We all know what it is to wake up next to someone the morning after getting down, see them lying there, and panic. Regardless of whether the person sharing the bed is a familiar face or a total stranger, a winter-warmer or a one-night stand, it’s safe to say that we’re always faced with the same decision: should we “ghost” outta there, or stick around until they wake up?
If you’re suddenly getting images of a partially-nude Patrick Swayze, let us clarify the term (hint: you’re not entirely off-base). “Ghosting” is the Brokelyn-approved slang for fleeing the scene of a sexual encounter the following morning, leaving no trace of your presence from the night before. Straightforward enough, right? The thing is, not all of us agree about whether the sleek, cat-like disappearance of a sexual partner is a good or bad tactic to employ. In fact, two of our resident writers land at opposite poles on the topic. Here, Gabby “The Vapor” Westfield and Sam “The Billboard” Corbin go head to head to defend their morning-after techniques. Whose side of the bed are YOU on?
GABBY “THE VAPOR” WESTFIELD
Billy Crystal did it in When Harry Met Sally. Ilana Glazer does it with pretty much everyone she meets in Broad City. Clearly, it’s advantageous that we ghost the morning after sleeping with someone. It doesn’t matter whether you like them or not. Ghosting is a precautionary measure against what might otherwise be a really awkward encounter, and a very vulnerable situation. You don’t run the risk of overstaying your welcome, and a “where did he/she go?” mystery keeps them wanting more. Dignity first, emotional clarity later.
It’s not just the intention that counts, though. To ghost successfully, you’ve got to suit up — start your preparations the night before, even. Set your alarm to wake up first; usually 7am is early enough, unless you’re sleeping with like, a trash collector. Wait, why are you doing that? He touches everybody’s garbage!
Okay, next: create an ally with the house pet, this investment helps avoid a potential whistle blower when it’s time to make your swift exit. Also, keep your belongings in one area of the apartment, as organized methods assist your getaway when the morning light doesn’t.
In the morning, you gotta be a motherfucking ninja. Ideally your partner respects the post-bone comfort zone, but if you happen to be caught in a cuddle then you’ll need to supplant your physical presence in the bed. (For this, I suggest the “pillow decoy” technique, which involves replacing your body with a pillow and slithering out of the hold.)
Once out of bed, you’re almost home free. Get dressed as quietly as possible; save the velcro straps/heels for outside. Finally, make your exit through any opening necessary. Fire escape, front door, don’t care. I got 99 problems but your locks ain’t one. And boom. Ghosted.
Sure, let’s analyze the ethos of what could be seen as the selfish Runaway Guide. Do I feel bad about my methods? Rarely. Odds are I was a team player when the night called for it and rocked his world, leaving me with the confidence to remain a phantom. It seems fair that if they have not sought out my info before sex, I should not wait around just to give it to them after. Their loss for not clarifying honorable intentions pre-bang.
If I leave a note, it does not usually have my number, but a callback joke from the night before, alleviating pressures of a follow up and relieving me of being a total monster. I find that if a person really likes you, they will find you (its the fuckin 21st century), so don’t underestimate the power of persistence and dedicated internet stalking, two attributes I am happy to reward with a second date. Also if a person is not willing to put in 10 minutes of Googling, they probably are not worth a second date either.
SAM “THE BILLBOARD” CORBIN
I think you’ve just got to honor the truth of what went down the night before. Ghosting is a total cop-out; regardless of whether it was a one-night thing or you want it to continue, two human beings can and should still just look at each other to be like, “Hey. So, that happened.” I also don’t need to take myself so seriously, and neither should anyone I’m sleeping with. Even if it was a really drunken decision, you can stand to laugh about it in the morning.
Not ghosting doesn’t automatically mean you’re overstaying your welcome. You can still leave, you’ll just be doing it with a little more transparency. Like if I have shit to do in the AM, I’ll wake the guy up with some kind of gentle touch. There’s usually this stock dialogue that ensues, where the guy will super-sleepily ask, “Are you leaving?” and I’ll usually say “Yeah,” and explain why. You better believe we’re doing brunch if I don’t have anywhere else to be and I like you.
Caveat here: if you want to keep it to a one-time thing, don’t go to brunch. Part of the dreaminess of morning-after boozing is that you get to keep talking, which there’s no point in doing if you never plan on seeing this person again. So when it comes to one-nighters, there’s a sweet spot in there that involves just waking up, running through the above steps, then going your separate ways. And never apologize for that; part of the awesome maturity of not ghosting is that you have all the power to peace in broad daylight.
If you do want to see the person again but you gotta jet, then make sure to have a check-in before you go. Something to the tune of, “So, I guess I’ll see you later?” Because 21st century, my ass. For all the new ways we’ve invented to communicate, we still manage to weenie out on speaking up when it counts. So if you like him but you ghost, and then he doesn’t text you, you’re probably gonna be racking your brains figuring out whether you sent the wrong message by leaving. At least by asking the doofy question, you’ll know where you stand. Clarity first; dignity follows.
There you have it, guys—the vixens have spoken. Now, we turn to you: what’s your morning-after protocol? Is ghosting a badass strategy, or a spineless run-around?