Dear Anna, my best friend and I have always had an ambiguous relationship. She is straight and engaged, but we are often flirtatious and over the top with each other. Well my birthday was a few months ago and I was extremely intoxicated, After the Jager started pouring and the dancing continued, I guess, I began to come on to her. Nothing sexual happened, but she felt awkward in the morning. Although she is a beautiful girl, I do not have any romantic feelings for her. Things have been weird since that night and we haven’t really had a talk about it. I don’t want to lose the friendship, but I don’t know how to confront her about the situation. Was I in the wrong? –Jagered and Confused
Obligatory advice columnist PSA: I’m going to assume this was a one-off experience, but I am compelled to mention that if this is a frequent occurrence, and you often feel guilt or shame after drinking, it may be indicative of a larger problem. Roger Ebert, of all people, wrote a really compelling long read on AA that you might be interested in reading.
My first bit of advice is to forgive yourself. Most everyone has been in a similar situation, though that can manifest in several different ways. Some people drink too much then vomit on their friends/clothes/strangers. Some people sob hysterically to ’90s R&B. Some drunk dial or text their exes about how much they missssssss dem sow mush! You get the idea. Drinking impairs our judgment, but it does little to beat yourself up over something you can’t change.
Secondly, you should definitely bring it up with your friend. Not because it’s a huge, life-changing ordeal or anything, but because ignoring it will be more damaging to your friendship in the long term. It’s already been a few months, so you need to do this sooner than later. How do you bring it up? Simple. “Hey, remember the night of my birthday? I just wanted to apologize for my drunken behavior. I got carried away and I’m sorry it made you uncomfortable. Your friendship means a lot to me, and I promise I’ll do my best to ensure such buffoonery won’t happen again. Are we cool?” Feel free to modify if you feel like you sound like a math teacher from Saved by The Bell.
The longer both of your discomfort festers, the harder it will be to recover from what is essentially not that big of a deal. So get on that. And don’t worry so much about questions of right or wrongness. Just focus on repairing the awkwardness between the two of you. And if you find my lobster claw, would you give me a shout?