The Hook Up: Am I being too sensitive about my girlfriend’s drunken kiss?



My girlfriend and I have been together for six months. When we went out last weekend, I was talking to one girl I know and my girlfriend was inside socializing with a bunch of people. After a while I went to find her and couldn’t. When I finally tracked her down she was at the bar talking to a cougar. Next thing I know, I look back over and they are kissing.

We had a huge blow up that night about it. I’m hurt and upset about it. She says I shouldn’t be worried about it because it was “nothing” and not her fault the woman kissed her. Of course, our fight was a drunken one and she said some hurtful things about us not having sex enough and me talking to the same girl all night. We’ve talked since the fight but we haven’t talked about it. Is there a good way to address this or let her know that even though it “meant nothing” to her, it hurt me? Or am I being overly sensitive and should just try to let it go?—Ughhhh

Anna says: Forgive me for removing the last 37 h’s in your moniker, Ughhhh, but I think your sign-off is telling. You should absolutely have another (sober chat) with your girlfriend about what went down and how you feel about it. Drunk fights are the worstdramatic, incoherent, interrupted by 30 bathroom breaks, and no matter how righteous you feel while it’s happening, you’ll still have forgotten half of the fight by the next morning.

I am sorry your girlfriend kissed another girl in front of you. My first girlfriend pulled a similar move on me, but to make things worse, I caught her kissing some dude who had, prior to that moment, been drinking beer straight out of a pitcher. (This was at a house party. How did he even get a pitcher? Did he bring it himself?) I thought about leaving her at the party as penance, since I was designated driver and infuriatingly sober, but thought better of it, and dragged her ass home, where we proceeded to fight until the sun came up. She too told me it “meant nothing,” which may have been true enough, and for your girlfriend as well, but hearing those words is rarely ever a source of comfort for the wronged party, especially right after it has happened.

Long story short, your feelings are your feelings, and they are valid, regardless of whether your girlfriend thinks you should be unaffected by witnessing her drunken kiss. Rather than framing it as something you feel you might be “over-sensitive” about, you should recognize how the kiss made you feel and communicate that with your girlfriend. There are no wrong feelings, in other words. That said, your girlfriend crossed a line, and the presumption with monogamous relationships is that macking on other people is generally frowned upon.

Personally, I think your girlfriend’s claim that she’s faultless because the woman kissed her doesn’t hold much water. Kissing, even at its sloppiest, still requires two active participants. If you take away one, it’s not kissing; it’s CPR. Trust me, I’ve tried to kiss a handful of people who didn’t want me to kiss them and they did one of the following:

  • Swiftly turned their head so I missed their face entirely
  • Covered my mouth with their hand
  • And, in one truly embarrassing case, backed away while exclaiming, “What are you doing? Your face was coming close to my mouth!”

It kinda sounds like instead of acknowledging that what she did hurt your feelings, she turned it around and blamed it on you (“We don’t have sex enough,” “You were talking to another girl,” etc). If this is a pattern in your fights, that’s a bad sign. So is never talking about fights that happened, while we’re at it. She owes you an apology at the very least, and then you should check in and clarify your relationship boundaries, i.e. what counts as cheating.

For more tips on how to be a badass communicator, see last week’s column about how to confront a roommate. The Cliff’s Notes version of active communication goes something like this: “When you did _____, I felt ______.” When I saw you kissing that girl, I felt like my trust was violated. And so on. Try to stay cool and composed, and don’t worry too much about how you should feel. Focus instead on how you actually feel.

Best of luck and I hope to see fewer h’s next time, my friend.

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