For many students, living situations in college offer a respite from living under the reins of parental supervision and are a better place for alone time with your boyfriend or girlfriend than the backseat of your ’97 Honda Civic that’s parked in the park past city curfew. Despite living in a space you can finally call your own, there are parts of you that magically disappear when your partner stays the night.
From nightly acne spot treatment application to a morning alarm that sounds off Rihanna’s “Talk That Talk,” there are some single-life rituals that should remain secret. “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw described these often embarrassing and shameful habits best as our “secret single behaviors.” When it comes to staying the night at our partner’s place for the first time, there are parts of us that we prefer to leave behind.
Senior sociology major Georgina Guerrero can’t help but fret over one of her favorite beauty products. As it turns out the price of beauty could also cost her some embarrassment later on.
“Sometimes, I wear false eyelashes on a night when I go out, and I have the worst fear of waking up and finding one laying on the pillow or something,” Guerrero said. “I can already imagine the reaction my boyfriend would give me if he saw that; he’ll probably pick it up and just be like, ‘What the?’”
As journalism senior Kelli Fuqua looks back at the beginnings of her relationship, she can’t help but shake her head at some of the secret single behaviors that she used to avoid at all costs.
“I am a nighttime mouth breather, drooler and sleep talker. It’s not pretty, so at the beginning I made a conscious effort to keep myself awake longer so he didn’t have to witness ‘Sleeping Beastly,’” Fuqua said. “But now, I pass out anywhere and everywhere, slobber be damned.”
Whether it’s the beauty faux pas of wearing your makeup to bed instead of slipping into the sheets makeup-free or forgoing numerous rounds of nightly FIFA on your Xbox, you micro-manage each behavior by judging the risk of appearing unattractive to the person you’re attracted to. While staying the night should be an exciting step in a relationship, the mixture of nerves and hormones places an undeniable pressure to be in “date mode” throughout the night even while you sleep.
As fairly young daters, we often forget that people can still be attracted to us despite our relatively embarrassing antics. Some habits are so gross (like a penchant for blackhead popping), they are better to not discuss; however, most other habits like polar bear pajamas and eating in the shower should simply be laughed off. If you’re willing to progress a relationship by letting your partner spend the night, then you should also be willing to show that person, over time, who you really are.
The more time you spend with your partner, you will realize that not all secret single behavior stays secret. When one of your cringe-worthy quirks slips out while spending the night at your boyfriend or girlfriend’s place, don’t pretend like it didn’t happen. Instead, just roll your eyes and laugh it off, because it’s only a matter of time before one of their embarrassing habits slips out too.
The benefits of not taking these potentially shameful habits too seriously range anywhere from sharing overnight pimple cream before bedtime to feeling connected to the person you’re dating in a way that verbal communication can’t achieve. Revealing your secret single behavior doesn’t kill romance, it strengthens it, as you learn to genuinely appreciate your boyfriend or girlfriend for themselves — seemingly unattractive quirks and all.
Printed on Friday, March 23, 2012 as: Staying overnight may deepen relationships despite odd habits