There is nothing worse than waking up and realizing you sent a drunk text that you shouldn’t have. The sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you can tell the text has been read, but not responded to, is enough to make you want to start drinking all over again. Your thoughts start racing and palms sweating, and you beg the universe that you are still deep in your intoxication-induced sleep and the whole thing is just a dream. Unfortunately, it almost never is.
In any drunk texting situation (assuming the night didn't end with sex, a serious talk, or both) there are really only a few things you can do to recover. In college, I picked up the habit of literally putting my phone in the freezer when I didn’t want to look at it — aka when I had somehow embarrassed myself with an outgoing text and didn’t feel like dealing with the aftermath. It was a great ploy for avoiding reality for a little (and a great excuse to periodically take bites from a pint of Ben and Jerry’s while “checking my texts”), but not exactly the best or most mature way to deal with the problem at hand.
I know, I know; waking up to an outgoing drunk text makes you want to throw your phone across the room (I've actually done this, and broken it), hide your head under a pillow and pretend it never happened. While that can certainly help you feel better in the moment, there are a few alternate ways to handle the situation that will ultimately help you recover in the long run.
1. Acknowledge That You Were Drunk Texting, And Now You're Embarrassed
First things first: You have to own up to what you've done. In fairness, anyone who receives a text after 2 a.m. with their name misspelled, a winky face or the phrase “whererrrrrru” (all one word, always) probably knows that it was sent by someone who was drunk and trying to get into their pants. Make a joke (something along the lines of “Woah! Looks like drunk me really wanted to see you last night, huh?”) to diffuse the awkwardness. Personally, I'm huge fan of sending that cute little monkey emoji with its hands over its eyes as a message that says, “I’m embarrassed, I’m sorry, and I’m hoping you'll find this adorable and endearing and that we can laugh it off." It almost always works.
Genuine apologies are only necessary in certain drunk texting situations — most of the time, your embarrassment is penance enough. But if you’ve texted someone who you know will take the messages the wrong way (like an ex whose heart you’ve recently broken), you’ve got to suck it up and apologize. Or if you’ve sent an angry or mean text, you need let the recipient know you’re sorry, especially if you said things that sober you didn’t mean. If you’ve really done something unforgivable, offer to talk it through in person (but be wary of this when it involves an ex) and do what you can to fix the situation.
This almost never works, but if you’ve really screwed yourself (for example incessantly texting new love interest to come over and lick your face), I say deny 'til you die . Pretend your friend took your phone, that you acted on a dare, or that you lost your phone in a cab — anything to relinquish you of responsibility. If you can actually pull this off, you’ve officially won at life.
4. Ignore The Situation Entirely
I know I said this wasn’t the “mature” way to deal with things, and once you've sent a drunk text you can never truly take it back, but if you’ve really dug yourself into a hole and following up will only make things worse, delete the conversation, pretend it never happened, and move on with your life. Delete their number, too (really delete it, not just the secret “fake delete” thing you can do on an iPhone) to avoid it happening again, then take yourself out to brunch. You’re bound to be feeling pretty traumatized (and probably pretty hungover, too) and deserve a pick-me-up in the form of banana chocolate chip pancakes.
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