Ace The Morning After

After a night of romance, how should you handle the A.M.? Your guide to all the right moves starts here.

By Phineas Mollod and Jason Tesauro

he morning after is that sprightly, playful time following a hot date where events led from one thing to another into a sleepover. Instead of a hasty exit over creaking floorboards at dawn’s first light, your love lease is extended, as two sleepyheads search for kisses and coffee. Since it’s far less formal than the evening dinner and dancing that preceded it, don’t fuss over being perfect. No one expects love sonnets at 9 A.M., so stick with loose morning-after activities such as lobbing terms of endearment before coffee and sharing chit-chat over western omelets.

To keep it fresh — even with morning breath — here’s a primer for the morning after:

A.M. mattress moves
There are two options when waking first: Stay and play, or await your lover’s awakening in the parlor. As long as it isn’t obscenely early, even late-risers won’t mind trading the snooze button for the sweetest alarm clock, the “early-bird special” of whispered “good mornings” and unbuttoned pajama games. Otherwise, simply ease out of bed, mellow out with a pot of
Even late-risers won’t mind trading the snooze button for the early-bird special of whispered “good mornings.”
green tea, and peruse the glossy weeklies as your darling catches a few more zzzs. The hopelessly cute might even pin a missive to the pillow, “I’m up early. I’ll be in the study, Snookums.”

Even if last night’s show was a summer blockbuster of bouncing bodies, you still can’t walk around nekkid like Adam strolling Eden’s byways looking for a fig leaf. Getting completely re-dressed is overkill (especially if your party outfit is smoky and spent), but until you determine your new partner’s tolerance for daylight nudity, seek modest covering. Ladies shouldn’t be afraid to throw on his oversized button-down or old college sweatshirt, but for gents, her floral dressing gown is too feminizing, especially for burly men built like Brawny.

Freshen up by ridding the sand from your eyes and partaking of some impromptu dental care—smear a glob of toothpaste on a finger to spruce up the molars and take a hit of mouthwash to brighten the breath. As for that full-on, Zestfully clean showering—it's a bit presumptuous for anyone other than frequent guests and party casualties who truly resemble Pig Pen (in malodorousness and swirling dirt count). Wait to ask for permission first.

Home cookin’
Breakfast is the simplest meal—how difficult is it to brew some java, lay out toast and jam, or even render pancake mix into palatable flapjacks, topped with random selections from the fruit bowl? If you’re the guest chef, scavenge respectfully (don’t assume those raspberries are up for grabs). And whipping up an omelet almost always wins points. (Of course, if you spy soy milk and tofu chilling in the fridge, nix the bacon run and plans for your world-famous scrapple.)

Breakfast in bed need not be elaborate in substance, but dress up ordinary cereal or yogurt by serving it in martini glasses or other decorative bowls. Further, garnish the place setting with a flower (in a pinch, even a fistful of dandelions from the street will do). Then, pick your breakfast spot, whether atop the sheets or elsewhere. Why not take a cozy meal porch-side, in a sunny nook, or simply on the living room carpet with pillows. As for stimulation beyond the caffeine, even if this is Sunday morning, it’s terribly unsexy to chow down in front of the strident McLaughlin Report—better to keep the amorous mood with music, old cartoons, or consensual silence with the Sunday funnies. Should you choose to go out, morning-after breakfast is never a Dutch treat. Be a good chap, and lay down the $25 to cover this inexpensive munch.

Sweet talk
Like asking for a raise immediately after landing a fat new account, the morning after is ideal for pushing things forward: “Would you like to do dinner on Thursday? Want to hit the seashore next weekend?” Gaze into the future; most dating works on a seven-day forecast, but after a sleepover, think in terms of fortnights. If anything, asking about the next two weeks is positive feedback and suggests you want to keep dating and denting sheets at least until then.

Also, one well-placed zinger about the previous night’s antics is never amiss: “Last
One well-placed zinger about the previous night’s antics is never amiss.
night was fantastic—hope I kept up alright.” This morning-after vibe also grants you one more level of security clearance, so up the intimacy a notch. Juicy topics, checkered pasts, and inner thoughts are more readily revealed when each of you has already revealed your puffy-sleepy morning face.

Afterward, despite a great A.M., never trap your mate for the remainder of the P.M. When asking about further play later in the day, offer a polite exit, just in case: “If you’re free to join me in the park this afternoon, that would be great... but I understand if you’ve got other plans.”

Nice touch: When you’re the host, be chivalrous and take care of your lover’s cab ride home. If you’re not chauffeuring her yourself after the goodbye kiss, slip a sawbuck to the taxi driver along with a caring nudge for him “to make sure she gets home all right.”

Phineas Mollod traded his J.D. for the editorial life and is often found riding the congested E train with his wife and daughter in New York. Jason Tesauro pushes pen and ink by day and leads the lifestyle seminar series by night, ne'er far from his sweetheart and a Brady Bunch houseful 'o tots in Virginia. Together they are the authors of The Modern Gentleman: A Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy and Vice and The Modern Lover: A Playbook for Suitors, Spouses, and Ringless Carousers.
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