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Ready to Stay Overnight At His Place? (Gulp!)

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If you recently started seeing someone and think you might be ready to spend the night together, chances are you have a few butterflies in your stomach over the anticipation of what’s to come.

For Morgan M. of New Jersey, it was the little things that worried her at first. “Before I slept over my boyfriend’s house, I was nervous because my hair gets real crazy in the morning and I was afraid of having bad breath. But he never cared because we are still together after 3 1⁄2 years,” she said.

Sometimes, however, those pesky butterflies aren’t just tense nerves, but a sign that something’s not quite right. Before you spend the night with someone, “You need to ask some questions if you care about the outcome,” says L. Joan Allen, a relationship expert and matchmaker.

Even if you’re only slightly apprehensive about spending the night together, you’ll want to heed Allen’s expert advice. Keep in mind, “I’m not being judgmental,” says Allen, who became known for her Baltimore Examiner dating column Single in the City. “I just want to protect women of all ages so they don’t get hurt.”

1. Know yourself and your expectations. According to Allen, this is the most important piece of advice she can offer to women. “I think women of all ages are ruled by media and movies,” she says, adding, “We expect a fairytale ending, and women get disappointed when it doesn’t work out the way it does in the movies. My goal in writing the book that I wrote, Celebrating Single and Getting Love Right: From Stalemate to Soulmate, was to help women know who they are and what they want and to make good decisions and understand the psychology of love.”

2. You always have a choice. Take power over your life, Allen says. “I don’t mean to come across that women shouldn’t have sex and their sleepovers. (But), I want women to know they always have a choice. I didn’t learn that lesson until I was 40.”

Allen says women need to ask themselves what they want. “Women never ask themselves that. It’s about taking care of a guy and making sure he’s happy. You’ve got to take care of you and make sure you’re happy.”

3. Talk about having sex beforehand. “If you’re in a relationship and it’s the first night, I think it’s good to talk about sex before you’re in it— from birth control to the other stuff you don’t want to talk about and using protection,” Allen says.

4. If it doesn’t work out, everything will be okay. “Women— especially young women—seem to think that it doesn’t matter what the outcome is and they’re okay with that and they can sleep with more than one person,” Allen says. Personally speaking, “I know myself and I couldn’t sleep with a man if I knew he was seeing other women.”

If the person you’re dating isn’t committed to you or falls short of your expectations, don’t make excuses just because you enjoy the attention. Instead, move on.

5. Watch out for red flags. Always keep in mind the expression, “It’s too good to be true,” because it usually is, Allen says, adding that even the most successful women often get duped. “(They) get into a relationship and they lose all of that power and all of that skill that they used to get where they got. When it comes to a man, they just don’t listen to their instincts.”

In fact, “that’s what my sister does. If a man shows her attention, then it’s going to be great,” Allen says. “She just thinks she can jump in…and it’s (going to be all) romance and it’s all fun, but it’s not always fun. She was a victim of a scam artist who took hundreds of thousands of dollars from her. You’ve got to just be smart.” page2image19344

Allen said one of her friend’s also went through something similar. “I know a woman who met a guy who was a medical student, and they got into a relationship. He was a bodybuilder and he wanted her to jog everyday and workout everyday for two hours.”

Because her friend had to be at work at 4 am and couldn’t commit to an intense workout routine, the man lost interest in her, Allen said. “He wasn’t attracted to her anymore because she wasn’t a bodybuilder, and she had said he was too good to be true (because) he just showed up and took her on picnics and sent her flowers and met her family. Then, the day of their wedding, he said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to get married.”

Ultimately, they did go through with the wedding. However, “they were married less than a year. She just jumped into it and was not listening to the red flag signals. You have to listen to the red flag signals.”

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