have one, I would only go out to coffee if it was a good night.” says another.

The guy I’m dating is the first guy to have offered to make me coffee after a date, which was so sweet, but I wouldn’t have been offended if he hadn’t.” says a third.

So, basically, spending the night with someone ain’t no bed and breakfast. (Don’t you sort of wish it was, though? Like, yo, I don’t want to marry you or anything but I would LOVE a croissant right now.)

The best way to navigate the morning-after territory seems to be to make like you’re going to leave (aka start getting dressed, etc.), and if the person you’re spending the night with invites you to stay, or to go get breakfast, then you can stay. But if they smile at you sleepily from bed, while making no move to invite you back into it, and mumble something like “K. See ya later.”, then best to get the hell out of Dodge.

Obvious: If they get out of bed, YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF BED TOO!

And of course, if you’re the one hosting, then it’s up to you to send the signals of whether or not you would like your guest to stay.

And, for the people like John, who had great dates but really do need to get to work/brunch/whatever, hopefully they will follow-up with something along the lines of:

“Hey–I had a great time last night! Sorry I was in a hurry this morning. When can I see you again?”

And maybe next time, you can sleep in.

Previously: My Girlfriend Won’t Spend The Night