One-night stands can come in all different forms. Sometimes you're looking for the right one and you end up finding the right one for right now. Other times, you might be looking for a casual fling. Some nights, you're an alcohol-induced mistake. Other nights, you're the one making the alcohol-induced mistake.
The bottom line is that one-night stands can happen to almost anyone, and there are some guidelines to follow that are going to make your experience a whole lot better. We're not saying you have to live and die by these, but they're 10 rules we recommend for having a one-night stand.
See also: 10 Dating Deal-Breakers
Don't make promises you can't keep.
Sometimes, you tell a person what you think he/she wants to hear in order to close the deal on a one-night stand. The problem occurs when you cross that line from flirting/complimenting to making empty promises with no intention of keeping them. We've all made the mistake of telling a one-timer that we'll go on a date with him/her in the future, but there's a big difference between promising a single meal and telling him/her that the two of you are now in a committed relationship. We're pretty sure there are entire seasons of true crime shows (or as South Park called it, "informative murder porn") dedicated to people who would still be alive had they not lied about a relationship just to have a casual hook-up.
Know who the person is.
This is actually important in two different ways. For one, it's good to know the person's name in case he/she turns out to be a murderous psychopath (again, see: informative murder porn). More importantly, if you know a little bit about the person going into it, you may be able to tell how to appropriately handle the potentially complicated aftermath of the one-night stand. If he/she seems like someone who has some experience in the one-nighter department, he/she's a lot more likely to be gone by the time you wake up (or to provide a bottle of water for your trip home) than if he/she's some naive coed who happened to run into you while his/her parents were visiting the Grand Canyon.
Don't lie about the person.
Considering that you're reading this online, we're guessing you've heard of this thing called social media. One of the great (or terrible, depending on who you are) things about social media is that it means people have to work just a little bit harder to lie about what they've done. That includes one-night stands. We already know that you're going to tell your friends that the person was significantly more (or less) attractive than he/she actually was, but just keep in mind that it probably won't be that hard for them to find photos of your brief partner on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram after you describe him/her as "a solid 10" when he/she's more of "a flimsy six." Personally, we think it's better to say less and let them find out more for themselves than to talk a lot and get called out by all of our homies.
Suggest going to a hotel, if you're not comfortable with your place.
Realistically, you should go to whoever's place the two of you can agree upon. That said, we can't blame ladies for not wanting one-night stands to know where they live, because there are a lot of creepers out there who we wouldn't want knowing our home address either. A hotel (or other neutral ground) is always best, if possible (then no one worries about getting stalked). Offering your place as a suggestion has the added benefit of showing that you're confident enough in your pad that you can bring someone back without any time to clean or prepare it for them.
Don't be too aggressive.
It's cool to take charge, a lot of people are really into having their partner do that, but the trick is knowing where to draw the line before it comes off as too overpowering. You generally won't know how assertive he/she's comfortable with you being until you get close to that line, so we suggest slowly building into it until you're confident that he/she's into it. The last thing you want is for the person to feel uncomfortable. It's just not worth it.
Know where your belongings are.
One of the best/worst morning-after experiences we've ever had involved walking out of a one-night stand's house only to find our car missing from the driveway. It's a long story as to where our car ended up, but the moral is that you always want to know where your important possessions are. You may be too intoxicated to drive to your one-night stand, so it can be a really good idea sometimes to text yourself (or someone else) where you parked once you realize that you might not be driving home that night. On second thought, don't text it, because your phone could be dead by the morning, just write it on the back of your receipt or other scrap of paper and throw it in your pocket/purse. Hopefully, you won't lose track of your pants or purse in the morning.
Don't pursue too much after.
Sometimes, you'll really hit it off with someone who you thought was just a one-night stand, and things will blossom into a beautiful relationship (or at least a few weeks of casual sex), but you can't count on that. Just like you wouldn't want a former mistake texting you for the next two weeks trying to see you again, you might not have earned the full weekend pass with your single-serving lover. We're pretty certain you don't want to be perceived as desperate, creepy, or stalker-ish, so if you contact the person once or twice and he/she doesn't respond, don't take it personally, just accept it for what it was.
If it starts getting weird, get out.
Let's face it, having a one-night stand with someone is a pretty weird thing in general. Two people (who likely never have met before) randomly decide to go back to one of their places of residence (or hotel) and get it on for a night with little to no intention of seeing each other again. One of the biggest mistakes we hear about people making is when they get all of the warning signs that something's about to go terribly wrong, and yet they stick around. We're all for being a good person, but if things get sketchy (you notice that all of his/her photos are turned away from the bed) or awkward (you start sucking face and he/she starts sobbing), it's probably a better idea to grab your things and leave than to stick around and be the shoulder to cry on. The $40 cab ride home will likely be a lot less of a burden than whatever you would've incurred had you spent the night.
Don't be a jerk in the morning.
We're not saying you have to take your one-night stand out for breakfast, but when you wake up next to the person you slept with the night before, it'd probably be better for everyone if you didn't act like a complete tool. Again, switch the roles and see how you'd feel waking up next to a person whom you may or may not remember clearly. Even if you're fairly sure that you'll never speak to that person again, there's nothing wrong with being nice about showing him/her the door. On the flip side, one of the bonuses of sleeping in your own bed is that you can just pretend to be asleep and/or hungover until they leave on their own. It'll be way harder for them to be mad at a seemingly unconscious person for being a prick.
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Condoms suck? Um, pretty sure the headaches and stress they can save you for the rest of your life make them absolutely worth it. As nice and trustworthy as your fling might seem, you really have no way of knowing that he/she's A) clean and B) whether this will result in pregnancy. For the mild inconvenience of wrapping it that night, you're saving yourself weeks, months, or even years of panicking over ingrown hairs and possible pregnancies. Also, guys, remember that since it's your sword being swung, you should always be prepared with the shield.