Recently, at 5am, I left my boyfriend’s place without a word for him, as he was still asleep and snoring. I hoped he would notice I was leaving, but he didn’t. He’s not some guy I just spent the night with. We’ve been dating for two weeks now.
It’s surprising he didn’t wake up because at 5am, most of my friends are already woken up. Some are even doing their running/ bicycling, or just gather their thoughts because they have a long road to work. I don’t wake up at 5am unless I have a good reason to. But I can get woken up by the noise around me.
I went back to my house with the same clothes I wore the day before and the mess in my hair. In the hookup culture, it’s called the walk of shame. It’s the moment when you go back home after a night at your one night stand’s place. Usually after a heavy drunken night at a party, where you wear next to nothing if you’re a woman. The morning after, you just look like a mess. This wasn’t my case. I didn’t drink a lot the night before. And I didn’t wear next to nothing.
Yet, I wasn’t feeling very proud on my way back home. Because I could have waited for him to wake up. But that morning, I didn’t feel I want to see him before leaving his house. Because the night before, he said some unpleasant things about me and I didn’t know how to answer back. He has this nasty habit to feel superior to me. John Gottman, a psychologist, says that contempt is the number one reason relationships turn sour.
After I returned to my house, he didn’t call or send a message wondering where I was. As I was just a one night stand for him.
One night standers feel that walk of shame on their way home. Is it just because you are undone after a night of partying? Alcohol makes you forget everything, to the point of your dignity. But there’s a silent contract between the two people involved in the one night stand. Nobody wants to see the other after that night. Because alcohol involved in those relationships distorts the reality. Everyone looks good after you drink several glasses. There’s beauty in the bottom of a beer…But the morning after, reality looks a bit different. The hangover is there, and when you feel that bad, some of us want to go back home. You don’t feel at the top of your seduction in this moment. Hence the walk of shame.
I wasn’t drunk this time. I didn’t have a hangover. All I know is that at 5am, I needed to go back home instead of staying next to him. I didn’t feel glorious either.