Turn That Walk of Shame Into a Stride of Pride

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[The following post was written by dating coach, Kira Sabin, a keg of dating and relationship wisdom. She's been helping people find love for years so we thought we'd tap this keg and see what sort of brilliant advice she has for the CollegeCandy readers. Drink up!]

We’ve all been there.  The guy from Chem who you have been crushin’ on for a bit looks even better 5 drinks in.  You are laughing, flirting and can not believe how much you have in common.  What?!  He likes Taio too? This is clearly destiny!

Flash forward to the next morning.  After realizing that he is not prince charming, just the guy from Chem, you slip out and realize you have to somehow get back to your place. Enter: the walk of shame.

Anyone (who is up that early in the morning) can spot them from a mile away. The signs are obvious: they’re up earlier than anyone should be on a Saturday morning, they’re wearing inappropriate clothes, and they’re still in full (albeit, messy) makeup. And, most telling, they’ve the “I can’t believe I went home with him!  What did I just do?” guilty look on their face.

If it has happened to you, you know the roller coaster of emotions it can bring.  First, a little rush from the exciting naughtiness and highly entertaining story you can share with all of your friends. The next day or two, you may experience that feeling of dread that you may see him when you’re not ready.  Finally, even though you may not be sure if you want to see him, you are disappointed when three days has gone by and he hasn’t called (or even Facebooked!), which then leads to the inevitable sh*tty feeling and promising yourself that will never happen again. Which it usually does.

I am not a Judgey McJudgerson and would be a big ass hypocrite if I pretended that had never happened to me (I have some real doozies; just ask my friends about the Halloween Cookie Debacle of 2009). Even as a dating coach, I am the last person who is going to tell you what is or is not appropriate in your life.  I am leaving that to your Mom.  I am, however, going to say that if you are walking away feeling like crap and it is taking a toll on your confidence somethin’ just ain’t right.

When I started coaching college students a while ago one of them quickly pointed out to me that no one in college dates, they just hook up.  Usually drunkenly.  That is just what they do.  Dating doesn’t exist.  That may be true, but even if you are not fancy schmancy dating like old people, that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself and make sure you feel good after any encounter you may have.   Remember ladies, this is supposed to be fun!

Do you wanna have some fun? Here are three ways you can turn your Walk of Shame into a Stride of Pride every time.

1. Ask yourself, why did you do it?
Was he too cute or funny to pass up, or were you downright lonely?  Was there a little too much booze a flowin’?  Was it for fun or a shot at love?  There is nothing wrong with doing some exploring in college – as long as you are ALWAYS emotionally and physically safe – but if you find yourself heading for a hook up to fill something inside of you that is feeling sad, lonely or empty, you are always going to end up feeling worse.

2. What are you expecting?
Are you expecting a night of a little fun and kissing, or a new boyfriend?  Whenever you lay on the expectations that this guy could be “the one” just because he wanted to take you home after grinding to Rihanna on the dance floor, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.  It most likely is exactly what it seems to be: a night of fun.  Now there is nothing wrong with that, but expecting that he is going to call and want to start a relationship is going to get you a ticket on the crazy train.

3. Learn from it.
If you find that this is happening regularly and every time you feel like crap for the next couple of days, it just may not be what you are looking for.  Go to your BFFs and make sure they let you flirt but also get you home at the end of the night.

I do encourage you, however, to see it exactly for what it is and embrace it.  Go into it in control, making the decision to have fun and be happy about it.  No one is a victim if they choose to do it, so if you make the decision to kiss someone for an evening take it for what it is.  There is no rule out there that you can’t wake up with a smile on your face and a great story in your pocket for breakfast.

Want to see more of Kira (our resident dating coach and woman behind the CollegeCandy Dating Makeover in January?)  Check out her new college dating advice site at www.thecollegecrush.com.

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